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How to Choose the Perfect Surf Tail Pad for Your Board

Choosing the right surf tail pad can greatly enhance your performance in the water, providing better grip and control over your board. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which traction pad is best suited for your needs.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect surf traction pad and help you make an informed decision.

Traction Pad Material

The material of a surf traction pad plays a significant role in providing grip and durability. Most traction pads are made of EVA foam, which offers a comfortable grip and is quite lightweight but which can cause the famous locked-in effect, making it difficult to adjust or shuffle your feet around the tail.

RSPro offers a range of high-quality cork traction pads hat not only deliver excellent grip but also are eco-friendly and more sustainable.

Traction Pad Size and Shape

Traction pads come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different surfboard designs and rider preferences. Consider the dimensions and shape of your surfboard's tail and choose a pad that fits well without hanging over the edges.

It’s very different to choose a tail pad for a pin tail, square tail or fish tail to mention just 3 very different examples.

Types of surfboard tail shapes

For example, RSPro's offers tail pads specifically tailored for narrow or wide tails or for swallow or fish tails. 

Number of Pieces

Traction pads can be one-piece, two-piece, or multi-piece designs. One-piece pads provide a consistent grip across the entire surface and of course, are faster to install, while multi-piece pads offer greater flexibility and customization. Two-piece pads strike a balance between consistency and adaptability. Consider your personal preferences and the shape of your surfboard when deciding on the number of pieces.

RSPro offers several modular, multi-piece designs that allows for a custom fit on any surfboard.

Tail Pad Arch and Kick

The arch and kick of a surf traction pad are two essential factors to consider.

The arch refers to the raised section in the middle of the pad, designed to fit the curve of your foot which helps to sense where your rear foot is placed without having to look at it.

The kick, on the other hand, is the raised portion at the end of the pad that helps you leverage your back foot during turns.

Most RSPro tail pads are arch-less, while the Tail Grip model offers a smooth 7mm arch. On the kicks we offer different shapes of kicks, with one thing in common: a 25mm height.

Tail Pad Texture and Grip

The texture and grip of a surf traction pad play a significant role in performance and comfort. Look for a pad with a texture that provides adequate traction without being too abrasive on your skin.

RSPro's Cork Traction Pads offer a comfortable and eco-friendly alternative with excellent grip properties and no rash. We know 99.9% of you don’t need aggressive patterns to provide extreme grip.

Tail Pad Aesthetics

Although performance is the top priority, the appearance of your surf traction pad can also play a role in your decision. Choose a color and design that complements your surfboard and reflects your personal style.

RSPro offers various colors and designs, as long as its brown ;-). We understand how it feels to go to the surf shop to only find plastic wrapped EVA pads with flashy colors. Like you, we wanted something more natural, less aggressive both on the environment and visually.

Price and Quality

Finally, consider the price and quality of the surf traction pad. While it's important to stay within your budget, investing in a high-quality pad can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent replacements.

RSPro offers a range of affordable, high-quality traction pads that are built to last.


By taking into account the material, size and shape, number of pieces, arch and kick, texture and grip, aesthetics, and price and quality, you'll be well-equipped to choose the perfect surf traction pad for your board. With the right pad, you'll enjoy enhanced performance and control in the water, allowing you to fully focus on your surfing experience.