The snowboard stomp pad is a simple, but effective addition to your snowboarding setup. In a nutshell, the stomp pad provides grip for your back foot when it’s not strapped into the binding. Job done. But here’s the question: do you need one? Is the stomp pad seen as a tool for beginners only?
Before looking at whether you should be using one, or answering the question of whether or not they’re really for beginners – let’s take a look at some of the basics…
Why would you need one? Every time you get on a lift, you take your back foot out. When you get off the lift, you ride away from the chair or drag-lift with only your front foot strapped in. With just one foot, it’s harder to control the board. You need to improve your control by getting help from your back foot. This is often achieved by pushing against the rear binding: the pressure against the binding will help to hold the rear foot in place, then, you can use it to apply pressure to your edges.
How does a stomp pad help? It’s not rocket science. The top of your board will have snow on it and will therefore be wet/slippy. This does not help your back foot with grip. A stomp pad is often made from a grippy material, probably rubber, but if not, the shape of the stomp pad with provide something to grip-against. The ultimate aim is more grip and control from your back foot.
Where do you put it? It’s personal choice, but the most effective place is between the two bindings, but next to the rear binding. Place it so that your back foot can be both on the stomp pad and pushed against the back binding. Be careful that you’ve settled on the position of your rear binding; it’s gonna be annoying if you attach the stomp pad and then decide you need to move the rear binding – but now the stomp pad is in the way!
Can you use glue? This seems to be a question that comes up a lot. The stomp pad should be held pretty firmly with the glue that it comes with. But this is snowboarding, so there’s wet snow involved, and you’ll be pushing your foot down on it a lot – so there’s a chance that it will come unstuck. This is more likely for the stomp pads out there that are actually a number of small, individual pads/grips.
I don’t see any reason you can’t use some glue to stick it back on – it’s only the top sheet of your board. Either that or just get a new stomp pad. If you do go for glue, you’re gonna want to use a strong, waterproof glue/waterproof epoxy.
Where to get them? You can get them from just about anywhere – snowboard shops and online. They’re not particularly expensive and there are a bunch of different design options to choose from. If you want to browse online, snowboard shop dogfunk.com is a great option…
So, is the stomp pad a tool required by beginners only? If so, the argument must be that a more experienced snowboarder doesn’t need one, is that it? It’s true that once you’ve been shredding for a while, you’ll find coping with the primary one-footed situation, getting off lifts, easy to deal with. However, there are plenty of situations when a good snowboarder wouldn’t feel comfortable with their back foot out…
That said, I don’t use one, and if I’m honest, although I can get by at the majority of times when one-footing is required, it would feel strange putting a stomp pad on my board. Is there a stigma there?
Practice, practice, practice? Pretty early on, I got sick of the sketchy situation that can arise when 6 people get off a chair together; being in the middle of a pile up isn’t fun. My solution was to practice riding with the back foot out – more so than just the small slopes you encounter at the top of a lift. I’d try riding green runs one footed from time to time – just stuff to become more familiar when not using the rear binding. I’m no pro at it, but it’s helped for sure.
What about you? Do you use a stomp pad? Do you fear the unloading at the top of the lift? Or has one-footing become something you’re used to now?