Why Cork as a SUP traction pad material?

Posted by Rich Price on


If you’ve never seen how cork is harvested, you’re missing out. Really. It’s pretty cool.

Cork-based products (like cork stoppers, cork pin boards or cork flooring) are made from the bark of cork oak trees. A cork oak tree is never cut down, instead, skilled harvesters carefully peel off the outer layer of bark before it’s shipped and processed to make all kinds of useful products.

This kind of sustainable harvesting has no negative effects on the tree and it continues to grow and can be harvested again every nine years.

Cork Tree Solace SUP Graphic

Benefits of Cork

Cork is an amazing material loaded with characteristics that make it perfect for use in eco-friendly watersports.

  • Natural material. Cork-based products provide a natural substitute for synthetic materials.
  • Water resistance. Cork contains suberin—a natural, waxy, waterproofing substance.
  • Natural color, less dye. Cork doesn’t need dyes to look great, which reduces the need for chemical-based dyes.
  • Durable & Recyclable. Cork is very durable, creating long-lasting products. But when products do reach the end of their useful lives, cork can be recycled and reused.
  • Sustainable production. Cork oak trees continue to grow and regenerate bark between harvest years.

Cork & The Solace Deck Pad

As we considered how to make durable, high-quality and eco-friendly deck pads for SUP boards, the natural benefits of cork made it a no-brainer.

Solace SUP Cork Traction Pad

We teamed up with Wave Tribe Surf to create three sets of cork composite deck pads, so whether you use your SUP board for touring long distances, hitting the waves and surfing, or just hanging out and doing some yoga, there’s a Solace cork pad for you.

The key was to find the perfect balance between natural cork and the traditional EVA that is used on the market to make a great sustainable deck pad that will last.  Too much cork and it tends to fall apart over time. Too much EVA and its too hard. Wave Tribe dialed this formula in back in 2007 and Solace SUP dialed in a great design in 2013 for a stand up paddle board. 

Solace SUP Cork Deckpad

What Our Customer's Are Saying!

Solace SUP Cork Deckpad Review

Before even standing on one, you’ll notice that our pads look great—especially when paired with a bamboo or wood deck—and their natural cork color is good for the environment too as we’re able to use less dye on each pad. Up close, the natural elasticity of cork means our pads are soft under your feet, yet firm and grippy. And because cork repels water, the pad won’t weigh your board down when it’s wet and it’ll dry fast when you’re ready to head home. What’s not to love?

Check these out on our website here: SUP Gear

Why should you care?

In an industry where most deck pads are created using heavily-dyed EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam, cork has a lot to offer paddlers seeking a more eco-friendly option. Cork gives you all the grip you need for surfing waves or fast racing and the softness you want for long-distance exploring—all with less synthetic materials of conventional deck pads.

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