Tail pad design is a critical aspect of surfboard performance, particularly for power surfers who demand reliable traction through high-torque turns. It doesn’t get more powerful and high-torque than Ethan Ewing either. The guy is a beast. So, when we approached Ethan about creating his own traction, we expected a range of changes. Instead, he said he absolutely loves the Creatures Reliance III tail pad and wouldn’t change a thing… for his shortboards. His pintails and step ups were another story. He wanted something a bit more tailored to those boardshapes, while adding extra engagement and keeping up with a pure power element.
Here’s what we did together, to achieve that aim…
Starting with a reliable base
Our team kept all of the things about the Reliance III pad that Ethan loves. One key part here is the steep kick. It’s actually the steepest tail kick in the Creature’s range, meaning you can jam your foot back into it for solid support during wild turns. The general look and feel remained the same too.
Elevating the traction pattern
A new Square Loc II traction pattern offers exceptional grip, adding a THERMOLITE finish in the very top of each square traction nub. Strategic heel + toe cutouts were added along with a THERMO-LITE base for ultimate foot engagement – a technique inspired by Italo Ferreira’s signature pads.
Adding some length and refining the tail profile
To suit a pintail surfboards’ pulled in shape, the back of Ethan’s Signature pad is also refined around the tail. Two extra grip strips were added at the front, giving more coverage on longer boards, letting you move your foot up while heaving down the line. This makes it a full 5 piece pad for full power boards.
To check out all of the options for Ethan Ewing’s signature tail pad, check below, or roll into your closest salty stockist to feel it in person.