In early 2014 I remember hearing that the beer swilling, rock dog, unofficial mayor of Newcastle was working on releasing a traction company. Dreded was the brand, Matt Hoy was the creator and the aesthetic from the start was what you would expect from the two names, black and sharp!
Over the next couple of months photos started to surface online of a then Rusty team rider in Noa Deane repping the grip, some happy snaps of the brands creator himself and some seriously sharp looking product shots, but that was it for the introduction from the brand to me. I followed on socials and kept my eyes peeled when traveling but I didn't get to see the illusive Dreded on the tail of any board.
Now fast forward to the middle of 2016 during one of my endless insta scroll sessions and BAM, there is the photo that brought Dreded straight back into my mind, a corduroy 2 piece that was a black as the ace of spades. I had never seen anything like it, a completely flat pad, solid with almost a piping effect. I was instantly drawn to the image, as back in the day I wasn't into ridges in the middle of my kick, in fact some of my short boards went without a tail pad throughout their surfing life.
It was almost from that moment that the feeling of the brand started to amplify, bigger punts, more imagery, a dark and moody website, new colour ranges (white and black) and a high flying, ultimate power gouging, beer lord in Mikey Wright now on the team. Hoy released three videos on insta with the main message being fuck the wankers, yeah, I can dig that, fuck the wankers.
It was that moment that we decided we want in, we want to range it all, we want the team at our christmas party (beers on us) we want to bring Dreded to Victoria where it is cold and black all of the time!
After some extensive viewing on dreded.com the 2 Piece Macro Tail Pad XLK in black was purchased and delivered to my home, this is where the fun begins. You know how people do those 'unboxing' videos on youtube, I should have done that because the packaging and thought that has gone into this simple piece of surfing equipment is premium. Instantly this product feels a step above the rest, I'm not sure if this is because of the presentation or the materials or a combo of both, but I am never buying a grip that doesn't measure up to this, no more plastic wrap for me.
What I noticed instantly was the size of the kick, it's huge and steep and is definitely something to consider when you make your next grip purchase. I can barely grab a driving rail or get my fat wombat arse into the air but I would imagine for the guys that can, having a flat deck and steep kick would give that extra bit of confidence in said moves that I can't do. I guess one benefit for me would be digging my toe into that kick on the duck dive as I have a huge hoof.
At the time of writing, I have surfed 9 times with the new grip set up and I have not noticed the tail pad at all, which is a weird thing to say, but it's the best thing to say as I am just surfing the way I surf, with confidence in whats under my feet. I feel strong when I drive my foot into the tail and I have quickly gotten used to the insanely grippy and flat pad, no peeling or lift from the 3M glue yet either.
Here is what Matt has to say “Surfing is a part of my life, I appreciate being affiliated with our forever growing industry and just doing exciting things! I used to surf with grip back in the 90’s. I designed DREDED’s range of traction pads to offer what I believe is the best possible product, also passing on a purchasable story and trip back in time to how grips should be.”
DREDED, a company founded by iconic surfing legend Matthew Hoy, 97 Bells Beach Pro Champion has always been influenced by motivated humans, surf, snow, art, travel, Rock ‘n’ Roll and cold beer.
Now that is something that we can back, Rock 'n' Roll and cold beer, a staple for our office.
If you are keen to try something different in a grip, support an independent business in the surf industry and breathe some rock n roll magic back into your quiver, check out the range of Dreded grips here. If not, go fuck yourself.