Proto 1.4 Traction Pad

  • 2023

  • Product
    Sport and Lifestyle

Designed In:


Surfers have used traction pads for nearly 50 years to grip their surfboards during radical manoeuvres. This once innovative product has changed little in half a century. PROTO™1.4 is a paradigm shift in surf traction that allows surfers from elite pro’s through to everyday beginners ride waves with improved grip.

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Image: Ryan Heywood @ryanheywood
Image: Lewis French @lewisfrenchphoto
Image: Lewis French @lewisfrenchphoto
Image: Lewis French @lewisfrenchphoto
Image: Ryan Heywood @ryanheywood
Image: Ryan Heywood @ryanheywood
Image: Mike Guarino @creaturesofleisure
Image: Simon Williams @swillpics
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  • Traction pads are typically manufactured by routing, cutting, sanding and laminating sheets of EVA foam. This complex fabrication process results in several design challenges that the Creatures of Leisure team were motivated to overcome. Traditional pads have compromised performance because they are designed to be economic for machining, limiting the size, shape and orientation of grip details. Complex shapes better suited to fitting the curve of a foot were more difficult and expensive to achieve, creating compromises with grip and foot engagement. Perhaps most significantly, the subtractive manufacturing process resulted in huge amounts of waste, creating unwanted landfill.

  • PROTO™1.4 is the world’s first moulded traction pad. This manufacturing breakthrough radically reduces waste, while offering a world-first, multi-directional grip pattern mapped from the shape of a surfer's foot. Taking into consideration ergonomics and ride positioning of surfers feet, the design team identified pressure points, underfoot typography, areas of high grip, arch support and even areas that needed to release and pivot during turns, resulting in the revolutionary new Multi-Loc™ grip pattern. Using 3D printed and moulded prototypes, elite team riders were able to test the traction in real conditions and provide detailed feedback which was then refined for production.

  • PROTO™1.4 is now the world’s best surfboard traction pad, providing elite grip characteristics for every surfer whilst being lighter, more comfortable, durable and significantly more sustainable than competitor products. Up to 67% of a standard traction pad's raw materials currently goes into landfill. PROTO™ 1.4 reduces that to just 5%. Even better, it's made with an organic additive called EcoPure®, which allows offcuts, and the pad itself, to biodegrade in landfill at end of life. Improved performance and reduced environmental impact translate to increased brand recognition and sales for Creatures of Leisure, justifying their significant investment in design and innovation.

  • The Creatures of Leisure design team have used modern sports shoes as inspiration for developing the PROTO™ 1.4 traction pad. The result is a considered, contemporary design that provides unprecedented grip and comfort. Multi-Loc™ - For next-level grip, precision engineered around the shape of a foot to offer multi-directional traction engagement beyond anything else. PRO-FORM arch – For comfort and control. The compressive base and contoured shape hug the surfer’s foot, helping soften the impact of hard landings. Assembled to the pad with compression heat moulding to eliminate adhesives. RECOIL kick – The rear recoil mesh is spring loaded to create additional momentum and the steep 46º kick provides engaged response through critical manoeuvres. Built better – Drastically reduced industrial waste (from 67% to only 5% material waste). Moulded in EcoPure® materials to offer better sustainability, enabling the traction pad to biodegrade in a microbe rich environment at end of life. Plastic free FSC Certified recycled and recyclable packaging.