Installing surfboard traction pads: details matter | Photo: SurferToday.com

Traction pads are a key part of the surfers' quiver. Installing a new surfboard grip requires attention to details, so that you don't blow your investment.

Surfboard traction pads can only be applied once. If your surf deck comes with a quality stick - traditionally 3M self-adhesive - it will stay in your board forever. You do not want it to peel off in the first surf session.

When you've finally decided to install a brand new traction pad, make sure to follow a few cautious steps. First of all, let's forget a couple of myths: you don't need to sand the board before applying the pad, and you don't need to wait 24 hours before you get to the waves.

Now, let's do it. You will need tissue paper, glass and hard-surface cleaner or wax remover, and a knife.

First of all, remove all dirt, dust and wax by cleaning the tail of your board with glass cleaner and paper towels. The surface will be ready to receive the traction pad's glue.

Now, cut the plastic around your new surf deck if you want to keep the manufacturer's original shape. Some surfers like to spread the pads a bit. That's ok, too.

Line up the pad before attaching it to the surfboard. You want to put the grip just a little bit above the leash plug.

Peel back your sticker off the back and line the center of your traction pad with the stringer. Don't push it down too much, in case you need to make a jew adjustments. Once you've stick it down, it's tough to the pad up.

If you've got a three-piece traction pad, leave a little gap between all pads. Once you've finished, and if you're happy with the final result, push everything down firmly to get that glue working between the deck and the surfboard.

Finally, leave your magic gun resting for two-to-four hours, and hit the surf. Discover the best traction pads in the world.