Traction pads are one of the tools of the trade when it comes to surfing. While full deck used to be the rage, and still is for some surfers, it’s nearly always about which humble tail pad is best. Do you want a great value tail pad? Do you want a fish tail pad? Do you just want something that looks kinda cool? This guide covers those bases, keeping things simple to choose the best surf traction for you.
Best Entry Level Tail Pads
When it comes to great value tail pads it’s hard to go past the Icon III. It’s stealth black, comes in our proven ‘square loc’ traction pattern, and has three pieces to spread out on wider tails if needed. A great, no-nonsense tail pad that’s going to give you plenty of grip for your buck.
Best Performance Traction Pad
The Creatures Square Loc II traction pattern may well have won more world surfing titles than any other surf grip. Mick Fanning x 3. Steph Gilmore x 7. Italo Ferreira x 1… and counting. If you want the best of the best, then Steph’s signature tail pad is perfect for the ladies, while Mick’s is gold for guys. That’s what Italo used during his 2019 run too.
Best Fish Tail Pad
When it comes to fish traction pads, you want something with plenty of coverage that’s going to suit wider tails, especially swallows. The Icon Fish Tail Pad is one that runs with an 80s inspired plan shape and has two pieces to splay out on your tail as you need.
Best Looking Tail Pad
This is a tricky one, since style so often comes down to the person that’s rocking it. However, if there’s one guy in the surf world known more for his steez than most, it’s Jack Freestone. Jack asked us to put together a design that works for his wider feet and board tails, but also something that adds a hint of fun without going wildly bright. This classic check came out a treat and turned into Jack’s signature surf grip.
Sustainable Tail Pads
More and more, surfers are demanding sustainable products that look after the oceans we play in. The Creatures Eco-Pure range answers that call with surf pads that hold their performance but then biodegrade at the end of life. Our team was so impressed with the result, there are plenty of options to choose from (and some more info on how they’re made) here.
If you’re looking for the best surf wax to add some extra traction to your surfboard, we recommend Sex Wax.