When it comes to snowboarding, having the right gear is essential to having a fun and safe time on the mountain. One piece of equipment that often gets overlooked is the stomp pad. This small, yet crucial addition to your snowboard can make all the difference when it comes to getting on and off the chairlift, and navigating your board on flat terrain. In this article, we will take a deep dive into what stomp pads are, how they work, and why they are an essential piece of equipment for any snowboarder.
What are Stomp Pads?
First, let’s start with the basics. A stomp pad is a small piece of rubber or foam that is attached to the top of your snowboard. It is typically placed between the bindings, near the back foot. The purpose of a stomp pad is to provide extra traction for your back foot when getting on or off the chairlift, as well as when navigating on flat terrain. Without a stomp pad, your back foot can easily slip off your board, making it difficult to control and maneuver.
Types of Stomp Pads
There are several different types of stomp pads available on the market. The most common types include:
– Peel and Stick Pads: These are the most straightforward type of stomp pad to install. They come with an adhesive backing, which allows you to simply peel and stick the pad onto your board. These pads are typically made from rubber or foam and come in a variety of colors and designs.
– Screw-On Pads: Screw-on pads require a bit more effort to install but are more durable than peel and stick pads. They are attached to your board using screws and are typically made from metal or plastic.
– Traction Mats: Traction mats are larger and more durable than peel and stick or screw-on pads. They are designed to cover the entire area between your bindings, providing extra traction for your back foot. These mats are typically made from rubber and can be a bit more expensive than other types of stomp pads.
Benefits of Using a Stomp Pad
Now that we know what stomp pads are and the different types available, why should you use one? Here are some of the benefits of using a stomp pad:
1. Improved Traction: As we mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of a stomp pad is to provide extra traction for your back foot. This improved traction makes it easier to control your board, especially when getting on and off the chairlift and when traversing flat terrain.
2. Better Balance: A stomp pad can also help improve your balance by providing a stable platform for your back foot. This stability makes it easier to maneuver your board, especially when making quick turns or changes in direction.
3. Prevents Board Damage: When getting on and off the chairlift, it’s not uncommon for the metal edges of your board to scratch against the metal lift. By using a stomp pad, you can prevent this damage from occurring, potentially prolonging the life of your board.
4. Personalized Style: Lastly, stomp pads are a great way to add a bit of style and personality to your board. With so many colors and designs available, you can choose a stomp pad that matches your style and flair.
Tips for Choosing and Installing a Stomp Pad
When it comes to choosing and installing a stomp pad, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Consider Your Riding Style: The type of stomp pad you choose may depend on your riding style. If you spend a lot of time in the terrain park, a larger traction mat may provide more stability for your back foot. However, if you primarily ride in powder, a smaller peel and stick pad may be sufficient.
2. Choose a Durable Material: Your stomp pad is going to take a lot of wear and tear, so you want to choose a material that is going to last. Rubber and foam are common materials for stomp pads and are durable enough to withstand the elements.
3. Clean Your Board Before Installing: Before installing your stomp pad, be sure to clean the area of your board where the pad will go. This will ensure that the adhesive sticks properly and that the pad stays in place.
4. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions: Finally, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing your stomp pad. This will ensure that the pad is properly attached to your board and that it will provide the necessary traction.
In conclusion, stomp pads are an essential piece of equipment for any snowboarder. They provide extra traction for your back foot, improve your balance, prevent board damage, and add a bit of style to your board. By choosing the right stomp pad and following the installation instructions, you can enjoy a safer and more enjoyable snowboarding experience.