The Absolute Guide to Buying a Snowboard Stomp Pad or Traction Mat
A snowboard stomp pad (also known as a deck grips or traction pad) gives your back foot somewhere grippy to rest on your snowboard when you are riding with only your front foot in your bindings. This helps increase traction on the board and gives you much more steering control so you can negotiate the human debris strewn across the exit ramp of chair lifts! Stomp pads also provide essential steering control when riding drag lifts and scooting along flat sections. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colours and constructions but there are 4 basic types
Rubber mat style stomp pads tend to have a large surface area which makes them one of the most popular types of stomp pad. Their size ensures you get the best grip while the material means they flex and bend with your snowboard to ensure they stay stuck fast in all conditions.
Foam stomp pads are becoming more popular as their design means that they compress and squash into the tread on your snowboard boot to give incredible grip. They also deform less under temperature changes than rubber which can go hard when it get's cold. Foam pads can be made into almost any shape and unlike rubber mats don't require spikes or bumps to be molded into the surface. Foam pads are also much lighter than traditional rubber pads.
Stud style stomp pads are the most customizable type available. They often come in packs of multiple smaller studs which can be stuck down individually to create unique designs and patterns on your snowboard, especially when combining multiple packs. They are also very versatile with how and where you can put them on your board. They also have the advantage of if one starts to peel off, you don't lose all traction.
Combinations of any of the above. Stomp pads which are neither studs nor plain flat rubber or foam mats. They are a kind of combo, featuring some of the best design aspects of both styles. These include strange shapes and materials such as aluminium stomp pads or cork pads.