A peeling traction pad is a problem every modern surfer has been forced to confront. You’ve just forked over $30, taken every precaution to apply the damn thing properly, but a week later the pad is coming unglued faster than Adrian De Souza after a World Tour win. Lucky for you, there’s an easy fix. According to Mark Anderson, a product manager at DaKine, in the event that a grip begins to peel, contact cement is your best friend. Here are his five steps to keeping that grip glued to your board.
1. To re-adhere the grip, you’ll want to use something called contact cement. The idea behind contact cement can be counter intuitive. Unlike most adhesives, you put the glue on both surfaces to be connected and then let the glue dry. Then, after the glue is basically dry, you put the two pieces together.
2. For the contact cement to work, you are going to have to be able to peel the pad back enough to coat the bottom of it and the corresponding area of the board somewhat neatly. Be sure to keep them from touching each other while the glue dries.
3. Like any adhesive, the areas where you are going to apply the glue need to be clean and dry. A thin layer of the original adhesive left on both the pad and the board is good, but if there are big globs of gunk on there, try to pick those off.
4. The cans of cement come with a brush, but it may be too big to be effective in a small repair. A small, cheap artists’ paintbrush might be easier for applying the adhesive—a toothpick will even work.
5. Grab the unstuck flap of the pad and peel it off as far as possible so that you can access the underside of the pad and the part of the board the pad will cover. Brush a thin layer of glue on both surfaces. Continue to hold the pad back while the glue dries—this takes around five minutes. If you touch the surface lightly and the glue lifts up when you remove you finger, it isn’t ready yet. After both surfaces have dried, simply push the pad back down on the board, and it should grip immediately.