Traction pads, deck grips, tailpads … there are loads of names for this handy piece of hardware. A deck grip is a sticky and grippy piece of sculpted foam that sits on the tail of your surfboard.

Tail pads gives experienced surfers’ rear foot loads more traction and grip on the board. This will allow you to pull faster, harder manoeuvres without the worry of your back foot slipping on the wax. For advanced or less experienced surfers its a great way to get your back foot used to the correct positioning on your board, as well as providing a little more stick. Take a look at the Nikki Van Dijk tail pad here.

31How do you choose the right pad?

Each tail pad will have slightly different qualities but they all do the same thing. It all depends on your personal preference your style of surfing and what design and colour you love.

1. Many grips have ridges set into the foam base that allow your foot to hold even more control for bigger snaps or even impressive aerial manoeuvres.

2. Some grips have a central arch that is raised to give you a comfortable and ergonomically great feel under foot. Might not be so good for the flat footed of us out there but there are 0mm arches too.

3. The kick is the raised lip at the back of the deck grip. This section gives you a greater surface area to push off on radical and vertical manouvres.

4. Different tail grips come in different sections. Some come as a whole piece and others can be separated out into two or three sections for an application just how you like it.


Who needs to use deck pads?

Everyone can use and apply deck grips on any sized board. Grips are usually recommended for shortboards and the more experienced surfer to get the most out of their manoeuvres and provide a lot more traction on the lower part of your board. However, you don’t have to use deck grips, properly waxing your board will be fine to keep your back foot gripped to the deck, (there aren’t really any benefits to traction pads on beginner boards or guns as your foot will rarely be right at the tail).


If you love tail pads, we have a few funky designs for you to choose from at the Beach Boutique, some of them designed with the help of pro surfers Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright and Nikki Van Dijk.

Deck Grips