How to Remove a Deck Pad from Your Surfboard | A Step-by-Step Guide by Appletree Surfboards

How to Remove a Deck Pad from Your Surfboard | A Step-by-Step Guide by Appletree Surfboards

The Deck Pad Dilemma

Deck pads are a great addition to your surfboard, providing extra grip and comfort. However, over time, you might find the need to remove or replace them. Whether it's because they're worn out, you're upgrading to a new design, or you simply don't like the fit, taking off a deck pad can be challenging. This guide will show you a few easy tricks to remove your deck pad in one piece without damaging your board.

Tools You’ll Need

  • A broomstick
  • Thinners (be cautious with these)
  • A cloth
  • A sunny spot

Step 1: Assessing the Situation

Deck pads can be a hit or miss when it comes to removal. Sometimes, they come off easily, while other times, they can be extremely stubborn. The key to success is preparation and patience. Start by examining your board and the deck pad. If possible, leave your board in the sun for a while to soften the glue. The warmth makes the adhesive less sticky and more manageable.

Step 2: Initial Peel

Begin by peeling off one corner of the deck pad with your hands. Your goal is to get a good grip on the EVA layer and the plastic film underneath it. The challenge is to keep these layers together as you remove the pad. If the plastic film separates, it can make the process much more difficult.

Step 3: The Broomstick Method

This is where the broomstick comes in handy. By rolling the peeled edge of the deck pad onto the broomstick, you can apply even pressure across the pad. This helps to prevent tearing and ensures a smoother removal process. Slowly roll the pad onto the broomstick, pulling gently as you go.

Tip: Dealing with Cutouts

If your deck pad has cutouts or intricate designs, removal can be trickier. Be patient and take your time. Roll each section individually if needed, always maintaining even pressure.

Step 4: Cleaning the Residue

Once you've removed the deck pad, you'll likely be left with some adhesive residue. This is where thinners come into play. However, thinners can be harmful to your board if not used correctly, so exercise caution. Ensure there are no cracks in your board where the thinner could seep in and cause damage.

Applying Thinner Safely

Dab a small amount of thinner onto a cloth. Do not pour it directly onto the board. Gently rub the cloth over the adhesive residue. It takes time for the thinner to dissolve the glue, so patience is key. Let the cloth sit on stubborn spots to allow the thinner to soak in and soften the adhesive.

Step 5: Removing the Residue

As the glue softens, use the cloth to wipe it away. You may need to repeat this process several times to remove all the residue. Remember, the goal is to have a clean surface for your new deck pad, so thoroughness is crucial.

Step 6: Final Cleanup

After removing the adhesive, give your board a final wipe down with a clean cloth. This ensures no thinner or glue residue is left behind. At this point, your board should be clean and ready for a new deck pad.

Important Note

It's advisable to apply the new deck pad immediately after cleaning. This prevents dust and debris from settling on the board, which can interfere with the adhesive of the new pad.


Removing a deck pad can be a tedious task, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s entirely manageable. The key is to take your time, use the broomstick method for even pressure, and clean the residue thoroughly with thinners. By following these steps, you'll have your board ready for a new deck pad in no time.

Additional Tips and FAQs

Can I use something other than thinners to remove adhesive residue?

While thinners are effective, they must be used with caution. Alternatives include specialized adhesive removers that are safe for surfboards. Always test a small area first.

How do I prevent my new deck pad from lifting?

Ensure the board surface is completely clean and dry before applying the new pad. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application to ensure the best adhesion.

What if my deck pad tears during removal?

If the pad tears, continue using the broomstick method on smaller sections. Patience is key to removing stubborn pads without damaging your board.

How often should I replace my deck pad?

This depends on how often you surf and the conditions you surf in. Typically, a deck pad should last several years, but replace it when it shows signs of wear or loses its grip.

Can I reuse a removed deck pad?

Generally, once a deck pad is removed, the adhesive is compromised, making it unsuitable for reuse. It’s best to install a new pad for optimal performance.

By following this guide, you'll be able to efficiently and safely remove deck pads from your surfboard, ensuring your board stays in top condition and ready for your next session.

24th Jun 2024 Video: AppleTree Surfboards | Blog: Aaron Johnson

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