Whether you’re a skilled wakesurfer or a beginner wanting to learn, a traction pad should be an essential part of your gear. They can enhance your board control and response. The gripper feel under your foot will improve your mobility and make you feel comfortable on the water.
However, placing a wakesurf traction pad without following a process can limit its efficiency. A premium traction pad can be an investment, and installing it without proper attention to detail can be frustrating. Read on to find out how perfectly placing the traction pad is the key to getting your wakesurf board ready to ride.
Removing the pad
Before placing your traction pad, you might need to remove the old one. You can use a blow dryer to heat up the pad, but we have a nice hack for you. Leave your board out on a hot, sunny day. Afterward, you can simply pull the traction board off the board.
You might run into some trouble with the wax or the film of glue left behind. You can put the board out in the sun for some more time, pour hot water over the wax or use a hair dryer to get rid of the wax.
For leftover glue, use a liquid adhesive remover. Using a comb or a plastic card, scrape off any wax or glue left behind, and clean the board with a rag.
When placing the pad on a new board, you should still wipe it with a towel to remove any fiberglass dust from the manufacturer, making sure it’s nice and clean and the surface is smooth as can be.
Where to place the pad
Firstly, you should utilize, or measure, the outline of your board when shopping for the right traction pad. Each board is shaped differently, and you must be particular about where to place the pad.
It is also down to your preference and how much board area you want to have covered. Most riders place their traction pads in front of the leash plug. Others line it up directly with the rear fin’s front, back, or center. Check and anticipate where you will place the back foot on the board’s tail.
We recommend leaving a 1 and1/2-inch or 2-inch border around the board to release the water flow.
Placing the pad
Unwrap the traction pad but don’t take off the backside cover. Use the stringer as the central reference point and place the pad down on your preferred spot. Do not remove the back cover and keep the glue concealed. Instead, trace the outline of the pad with a pencil and sand the area for better adhesion.
Now, peel off the paper covering the traction pad’s glue and place it in the outlined area. You should start with one end of the traction pad and apply pressure while slowly laying it down. Remember, we do not want any air pockets under the pad, or the adhesion won’t be optimal. You can also press from the center of the pad towards its edges to prevent the formation of air bubbles.
Check if yours is a three-piece traction pad. If so, you should leave little gaps between all pads.
All you have to do now is wait. Sometimes it can take up to 24 hours for the traction pad to properly bond with the board. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions in case of any doubts.
Get the Best Wakesurf Traction Pads at Miami Nautique
Now you know how to place the traction pads correctly. But which ones should you get?
Check out the latest 2023 Hyperlite Traction Pads for your wakesurf board. They feature fully-machined square and diamond patterns and offer 3M adhesives for premium traction. Ideally, the traction pads on your board will only be applied once. By choosing the traditional 3M self-adhesive presented by the Hyperlite traction pads above, you can rest easy knowing your board will offer a perfect grip forever.
At Miami Nautique, we take pride in our team of professionals willing to help you find the best traction pads. Our list of reputed manufacturers includes Hyperlite, Ronix, Liquid Force, and other leading brands.
While you’re at it, check out our range of wakesurf boards and accessories. From the latest models of top brands to specifically designed tow ropes, we are the one-stop shop for all your wave-riding needs. Find the next board to help you pull off neat tricks behind a boat.
Stop by the Miami Nautique pro shop or browse our site to find out more.