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Traction Pads for Surfing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Are you endlessly searching for the ultimate surf grip that can revolutionize your time on the water? Hold your board, because what you're about to read could make or break your watersports experience.

The Good: Sustainable Materials and Innovative Solutions

The Rise of Eco-Friendly Options

In a world increasingly concerned with sustainability, some companies are rising to the occasion with innovative alternatives. Take, for instance, cork-based surf grips. They are not only eco-friendly but also offer a tactile feel that replicates traditional wax. Moreover, these options often come with a honeycomb texture that helps in achieving better grip, comparable to your regular surfboard front grip.

No Wax Surf Traction

Another commendable innovation is no wax surf traction systems like HexaTraction. Imagine no longer having to wax your board constantly, saving both time and the environment. HexaTraction offers grip without a sticky mess. The transparent modular configuration is a bonus, preserving your board's aesthetics while still providing excellent grip.

The Bad: EVA Pads and Non-Eco-Friendly Wax

EVA Surfboard Traction Pads

EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) is a common material used in traditional surfboard traction pads. Although it offers a good grip, it's not the best option for those who care about Mother Earth. The production of EVA can lead to harmful emissions, and the material is not easily recyclable.

This is EVA 😳 

Conventional Surf Wax

Though traditional surf wax has been a go-to for decades, it's essential to consider its environmental impact. Non-eco-friendly waxes contain petroleum-based ingredients that are neither sustainable nor biodegradable.

The Ugly: Poorly Designed or Ineffective Pads

There are many ugly pads out there. Way too many. A couple of examples

Firewire Expander Traction Pad

While it may serve its purpose for grip, the Firewire Expander Traction Pad has gained a reputation for its rather, let's say, "unique" aesthetics. Sure, it could keep you on the board, but it might not win any beauty contests anytime soon. In a world where form often meets function, this pad takes a hard left at the intersection.

Sad Pads

If you've seen the collection at Sad Pads on Instagram, you'll understand that not all traction pads are created equal. Nor installed as they were designed to be. Some are downright ugly and even comical.

Sad Pads


1. What are sustainable alternatives to traditional surf grips?

Sustainable options like RSPro's HexaTraction offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional surf grips made from non-renewable materials. Made with more responsible materials, these alternatives are not only good for your board but also kinder to our oceans.

2. Is waxing my board bad for the environment?

Traditional surfboard waxes often contain petrochemicals that can be harmful to marine life. Opting for eco-friendly waxes or alternative traction solutions like HexaTraction can be a more responsible choice.

3. Why should aesthetics matter for a surf grip?

Aesthetics can impact your overall experience and connection with your board. A visually appealing grip can make your board feel like an extension of yourself, enhancing your surfing experience.


Finding the right surf grip can significantly influence your performance and experience in watersports. While sustainable options like cork-based grips and HexaTraction are rising stars, traditional options like EVA pads and non-eco-friendly waxes are falling out of favor. Be aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly to make an informed choice that aligns with both your performance needs and environmental concerns.

Choose wisely and surf responsibly.