What to Consider When Choosing a Pad for Surfboards

August 16, 2022 3 min read

The first step in choosing a surfboard pad is determining your foot size. There are two basic foot sizes: large and small. To find out which size is best for your foot, you can use this guide. Next, you should consider the type of traction pad you want. If you want to be able to kick your board, a pad with a moderate arch is the best option. Two-piece models have the least amount of arch and kick. This means that they allow your foot to move freely while you're riding.

Soft Traction Vs Hard Traction

There are two main types of surfboards: longboards and funboards. While longboards float in the water and are easy to paddle, funboards are harder to paddle. Beginner surfers may benefit from a paddle with a traction pad. This pad helps surfers strengthen their grip and put their back foot over the tail. A longboard, also called a log, can be up to 9 feet long. Many surfers prefer to kick to stick the traction pad.

Choosing between soft or hard traction on your paddle depends on what you'd like. Hard traction will provide extra grip and pushback, while soft traction will make it easier to maneuver the board. Many surfers swear by deck traction pads and wax, but they're not required. They're just personal preferences. In the end, there's no right or wrong answer.


The price of a surfboard paddle varies widely. Beginners can find paddle boards for under $300. Advanced riders can expect to pay up to $2,000 or more. Prices for touring paddleboards are much more expensive than those for beginners. There are even inflatable paddleboards on the market. While a new surfboard paddle can be expensive, it can last for years. If you are serious about learning how to paddle board, you should invest in a quality board.

Unlike traditional surfboards, paddle boards are usually made from EPS foam, which is both lighter and stronger. However, these foam boards require expensive epoxy resin. Another major cost factor is the cloth. Good boards will have 6oz fiberglass cloth. Cheaper manufactures may use 4oz fabric in order to save money. Alternatively, you can opt for carbon fiber cloth. Carbon fiber is very strong and light, but it also costs a lot.

Size of Your Foot

To choose a proper surfboard paddle, it is essential to know the size of your foot. The most common measurement for a foot is four inches longer than your width, so you should increase the size of your paddle by at least six inches. The length of your paddle should be eighty to eighty-eight inches or 214 to 260 cm. For this reason, you should make sure that the shaft of the paddle fits around your foot.

If you're a performance surfer, you'll want a short paddle, since the smaller the board, the shorter the paddle should be. In addition, a short paddle can be easier to maneuver on a smaller board, making it more difficult to catch waves if you're a beginner. Alternatively, you might be a competitive surfer, and you should opt for a long paddle to increase your speed and control while surfing.

Style of Pad

The most important factor when choosing a pad for your surfboard is the type of foot you use. A layback surfer will want to buy a pad that has less traction and a low arch. A two-piece pad with a low kick is best for a layback surfer. A two-piece pad is better suited for a variety of surfboard styles. A medium all-round pad gives you plenty of freedom while providing grip where it's needed.

The best pads for beginner and intermediate surfers have different arch designs. Find one that fits your foot size and how much movement you make on the board. If you have big feet, go for a pad with a higher arch. Pads are available in three-piece, five-piece, and two-piece styles. A two-piece pad is not as common as it was 10 years ago, but has made a comeback recently because of its durability.

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