The wax vs traction pad debate: Skimboard wax vs traction pads

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  03.03.2022
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Do you love skimboarding but have trouble staying on the board?

Skimboard wax and traction pads are both popular methods for improving your grip on the board and preventing falls. But which one is right for you?

Read on to find out more about the benefits of each method – and decide which one will help you stay on your board and shred those waves!

Skimboard wax vs traction pads

Skimboarding is a fun summer activity that can be enjoyed by anyone, but it’s hard to stay on the board without slipping off.

You need traction pads or skimboard wax to help you stay on the board and have more control over your movements.

We’re going to compare these two products so you can decide which one is best for you!

Skimboard traction pads vs wax in use

Which gives you more grip: traction pads or wax?

Traction pads provide grip and allow you to move in any direction with ease.

They also make it easier for beginners who might not know how to properly balance themselves on a skimboard yet.

Pads can grip the arch of your foot giving you more grip and control.

Wax still gives you a good amount of grip so traction pads aren’t required but it can’t grip arched surfaces as pads can. The extra grip can make skimboarding easier.

Wax still provides a lot of grip and is great for more experienced skimboarders.

Which is easier to apply: traction pads or wax?

Traction pads are very easy to apply. They come with a self-adhesive backing so you just have to peel and stick them to your board.

Wax is also easy to apply, but it’s a little more complicated than sticking on some pads.

You’ll need a wax applicator (usually a sponge) and then you’ll have to apply the wax in a circular motion.

It’s a little more work, but it’s worth it for that added grip and control, without altering the look and feel of your board.

Wax can be messy and it’s important to apply it in the correct areas for the best results.

It also needs to be reapplied after a few trips in the water.

Traction pads don’t require any maintenance and they work well in all types of weather conditions.

You can’t really remove them without a lot of work to make sure your board’s surface is still looking great.

Which helps maintain control over the board best: traction pads or wax?

In this area, traction pads win the day as well. They provide much more control over your board, making it easier to maneuver and even do tricks.

Do you need skimboard wax if you have traction pads?

If you use traction pads, then applying wax is no longer necessary. Although most skimboarders will put on a front arch bar traction pad in which case, you might still want to wax your tail end from time to time.

So, which is right for you?

If you’re a beginner, traction pads are the way to go – they’re easy to apply and will give you more grip on the board.

If you’re more experienced, wax is a good option – it’s also easy to apply and provides extra grip for those who need it.

However, keep in mind that wax needs to be reapplied more often than traction pads.

Choose the method that fits your skill level and lifestyle!

Also read: these are the best skimboards to buy right now

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.