Traction pads can make your board look ‘pretty’ and so much more!
Deciding Whether You Need a Paddle Board Traction Pad
The short answer to whether or not you must have a stand up paddleboard traction pad is no. But, there are numerous cases where they are extremely beneficial and there’s no reason not to use one. In fact, most SUPs come with them already built-in.
SUPs with a good traction pad will use material specifically designed to enhance the rider’s comfort and grip on the board. The added grip from the traction pad helps prevent slipping and sliding on the surface of the SUP. And, the extra padding under your feet helps to make the overall experience that much better. Not only for long trips, but everything in between. Remember you don’t stand the whole time.
A traction pad increases your grip and improves your overall stability.
Types of Stand Up Paddle Board Traction Pads
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to stand up paddleboard traction pads and the material they are made from.
Paddleboard Traction Pad Materials
- Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) – The most common material for SUP traction pads and commonly found in yoga mats. The reason it’s the most common is that it’s incredibly durable and comfortable. It’s also able to absorb any weight and their associated shocks extremely well. Another added benefit that makes them popular is that EVA traction pads are easy to clean and don’t require much maintenance.
- Cork – This type of traction pad that is made from cork tree bark. It is environmentally friendly as the tree does not have to be cut down to make the product. The bark is harvested from the tree in a sustainable way without damaging it. It is naturally water-resistant, non-toxic and completely organic. It is naturally springy which can help protect knees and joints when the water is rough or when doing a long-distance race or cruise.
- Wax – While this is not a traction pad to be installed, it can still be used for traction if you have an epoxy SUP without a traction pad. It keeps the paddle board light for racing and can offer a great sticky grip for the paddler. You’re more likely to see wax used on surfboards than a common stand up paddleboard. CAUTION: DO NOT use wax on your inflatable SUP as it can damage the PVC material.
Traction pads do more than just provide grip when standing.
Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Board Traction Pads
Paddleboard Yoga Traction Pads
Yoga and other activities are a lot more comfortable with a good SUP traction pad.
Stand Up Paddle Board Traction Pad Sizes
Like stand up paddleboards, SUP traction pads come in a few different sizes. The sizes vary and are designed with different users and stand up paddleboards in mind. So there’s no right answer when it comes to tractions pads, it’s simply finding out what you prefer for your activities.
- Traction pads for standing areas – These traction pads are for the middle of the paddle board where the rider is usually standing. They are specific to the center of the board where most traction is required. They can be made of cork or EVA and styled to look like the board itself, so they blend in. There are various lengths of these traction pads available depending on the board length and width. They are also classified and designed for specific uses such as, all-around, yoga, or racing SUP.
- Full-length traction pads – These pads are used to cover the paddle board from one end to the other. The intention is to have traction across the whole board rather than just the standing area. This is great for when the boards are used with kids or pets as well as with yoga SUP. The Max Multi-purpose SUP has a full-length traction pad to protect it from pets’ paws and claws and make sure the kiddos have somewhere comfy to sit. It allows versatility of use along with protection on the top of the whole length of the board.
- Full wrap traction pads – These traction pads are different from full-length ones. The full-length ones run the length of the board while full wrap includes the sides of the paddle board also. This means the sides have lots of grip as well and may be found on rental boards as it add to their durability to protect board that will be handled roughly from bangs and bumps and ill treatment.
Traction pads like the one on the Max Multi-purpose SUP can provide added comfort for any passengers and pets.
While many paddle boarders like to feel the board beneath their feet, traction pads allow for that with even the pickiest boarders. A stand up paddle traction pad offers that extra security of grip not only when someone is learning how to paddle board, but with the most experienced racers as well. They offer that little bit of extra help when it comes to staying on.
A stand up paddle traction pad does not have to be the center of attention on a board. They can be subtle and suit every style, use and need. Whether a paddle boarder wants a clear and unnoticeable pad or one that is matching or stylized, the traction pad will always help with grip and comfort. They are perfect to offer paddling support whether the board is used for SUP racing, yoga or long leisurely travels.