A brief history of the surfboard pad:
In 1976, American Herbie Fletcher had started “fooling” around with a polyurethane elastomer foam. He found that by blowing the foam into flat sheets, then sanding the top layer off, he exposed open cells that created suction under pressure.
Just like that…the adhesive deck grip was born!
There must be something in it, because surfboard traction spent years in a tangle of form, function and fashion.
Adhesive traction always seemed a good idea, so why mess with the constantly shifting grip of wax when you could render the traction surface permanent and stable by sticking something grippy to your board?
Surfers always become suspicious when confronted with change. In the 1990s, and early 2000’s, pads lost traction (pun intended) to wax! Their market share has slowly recovered and you will find them in the world’s most popular lineups.
Now that I have taken you on a nostalgic joy-ride back to your school days of daydreaming, bunking class and history lessons, let’s check out the benefits.
Less is more…
“That which is less is often better appreciated than what is more”- some smart-ass!
Less wax on your board has a number of benefits:
Save your crown:
You save on cash, with the ever increasing oil price, wax is starting to become one of those surf essentials that you are having to save for. I remember 10 years ago, I or rather Mom was paying around R15 per a block of sex wax. Not today, it can easily set you back 70 bucks!
Save the reef:
Surf wax is filthy stuff, composed of a mixture of paraffin, beeswax or other hard waxes and petroleum jelly. (Petrol!) Yes, you read it right, you are putting petrol on your board and in the ocean… How healthy do you think that it for our oceans and indirectly us?
Don’t “KOOK” out:
Yes, wax becomes slippery, If it did not become slippery we would not have to apply more and more every time we want to go surf! This is obviously tied into the above, more wax, more money, more problems – yo!
Let’s face it, anything can look cool if it is marketed well enough. I mean, look at The Beatles. They rocked the most ridiculous hair styles, looking like a lego man’s detachable hairdo! Just to illustrate my point exactly.
It does not mean sticking a front pad on your board will make you surf like any of these guys, but what I am saying is, it will make you think you are surfing like them…Good enough for me.
We’re streaking from the quad to the gymnasium… everyone’s doing it:
We have all watched that legendary film featuring Will Ferrell – “Old School” – right? If you have not, the subtitle to this paragraph will make no sense! To be honest, . I don’t really care!
Like the title suggests, everyone is doing it! The front traction pad is making a come back, with THUNDER and everyone hopping on the bandwagon… don’t be left with your pants down!!
Get on it, grab yourself a grip and go shredding or at least pretend to.
As Einstein once said: “I think therefore I am shredding like Wade Goodall” (True story)
Although a lot has been written in jest, the majority is true so I suggest you do yourself a huge favour and check out whats on offer with these front traction pads!