Sticky Fingers….and Toes

Just in time for a flat spell, my new funshape just got finished. It’s a 7’0″, and I’m looking forward to riding it for a long time and beating the hell out of it. Since I will take any opportunity to replace wax with traction, I got a traction pad for this one, and it was time to break out the application procedure….
Here’s the traction pad- it’s one of those jelly clear ones, and I think it’s secretly manufactured by Dr. Scholl’s for old surfers with problem feet:

I shall call you my Squishy…..

The down side of a lot of traction pads is, they usually only peel away as one piece, like one big sticker. I hate that. You should be able to apply something this size from the middle out towards the edges, to get a better adhesion and remove bubbles.
To remedy that, I gathered the traction pad, a cutting surface, my Exacto knife, a pair of tweezers, a sharpie pen and a straight edge and brought my board inside the A/C to work on it. I turned the pad over to the backside (the backing was also clear, but usually they’re white or brown for some). I drew a straight line down the middle of the pad with the pen:

Mark on the BACKSIDE of the pad!!!

From there, I used my Exacto to lightly score through the backing of the pad, careful not to pierce deep into the traction pad. This will allow me to use the tweezers to peel back a little of each half, exposing just the middle line of the pad’s adhesion:

Peeling back the backing 

I turned the pad over holding the folded back middle backing, and placing it square along the stringer, starting from the base of the pad up to the top middle, pressing firmly. Slowly, I peeled away each side of the backing, while pressing from the middle point outward. If you have a small rubber roller, like what’s used in wallpapering, that helps to put even pressure while rolling from the middle to the edge.

Here’s the pad applied, with the backing paper shown above it:

To ensure good adhesion, I’ll keep the board in the air conditioning for at least 24 hours to let the adhesive cure properly before I take it out surfing.
I used this time to install my GoPro mount and tether mount, which ALSO require a full 24 hours at room temperature to cure properly:

Ahh… the feel of comfort orthotics. For my surfboard.
Categories: Wax

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