Non-skid Decking, Cheaper Is Not Better

At trade shows and events we sometimes hear customers say “That stuff’s too expensive. I can get the exact same thing 30% cheaper from such and such.” Often, after a little research they come back and tell us they found out such and such doesn’t come with the adhesive backing included and they have to pay extra for it.

Unfortunately we also get customers who come to us after they’ve purchased that cheap knock-off nonskid only to find out that the material was not UV protected and had failed after only a few months. The attached photo is of just such a case. This customer purchased a knock-off kayak traction kit for his Hobie kayak. You can see what he ended up with.

I know that for some customers cost is the bottom line when making their purchase and they won’t be convinced of the importance of quality materials until it’s too late. But perhaps when you go to make your next purchase you’ll be well informed and won’t find out the hard way. Below is a repost of an article from earlier in the year about differences in non-skid materials.

SeaDek Marine Products ( has led the marine traction pad industry for over a decade now and we’ve done it by focusing on improving the quality of our materials and manufacturing techniques to suit the rugged marine environment. There are a couple of cheaper knock-off products out there and we understand that sometimes price is the bottom line for particular customers. That said, be careful when selecting generic non-skid traction pads for your boat, it may end up costing you in the end.

SeaDek is made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam. We have worked long and hard to develop a formulation that is both comfortable and durable. While no foam product will be 100% sunproof, our material has enhanced UV inhibitors that allow it to hold up under long exposure to sun and water. Cheap, unprotected EVA materials will look and feel like SeaDek when they are first produced but will quickly break down and disintegrate. The result will be a horrible looking mess that will need to be replaced long before a SeaDek pad.


We’ve been doing side by side testing of SeaDek and some knock-off materials and the results are striking. After 250 hours in our QUV SE Accelerated Weather Tester* the generic products have broken down, cracked and become visually unappealing. The SeaDek enhanced EVA has held up far better and remains structurally sound and visually appealing. (See testing details at bottom of page).

This material difference applies not only to our aftermarket products but also to the products we supply to our OEM boat builders. If you are buying a new boat with an EVA non-skid product included, make sure it’s SeaDek. Odds are it already is, as we supply pads to most of the leading boat builders in the industry, but we encourage you to ask the manufacturer just to be sure.

Here are few photos of the SeaDek kit that we made to replace the failed knock-off product.

Hobie2_002Unfair Lures2

SeaDek kayak traction kits can be purchased online:

*Test Data:
Q-Lab QUV SE Accelerated Weather Tester
Standard Test Cycle – ASTM G154 – Lamp Type UVA-340
UV – 0.89 W/m2 @ 158oF for 8 hour cycles
Condensation – @ 122oF for 4 hour cycles
Cycles Repeated for 250 hrs.
Same test run for all samples of SeaDek and competitors.