Tail pad with kicker or lose the kicker?

I am new to foiling and have bought a Suns Hyper Surf 5’3" and a Mystic full deck grip to put on it.
What I am wondering about now is should I just cut the kicker off? Or is it useful? One guy has already suggested to run without it. Seems I need to place it back at the furthest rearward position I would ever possibly want to put my foot. Which would really mean that for the most part my foot would never be against it anyway. I think only an advanced foiler may know exactly where his foot would be all the time and be able to place it so his foot is alway against it. But me never having foiled before could get it close but don’t want to risk having it too far forward. So rather than the possibility of that happening or having it further back than is useful, should I just cut it off?
I have surfed for approx 52 years and use tail pads with kickers on all my shortboards these days. They are certainly useful in this scenario.
Keep in mind also my prone foil board is 5’3" and will use it mostly when it is too small to surf I expect. I may also progress to a different foil in the future keeping the same board?
I do very occasionally, more so when tired, trip over my tail kicker while popping up on a shortboard. Toe will get caught on the back of the kicker as I bring me leg through. Is this more or less of an issue on a prone foil board, or perhaps just the same?
Appreciate the help in advance!

I never seem to get my foot far enough back to actually feel the kicker. I do however use it as a marker for where I should be on the board while paddling. I know just where it is supposed to go on my leg to be paddling from the right spot. It is also helpful in that turn and burn scenario. If I end up too far back for the take-off, I’ll know to pop up a little further forward.


I like having the kicktail. But what I do, is get towed on a bare board first to find my rear foot position. I will also do some mast adjustments at this point. Then I put the traction on.

1 Like

That’s a good idea.

On spicier takeoffs I like to plant my rear foot against the kick and hands on the rails, other leg in the wash acting like a rudder. So pad placement is forward of the tail but not more forward than I would ever use in a hard turn

1 Like

Hey Kurtis, Do you use a bit of wax on the bare board for grip or you get enough grip with out it? Or are you using some sort of grippy booties?

I have a set of WettySteps that I use when there are urchins around. I put wax on the bottom of them and they grip semi ok to a smooth board.

1 Like

@KaiDoggy Thats the only function the kicker has for me, but it’s quite useful. Using the kicker as a reference to my knee helps me know I am far enough forward to pop correctly.

1 Like

Thanks all, appreciate your insights.