WMFG traction uses the highest grade 3M® adhesive available, so you’ll be happy to know that once it’s on, it won’t come off!
Installation is simple. If the board is new, you can skip steps 1 through 3 (wipe it down to remove any dust).
1) Remove any old wax. Scrape off as much wax off as possible with a wax scraper, old hotel room key, etc. Leave the board out in the sun for a bit and the wax will come off a little easier.
2) If you have the pickle (see here), use it. It’s awesome. If not, use a solvent to make sure the board’s surface is clean. WMFG is not going to recommend one, for liability concerns, but we hear that nail polish remover, lighter fluid and that Goo Gone stuff all work.
3) Take off any old traction. As with wax, you can try putting the board in the sun, as some adhesives will come off more easily when warm. Higher density, harder pads may come off quite easily in big sheets, whereas thinner, softer foam often tears. If the pad has a peel-and-stick adhesive backing, it will usually come off easily—a hair dryer can release the adhesive even faster. We suggest extreme care if using anything that heats up the board. A sharp knife, razor blade, basically anything with a hard edge may help the old pads come off. If the pads were glued on with contact cement, it’s going to be a chore. Do the best you can here; you need to get all the foam off. If there’s residual adhesive that doesn’t want to come off, just leave it on and stick your new pads on top of it.
4) If the board does not have a stringer, mark a center line on it. A chalk line works well, or a ruler and a pencil are a good option, too. If the board has footstrap inserts, you can use these as a reference point.
5) Put on the back pad first. A rule to follow for installing the back foot traction pad on a board with a thruster fin setup: have the upward slope of the heel kick start at the midpoint of the middle fin box. If the board is a quad, picture where the back box would be if it was a thruster and shoot for the middle of that spot. Or save yourself the effort and just position the pad approximately half an inch ahead of your leash insert—where it looks good—and that will probably be fine.
6) Work from the back of the board to the front.
Take your time, make sure all the grooves and seams fit together nice and tight. Doesn’t it look sick? Take a picture and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or fire it up on Instagram with a #wmfg.
Check out this little video, enjoy: