June 22, 2022 7 min read

In this article, we'll discuss the pros and cons of traction pads vs. wax. Is traction pads better than wax?

1. Pros: Better grip, improved control, and less money spent on wax.

2. Cons: Not all surfers find traction pads to be helpful.

However, many of them enjoy the benefits of traction pads over wax. Read on to find out which one is the best option for you. You'll be glad you did after reading this.

Keeping Your Feet on the Board

Traction pads are pieces of textured foam that surfers stick to the back of the board. These traction pads are great for improving grip and control on a slippery surfboard, and surfers prefer them to wax. Surfers don't have to reapply wax every time they want to catch a wave, and traction pads are always in the right place.

Traction pads come in different shapes and use different ridges and holes to help you stay firmly on the board.

Wax is a popular choice for longboards. Its smooth surface allows you to keep your feet on the board while preventing dents from your feet. Similarly, traction pads are good for ROM surfboards but aren't appropriate for longboards. Traction pads are more difficult to apply than wax, so they might not stick to some boards. Some surfers prefer wax for longboards, because longboards tend to be shuffled up and down. Traction pads also won't adhere to soft top surfboards, which can interfere with your foot placement.

Traction pads are made of foam or rubber. Different materials react differently in water, and some feel more comfortable on a board with foam traction pads. Make sure to choose a material that won't slip when wet. Pads come in a variety of different styles, so you're bound to find one that fits your needs. And don't forget about waxing your board with wax, as you can always apply it with a brush, just remember to wipe off any excess before heading out on a new adventure.

Traction pads can be installed on your board, too. Just make sure to clean the board thoroughly before applying traction pads. Otherwise, residual wax can cause the traction pad to rise. A solution is to remove the board's wax with a hairdryer and rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, you can use a cork traction pad. It's easy and cheap to install.

Increased Control

Whether you're new to surfing or have been riding for years, the debate over traction pads vs. wax is worth considering. Traction pads offer better grip, provide greater control, and protect the board's surface from dents. Wax, on the other hand, provides a more traditional stick for ROM surfboards. Whether you prefer surf wax or traction pads depends on your personal preference, but both provide excellent control.

Traction pads can be glued or spread using double-stick tape. The two are different, and if you don't feel confident in your installation skills, seek out help from a shop.

However, there are a few things to know before getting started: The main benefit of traction pads is improved grip. Even if a waxed board is more secure, the added grip will allow you to move more freely. For beginners, the surf wax may be enough to give them enough control, but foam pads can give you more comfort and control and are more elegant than a strip of wax. They also allow more wiggle motion, which is an important aspect of skimboarding.

traction pad on surfboard

Although wax is more durable and lasts longer than traction pads, a lot of skimboarding enthusiasts still use a tail pad for added grip. This can help them to place their back foot more securely. The best way to use tail pads is to try them out before you make the final decision. Depending on your level of expertise, you'll find that they are much easier to use. This way, you'll be able to try them without worrying about the waxing process.

Better Grip

You might be asking: Is it better to use traction pads instead of wax? The short answer is yes. Traction pads offer a better grip for your board, but they do make your board messy. Also, you don't need to sand it first. You don't need to wait 24 hours before hitting the waves, either. You will need some tissue paper, glass/hard surface cleaner, and a knife. Once you have the right combination, you can apply the pad. Once you've applied it, you should let it dry for two or four hours. Ideally, you should hit the waves after two or three hours.

To install the traction pad, first, make an outline of the board and then apply it to the board. Then, press it as hard as you can. Once it's adhered, allow the traction pad to dry overnight. If the wax is still on the board, you'll need to remove it with a hairdryer or a scraper. If you're using wax, it can delaminate the board and ruin the traction pad.

There are pros and cons to both methods, but traction pads have a distinct advantage over wax. Traction pads are more comfortable to use.

For intermediate surfers, traction pads offer the ability to push through turns with less pressure. Wax is better for beginners who want to avoid waxing their board, but traction pads are the best option for intermediate surfers who are looking for the best grip. However, it's important to keep in mind that traction pads cost more than wax and are less effective.

Traction pads come in a variety of shapes and colors. One type is designed for wider surfboards. Its EVA foam material is eco-friendly, and the adhesive grip is of the highest quality. It's also made for a variety of surfboards and is available in a range of colors. This pad is easy to apply and remove. The best ones are durable and comfortable. They're made of a thermoformed EVA formula.

Less Money Spent on Wax

surfer surfing

If you've ever wondered how to reduce your wax budget, you've probably heard of traction pads. Traction pads are essentially big, padded stickers that you place on the bottom of your surfboard. They provide extra protection for your knees and feet and can range from 2mm to 10mm in thickness. By adding these pads to your surfboard, you'll save money on wax and lessen your overall waxing needs.

Traction pads help protect your snowboard or skis by absorbing water and preventing skis from sliding on the surface. Unlike traditional wax, traction pads are eco-friendly and can be made from recycled materials. Plus, they can be more durable than traditional waxes. Traction pads are a great way to save money on wax because they don't require a lot of cleanups. You can even use them to create a one-and-done setup.

Traction pads are not necessary for longboards and funboards, but they can provide extra grip for surfers who ride intense waves. Traction pads are also known as tail, stomp, or trac pads. These pads are made of foam with different patterns, and they give your surfboard a better grip than the wax alone. They are also more durable than surf wax. While you may have to buy more traction pads, they are also cheaper than the long-lasting option.

Traction pads are a great alternative to wax for the back foot. A traction pad sticks to the tail of the surfboard and prevents your back foot from sliding off. They cost around $25 and come in many colors. They are made of non-slip and water-resistant materials. The adhesive is also easy to remove - just peel it off with a razor blade or acetone. You can even remove sticky bits using nail polish remover.


When it comes to surfboard traction, there are two main types of products: traction pads and wax. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs. Here's a breakdown of the two types of products: Traction pads are adhesive pads that are applied to the deck of a surfboard. They provide a grippy surface that helps keep your feet in place. Traction pads are easy to apply and remove, and they don't require any special care or maintenance. However, they can be less durable than wax and may need to be replaced more often. We hope we helped you find out about the pros and cons of both the traction pads and wax for surfboards.


Do pro surfers use traction pads?

Most professional surfers use traction pads on their boards in order to provide extra grip and prevent slipping. These pads can be made of different materials, such as silicone or rubber, and are often placed on the deck of the board in strategic locations. While some surfers do not like the feel of traction pads, most agree that they are a necessary part of the sport.

surfers with surfboards

Do traction pads work?

There's no question that surfboards are slippery. That's why many surfers choose to add traction pads to the top of their boards. But do these pads actually work? Some surfers swear by traction pads, saying that they provide extra grip and make it easier to stay on your board.

Others find that traction pads make their board feel slippery and uncomfortable. The truth is, it depends on the surfer. Some people find that traction pads help them stay on their board, while others find that they make the board feel slippery.

Ultimately, it's up to the surfer to decide whether or not to use traction pads.

What can I use instead of surf wax?

There are a few things you can use instead of surf wax, like petroleum jelly, liquid soap, or even a bar of wax. Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for you. Petroleum jelly is a popular choice because it’s easy to find and relatively cheap, but it can be difficult to apply evenly. Liquid soap is a good option if you’re looking for something that’s easy to apply, but it can wash off in the water. A bar of wax is a more traditional option, but it can be more expensive and difficult to find. You can also use traction pads.

What happens if you don't wax your surfboard?

If you don't wax your surfboard, the water will not be able to slide off as easily and you will not be able to go as fast. The wax also protects your board from the sun and makes it easier to grip. Without wax, your board will be more likely to get damaged and will also be more difficult to control.

Author - Aleksandra Djurdjevic
Aleksandra Djurdjevic          

Senior Content Creator

Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering surf, kayak and various watersports activities. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the ocean / rivers, getting out waves, season after season, seeking epic adventures across the globe helps her continue to be a top expert at CSG.

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