Fad or function: Front foot pads (with Noa Deane!)

by stab March 08, 2016 4 min read

Story by Theo Lewitt

Noa Deane’s certainly got a knack for mixing things up. Blowing up onto the scene with boned out airs, bouts with hair-dye, public speeches, public apologies, and ending parts in Kai Neville flicks, the kid’s certainly doing something right. When Noa hucks an air these days, straight or spinny, you can be confident he’ll stick it. Different than Filipe, though. Not the same spring. Noa’s got a bit more Wardo in him, but different, still. What’s the kid’s trick? Well, for one, over the past year Noa’s been religiously rocking the front-foot traction. He’s not the only one that’s given them a go, though. A couple years back Stab spoke to Jules about dabbling with extra traction, amongst other hot-boy things: “The first time I used a front foot pad, Christian Fletcher was hanging out with us in Hawaii and he’d brought one over, and he told me to give it a go. It was actually sick… My foot didn’t slip off at all, although that board actually broke first surf. But, I definitely wanna try it again.”

While Jules quickly reverted back to a more traditional, monogamous pad relationship, Noa keeps slapping front-grip on each sled he touches. Could this be the secret to his success? We just gotsta know! We rang Noa to find out why we’re seeing so much grip on his sticks, and how he deals with the haters (of which there are plenty).

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Booties + front-grip = land shit like this. Photo: Quinn Matthews

When’d you start rocking the front pad? I started rocking the front pad about one year ago. I put it on every board board now. I saw Christian Fletcher doing it and, I mean, he’s gotta be onto something, you know?

He sure does. Did you see him using it in person?  Yeah, well when I was in Bali with Blake, from What Youth, he was editing a Fairly Normal piece on Christian. He asked Christian where we were gonna get surf footage from, and he was like, “don’t worry about it, I got some.” He gave us this footage and we went home and when Blake was editing it, I was watching it over his shoulder. It was just fucked up how good he was surfing and how sick he looked using the front pad. Then my friend Larry, who runs Astrodeck back in Oz, let me try one and I was looking at it not too sure at first, but I just went for it. I went to Indo, snapped the board, the first board I put a front grip on, in one surf. I landed two crazy airs on it and then just snapped it. I was like, “holy shit! I’m doing Ollies!” It was the sickest.

So, it helps with doing airs? Totally. You can fuckin’ land in the flats and stick things. Your feet are just planted so good. It actually works really good in big barrels, too. Like, coming over foam-balls and shit, your feet are just stuck so you can make them a bit easier.

Does it make it tricky to move your front foot around? I think it helps a lot because, why wouldn’t you want your front foot and back foot to be on the same surface? Like, with skating, both feet are on grip tape. You wouldn’t put your back foot on grip tape and your front foot on wax or something, or vice versa, coz that’d be fuckin’ weird. It’s the same thing, really. It just makes sense, I think.

Is it too much to rock booties and a front-grip? I always wear booties if I can. Like, in a short-sleeve and long-leg suit, I’ll still wear booties every time. Unless I’m in boardies really. I feel like you can just land anything with both.

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Dion rocks the winning formula. Screen-grab from Epokhe

Booties + front pad… is that the recipe for the 540? Yeah I think so.

So, Slater had it all wrong? Well, Slater’s a bit of a psycho. I reckon John John will probably land it.

Will he need a front pad? Yeah. I reckon I could land a 540 with it. Just if you go too high you might break your fucking ankles because your feet won’t slide when you land. Just plant it and fuckin’ go for the thing, eh?

Why not! Ever just use a flipped tail pad?  No way. That’s insane! I’ll use a tail pad meant for a gun or mal, coz they don’t have a kick, and just put it up top.

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Ozzie donates some street-cred to the front-grip. Photo: Tom Carey

Pad of choice? It’s gotta be Astrodeck. They’re the sickest.

So, is wax obsolete now? Well, you gotta wax in the middle in case you do a nose pick or something and gotta move your feet around.

Were you riding with front grip for all of Cluster? Yeah for like the last half of filming, or maybe a little bit more. I think I got my best stuff on em.

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Nuff said. (Cluster)

But, do you think they look good? Yeah, I think so. I think the normal ones look good, like the ones that are meant to be front-grip. And then the mal grip that I’ve been using looks weird. It’s narrow at the back and then goes wide at the front. It looks fucking gross, really, but I’m not gonna ride a board without one. Wouldn’t do that! (laughs)

You get shit for using them? Yeah, but I just shut them down really quick. Like, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I just tell them to fuck off coz, really, it’s the sickest thing ever! (laughs)

Is every grom now gonna rock a front Astrodeck grip? That’d be sick! Astrodeck is just radical. They don’t pay anyone, and everyone has to buy their grips. It’s fucking mad! How core is that? I’ve just heard about that so many times that I wouldn’t even ask them for a sponsorship. It’s too cool how it is right now.

Photo: Trevor Moran

Photo: Trevor Moran

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