Whether you are a seasoned skimboarding athlete or someone who is new to the sport, there are definitely some important things to know when setting up your own high-end skimboard! It can be a little bit more complex than simply choosing a skimboard and hitting the beach, and the reasons for this added complexity will be covered here in this article.
Just like a snowboard or a wakeboard needs bindings, skateboards need trucks, and surfboards need wax, a skimboard is also not complete without certain other components to make it optimally functional. In the case of an effective skimboard setup, you will generally start with a high quality carbon fiber skimboard, and to complete the board setup you will want to equip it with an elite grip pad as well.
Adding some surfboard wax to the top surface of your skimboard is another great suggestion for increasing control, traction, and foot grip while riding. The real focus of this article is to provide new and experienced skimboarding athletes with a comprehensive buyer’s guide for the best skimboarding grip pads for the 2018 season. While it might seem like any skimboard grip pad will work fine, this is not completely true since there are many product options for skimboard grip pads.
Each one of these options will tend to vary in overall quality, but there is also the aspect of subjective preferences that each skimboarder will have. Whereas one skimboarder might love a certain model of skim grip pad, another rider may not like that particular model at all, so definitely there is an aspect of preference in the search for the perfect grip pad. For the benefit of beginner, intermediate, and advanced skimboarders all over the world, stick around to learn more about the newest cutting edge skimboard grip pads on the market today!
Buying Advice For Choosing The Right Skimboard Traction Pad For Your Setup
Within the range of available skimboard grip pads being sold on the market right now in 2018, there are tons of different grip patterns, colors, sizes, shapes, and foam densities that can allow each rider to customize the type of ride their skimboard allows for. These variations in grip pad design may not seem like they would create significant differences in the overall feel of a given board, but in fact a grip pad can make a difference in how your skimboard performs.
Since skimboarding is a marine sport where the rider must create a hydroplaning effect on the water, it involves an approach process where the rider must run toward the skimming surf before strategically timing the release of their skimboard onto the sand/surf. The hydroplaning effect comes into play when the rider plants their back foot onto the board first, creating a rise in the nose of the skimboard and projecting the board into an effective hydroplane across the water.
That is why the skimboard grip pad you choose can actually make a big difference in the overall feel of your board, because the back foot plant onto the board is such a critical movement in getting successful lines in skimboarding and this is where the primary grip pad is placed on the board. So things like foam grip density, grip pattern, and overall grip size all have an impact on how easy it is for the skimboarder to make their plant and transition into their line across the water.
An additional reason for why skimboard grip pads can have a major customization factor on a skimboard is that these pads can also be outfitted onto other sections of the board, not just the rear tail section of the board where they are most commonly found. If a skimboarder feels like padding up the nose and midsection of the board as well, this is something that a fair amount of riders will do instead of having to repeatedly wax these sections of their board. This kind of full padding is less common and can alter overall weight distribution on your skimboard, but for some riders it is something that is very beneficial.
A highly rated company in the surfing and skimboarding world, and other extreme sports for that matter, Dakine is a brand that delivers elite quality skimboarding gear to their customers. A great example of the kind of quality products Dakine offers in 2018 is their Dakine Indy Pad, which is a high-end traction pad for skimboards. With a range of innovative features and design characteristics found on the Dakine Indy Pad, skimboarders can enjoy the awesome appearance and elite functionality of this skim grip pad.
Designed in a White and Orange color scheme, this pad might not match up with every single skimboard design on the market right now, but given the dominant color is white it should go well with most boards. Featuring a three-piece construction, this grip pad can be applied to a skimboard in customizable patterns depending on the preference of each individual skimboarder.
Built to have a 10mm center arch in the traction pad, this creates an even more aggressive board feel and gives your rear foot better grip during intense lines. In addition to the 10mm center arch design feature, the 2018 Dakine Indy Pad also offers a 25mm vert wedge in the rear of the traction pad. This gives the skimboarder a raised tail on the grip pad to prevent the rear foot from slipping off the back of the board during aggressive maneuvering, and it also makes ollies and other technical moves a lot easier to execute.
One of the most innovative qualities of the 2018 Dakine Indy Pad is the actual material it is composed of, which is a proprietary foam that Dakine calls Positraction. This type of foam is designed to be dense and durable, while also feeling kind of sticky and gooey on your feet in order to facilitate maximum grip and traction at all times.
Some of the cheaper, lower quality alternatives for skimboarding grip pads will not be made using this kind of high end foam, so that is something to think about when investing in an elite skimboarding traction pad. Retailing around $30.00 depending on where you purchase your 2018 Dakine Indy Traction Pad, this grip pad is an affordable way to make your skimboard setup much more agile and aggressive on the water.
While it is a bit more expensive than the Dakine Indy Pad, the 2018 Traction Vector Pad by Victoria Skimboards is a truly elite grip pad for serious skimboarders looking for top of the line equipment. If you need your board to perform perfectly and dependably all the time, then the 2018 Traction Vector Pad by Victoria Skimboards could be exactly what you’re looking for. Unlike the Dakine Indy Pad that uses much softer Positraction foam, the 2018 Traction Vector Pad by Victoria Skimboards utilizes an EVA Foam composition in the construction of the grip pad.
The EVA Foam used in the 2018 Traction Vector Pad is a bit tougher and harder on the feet, and some skimboarders feel that this gives them better control overall and a more responsive skimboard during technical maneuvering. Similar to the Dakine Indy Pad however, the 2018 Traction Vector Pad features a three-piece design that will also allow skimboarders to customize the overall positioning and layout of their traction pad installation.
Another innovative and practical design feature of the 2018 Traction Vector Pad by Victoria Skimboards is the Low Profile Kick design, which helps the rider to lock in their rear foot while riding and improve overall balance. This is a great feature to have for aggressive, advanced skimboarding athletes who need all the advantages they can get in terms of maintaining contact and traction during intense conditions in the breaks.
There is also a built-in arch bar designed into the 2018 Traction Vector Pad, which creates an even more ergonomic and comfortable setup for the rear foot to rest upon while riding. One of the best features of the 2018 Traction Vector Pad by Victoria Skimboards is the fact that the raised tail is not as high as other traction pads on the market right now, making it much better for executing technical tricks.
Also, in spite of the harder EVA Foam on this traction pad by Victoria Skimboards, it still holds an excellent grip during all conditions. Retailing around $45.00 depending on your chosen seller, the 2018 Traction Vector Pad by Victoria Skimboards is an elite skimboarding traction pad that will get the job done for beginners to experts alike.