Do I need a traction pad on a fish surfboard?

Fish surfboards are a popular choice for surfers looking for a board that offers versatility, maneuverability, and speed. These boards are designed with a wider and flatter deck, a wide tail, resembling a fish tail and a rounded or semi-rounded nose, making them perfect for catching waves in various conditions, specially on weak or small surf conditions. 

A beautiful fairmile fish surfboard

And they are beautiful.  

However, many surfers are unsure about whether they need a traction pad on a fish surfboard, especially when considering the many different types of surfing tail pads available.

In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of using a fish traction pad and why it's essential (or not) for any surfer who is looking to take their surfing to the next level.

Why Use a Traction Pad on a Fish?

A traction pad is a key component for a surfer who wants to have full control over their board. The pad provides grip, cushioning, and improved board control, making it easier to perform maneuvers and tricks. 

Benoit Carpentier from RSPro team carving a turn on a fish surfboard


Fish surfboards, with their flatter deck, wide tail, and rounded nose, can benefit greatly from the use of a traction pad even if you’re used to see them without any pad. Not front pads, not tail pads. 

The main benefits of using a fish traction pad are:

  1. Improved Grip: The traction pad provides a non-slip surface, allowing the surfer to maintain their footing, even in wet conditions. This is especially important when attempting to perform tricks or when navigating through rough surf.
  2. Enhanced Board Control: The traction pad acts as a shock absorber, reducing the impact of waves and improving board control. It also allows the surfer to place their feet in specific positions for maximum control, making it easier to perform maneuvers and tricks.
  3. Comfort: The traction pad provides cushioning for the surfer's feet, reducing fatigue and making it more comfortable to surf for longer periods.
  4. Style: Traction pads come in a variety of colors and designs, allowing the surfer to personalize their board and add a touch of style to their surfing experience. If you like the colors. We, at RSPro love brown pads ;-)

Types of Fish Traction Pads

When choosing a fish traction pad, it's important to consider the various options available. 

Some of the most popular types of surfing tail pads include:

  1. 3-Piece Pads: These pads are made up of three separate pieces, providing the surfer with maximum customization and versatility. They can be positioned in various configurations, allowing the surfer to choose the best setup for their board and surfing style. 
  2. Arch Bar Pads: Arch bar pads are similar to 3-piece pads, but they have a raised arch in the center of the pad. This provides additional support and stability, making them ideal for surfers who want extra control over their board.
  3. Kicktail Pads: Kicktail pads are designed with a raised tail section, providing the surfer with increased grip and control, especially when performing tricks.
  4. Simple Tail Pads: Tail pads are a simple and effective option for surfers who want to add grip to their board without adding any additional weight.

Depending on the shape of the fish tail some of them would be suitable some not. For example, from the RSPro range of Tail Pads, only Tail Grip Arrow which is a 6 piece without arch bar and Hexa Tail Wide which is 3+2 piece without arch bar are recommended for fish surfboards.

RSPro Hexa Tail Wide installed on a fish surfboard

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you're a surfer looking to improve your surfing experience, a fish traction pad can be a must-have accessory. The benefits of using a traction pad, such as improved grip, enhanced board control, comfort, and style, make it a valuable investment for any surfer. With the many different types of surfing tail pads available, you're sure to find the perfect pad to suit your needs and take your surfing to the next level. So, the next time you're in the market for a new fish surfboard, be sure to consider the added benefits of a fish traction pad.

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