Surf Tips

Sanuk How To’s: Apply Your Traction Pad

Does Donny shred tailpads? Probably not… So what? If Donny said jump off a cliff….

Ian Battrick applies his Luna Surf tail pad with the unusually deft touch of the moderate maniac, the dextrous skill of the controlled loose cannon.

Tailpads are generally regarded as essential by most surfers today, not only do they help you grip and control the stern of your vessel, they also help protect the thing from damage and even help you find your comfortable, functional stance.

But what you don’t want is for the fucker to come unstuck. When that happens, it can pretty much ruin your session, your whole day, even your week, putting you in a such a foul mood that you might do a nasty thing like throwing your packed lunch sandwiches back in your mum’s face (for being soggy) or shooting your dog (for barking).

1. Clean the board properly with white spirit, especially if its been waxed. Even if it hasn’t and it’s brand new, white spirit it to get all the dust off from the factory. If you really want to be a gimp, you can even give the area a light sand to rough it up and improve adhesion. (White spirit the sanding dust off after). Avoid putting your grubby, oily, jizzy finger and thumbprints on the area where your pad will go.

2. Lay it out and get happy with the position. This is where a lot of people fuck up. Do not put the thing floating pointlessly a mile up from the leash plug. That’s crap. Also, do not be scared to spread it out, especially if you have a wide tailed groveller (I’m 99% sure you does). On your high perf shortboard, you’ll probably want the thing as far back as poss, snug to the leash plug. It’s got that cut out bit for a reason.

3. If you want to be really precise (and double gimpy) mark with a pencil where you want the pieces to go. If you do do this, you were/are probably something of a teacher’s pet at school no? I knew it…

4. Peel off the backing and stick her on, making sure you press down hard all over each piece and have no air bubbles. Be particularly careful at the area where the raised bit at the back meets the flat. This is often a problem area for darstardly coming unstuckiness.

5. Leave it overnight, or as long as you can. This optimises sticking. If you literally cannot wait, well you’ve just wasted 3 mins of your life reading this, haven’t you. You don’t need this advice, you’re on your own. Good luck.

6. Paddle out, make it rain! Don’t forget though, you are allowed to use your rails to turn, not just the fins/tail. Nothing good has ever come from doing tail carves, except maybe Peterson Rosa beating AI at Reunion Island in 2005.
Actually, was that good?


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