A decent chunk of grip under your rear foot (and sometimes your front) is probably surfing's most unsung hero. Having some kicker on the back can really allow you to jam those turns given the right amount of rise and the added security of a firmly planted foot will help drive your whip. For some, this is essential, and for other, it can make or break a session.
But also important is the continual progression of our eco-conscience. Let's face it, surfing isn't the greenest of sports, our carbon footprints from stacking air-miles and a whole raft of difficult to recylce materials mean we're forever stacking to a global problem. Yet, there are some brands, and companies, making huge strides in the eco-market and the latest out of the gate is Dakine with some fresh tech that'll better help degrade traction pads once you're done with it.
"Working in partnership with EcoLogic, Dakine has developed new technology for all EVA traction that accelerates biodegradation of the material,” they say. “By adding EcoOne's additives developed by EcoLogic, EVA foam will degrade only after entering biologically active landfills. The Byproduct is mainly methane gas that can be recaptured into renewable energy."
It is steps in the right direction. And it's this healthier, approach to product development that has been backed by your favourite surf protagonists. John John, Carissa Moore, Shane Dorian, Albee Layer, Parko, Zeke Lau – all have leant their name to the Dakine brand in support of a movement that can bring around offsetting a carbon footprint. In fact, Mr Florence has requested Dakine send out his own deck pads in plastic free packaging.
And John's specs? He's had a direct hand in shaping the right tail pad, including a 2mm wedge kick, five piece design with a 7mm arch. And oh, an arch isn't for everyone. But, if like us, you enjoy that feeling of your foot clicking into place, that level of comfort and that little extra ability to pull your board towards you after a manoeuver, then this'll fit right into your repertoire.
It's aesthetically pleasing with a charcoal on blue finish, the signature JJF stamp understated on the foam. Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to deckpads - some can do without any arch under foot, preferring a flat-to-surface feel. Here at MSW HQ, opinions are divided. But the consensus is; some arch, kicker and a more monochrome, the better. Because we're adventurous like that... JJF's signature model comes with all those features built in, so it's already a hit here.
Anyway, you can shop the entire range by heading over to the Dakine store, HERE.