How to apply your Van der Waal surf grip pads

How to apply your Van der Waal surf grips

Van der Waal surf grips are a superb alternative to traditional wax, with loads of long-lasting benefits that are ready to keep you upright and enjoying the surf for longer. In this guide, we’ll look at…

  • Why Van der Waal performance surf grips are so great

  • How to clean your board and apply your new Van der Waal surf grips

  • How to arrange the Van der Waal hexagons on your deck

  • A few things to remember before you jump in the water

  • How to look after your Van der Waal surf grip

  • How to remove them, if you ever need to

Okay then – let’s get started!

Why choose Van der Waal?

  • It doesn’t get sticky and pick up sand, hair or other unwanted bits and bobs
  • It doesn’t melt in the sun, it won’t stain other stuff it comes into contact with
  • It’s transparent so it keeps your board looking sweet!
  • It’s greener than wax because it lasts longer and you need less of it
  • It’s super grippy so your feet won’t skid – and your traction goes up when it gets wet!
  • It lasts at least a year or two, or even more, depending on how you surf. Can easily outlast your board!
  • It’s skin-friendly and wetsuit-friendly
  • It’s temperature independent, so you don’t need to change it from one type of surf to the next
  • It weighs pretty much the same as wax, so it won’t weigh you down
  • It’s super versatile with a flexible hexagonal pattern that adapts to different board shapes

How to clean your board and apply your new Van der Waal surf grips

Mark is our surf buyer and he’ll be your guide, taking us right through the whole cleaning and application process with his very own board.

Before we get started, here’s what you’ll need…

  • A pack of Van der Waal surf grips (17, 21, 25 or 30 hexagons)
  • A tape measure
  • A Freeze Pro Shop recycled wax comb or similar scraper 
  • Wax remover fluid
  • A selection of bits of old t-shirt or a few rags

Now you’ve got everything you need, we’ll let Mark talk you through the rest. We’ve helpfully written out all the individual steps below, so you can read them too if you’d prefer. Let’s go!

Here’s the step-by-step guide…

  1. Ideally, find somewhere warm to work – it’ll help the wax to melt slightly and make it easier to scrape off. Make sure you cover any carpets or anything that might get damaged by old wax before you get started.
  2. Remove your fins and leash. If you can’t remove your fins, find something tall enough to place underneath the centre portion of your board so that it’s nice and flat but raised up enough that you don’t damage your fins when you start to scrape the wax off your deck.
  3. Take your tape measure and measure from the front of your tailpad along the stringer to the centre point of the spot where your front foot usually stands while you’re surfing. You should be able to judge this from the wax that’s already on your board, but if you can’t, then just jump on your deck and work out where your front foot would generally be. If you don’t have a tailpad, just measure from the tail of your board. Take a note of this number and save it for later.
  4. Use the wax comb to scrape the board clean of wax. Freeze wax combs are quite flexible, but if you’re using something stiffer, be careful not to damage your deck.
  5. Pour a little wax remover fluid onto the deck and use your first piece of old t-shirt or rag to wipe off the bulk of the wax residue.
  6. Use the next piece of t-shirt or rag to remove the final residues of wax and wax remover.
  7. If you need to, then give the deck a final clean and dry with a completely clean rag, just to make sure that all of the wax remover fluid is gone. This is important so that the Van der Waal grip pads have a clean and dry surface to stick to.
  8. Measure along the stringer again from the back of the board, or the front of your tailpad, to find the centre point of your front foot – this is where you’ll place the first Van der Waal pad.
  9. Peel off the backing of the first Van der Waal pad and stick it down using the stringer down the centreline, to help keep your placement straight.
  10. Tear off the three-pronged cardboard template from the Van der Waal box.
  11. Using the template as a guide, work outwards and back along your board from the centre pad to create the full pattern, making sure you’re as neat as possible. If you need a guide on how the pattern should look on your board, check out the next section.
    TIP: Don’t fully stick each pad down straight away, touch it down lightly at first so that you can realign it or straighten things up on the fly if you need to.
  12. Once you have the bulk of the deck covered, you may want to cut some grip pads in half to take up space next to the rails of the board.
  13. If you’re happy with how it looks then make sure each pad is stuck down firmly before stepping back to admire your work. Great job!

How to arrange the Van der Waal hexagons on your deck

You’re free to arrange your Van der Waal grip pads on your deck in pretty much any configuration you can imagine, but if you’d like a bit of inspiration, check out the images below.

These diagrams show how you could arrange the different 17, 21, 25 or 30 hexagon packs on different sizes of surfboard.

Van der Waal Surf Grip Layouts 7ft

Van der Waal Surf Grip Layout 6ft2 and 6ft3

Van der Waal Surf Grip Layout 5ft8

A few things to remember before you jump in the water

If you’re new to Van der Waal, there are a few things you should remember before you go jumping in the surf for the first time…

  • Your grip pads need water to work, so they might take a little time in the water before they are at their most ‘rubbery’ and grippy – but don’t worry, it’ll come!
  • They feel a little different to traditional wax, so take it easy and get used to the feel before trying your most aggressive cutbacks or biggest airs

How to look after your Van der Waal surf grip

Because of the way it’s applied to your board, with central drainage gaps between the pads, you may find that salt accumulates between the hexagons of your Van der Waal performance grip. 

To prevent any salt build-up and maintain your traction, it’s best to rinse your board regularly in fresh water. It’s no biggie if you forget. If you find that you’re losing traction or building up salt residue, just give your board a wash in fresh water and it should go back to good as new.

How to remove them, if you ever need to

Your Van der Vaal grip should last at least a year or two, even as long as your board lasts in the right conditions. But if you need to remove it, don’t worry about having to get your scraper out or deal with any horrible sticky residue. Removing them is super easy.

Check out this Van der Waal video to see just how easy it is…

That’s the end of our guide, hope you enjoyed it, and if you haven’t done so yet, go and grab yourself some Van der Waal Performance Series Surf Grips!