The primary function is to provide better traction for the back foot with the board. Secondary – saving on wax. Using the grip pad helps you place your back foot in the right place and make more radical maneuvers.
The history of rugs began at the end of the seventies of the last century. The first who managed to popularize them was the famous Herbie Fletcher.
He used his ideas and, after testing several variants, began selling the first tail pads in his surf shop. He named them Astrodeck.
Astrodeck rugs became a symbol of the surf culture, and the eighties’ surfers adored them. Surfing champions such as Tom Carroll, Kelly Slater, Martin Potter, Sean Thomson, and Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew were the first to understand the invention’s usefulness and began to use it constantly.
The boom of tail pads began to decline in the late 90s, but rugs have since become an integral part of high-performance shortboards.
Today’s tail pads are the upgraded version of Astrodeck. They are made of EVA (porous, foamy material), and their shape is maximally sharpened for the most powerful maneuvers.
Today rugs are available on the market in thousands of different shapes and colors. And it’s not surprising that a person who decides to buy a tail pad for the first time may be confused by all this variety.
Therefore, we decided to tell you what to look for when choosing a tailored for your board.
1. NUMBER OF PARTS
Two or three-piece rugs can be glued to boards with a reasonably wide bottom, such as hybrid or retro boards (fish).
The fourth and fifth pieces of mat are usually complementary to conventional 3-piece grip pads and are mainly used when riding big waves.
It helps place the foot in the right place on the board, allowing powerful, radical maneuvers. The higher the kicktail and the greater the angle of its ascent, the stronger the leg support, the better the grip.
The rule of thumb for choosing a lift is the following: the more radical you want to make maneuvers, the more angle you need: from 45 to 90 degrees.
Some tail pads do not have a kicktail; they are usually used on retro boards where the position of the back foot is not so critical.
3. CENTRAL LIFT (ARCH BAR)
What thickness to choose depends on the length of your leg and the arch of your foot. The smaller the foot (minor bend), the less lift you need, and vice versa.
Also, the height of the center lift depends on your riding level. The steeper you roll, the higher the center lift will be needed. The worse, the less.
Rugs with little or no center rise are commonly used on retro surfboards to give the board a better feel.
4. SURFACE RELIEF
The pattern on the surface provides grip for the foot. It all depends on your preference.
And the holes and special channels on the rug’s surface serve to make it lighter.
Recently, there has been a tendency to glue rugs under the front leg. They are usually flat and skinny. Glue them to stop using wax on the board altogether.
Whether or not these rugs are used is a matter of taste. But the use of tail pads will help your surfing.
DOES BEGINNERS NEED A Rug?
People who take their first steps in surfing don’t care about board grip, but these surfers often put their back foot in the wrong place.
HOW DO I CORRECTLY Glue the MAT ON THE SURFBOARD?
After all, if you do something wrong, the tail pad will either not be where it should be, and you will have to buy a new one, or it will begin to peel off over time.
Ensure no wax or other dirt on the board before gluing the mat. If the board is brand new, dust it off.
– Cut the plastic around the edge of the new tail pad, but leave the mat itself inside the plastic;
– attach the rug to the board and estimate where it should be. Someone likes to glue the kicktail in the area of the rear fin / s, while someone likes to place it right next to the very mortgage for the lichen. If this is your first rug, it is best to position the kicktail around the center of the rear fin / s;
– mark the position of the rug with a pencil, centering it with a stringer;
– peel off the protective layer from the adhesive part of the mat and glue it in the place marked with a pencil;
– press the mat firmly for 20-30 seconds so that it adheres well to the board;
– wait at least 12 hours before going into the water so that the glue sticks tightly.
However, try not to overheat the board. Otherwise, delamination can occur – the fiberglass will peel off from the foam core of the board, and a bubble will appear.
We wish you the perfect rug to take your surfing to new heights!