Both the Firewire Machado and SD Traction Pad are great options for any surfer looking to add some more traction and hopefully fall off less.
It turns out that Firewire is actually the parent company for Slater Designs meaning that you are likely to get similar quality levels for both products. They utilize green algae taken from freshwater ponds, lakes, etc. and blend that with traditional petrochemical ingredients to make these pads. This collaboration with Bloom to integrate algae helps to reduce emissions as well as clean up waterways that may be overrun with algae.
Firewire does outsource its production to foreign countries such as Thailand so there are some increased emissions from this cost-saving technique. It’s unclear whether Slater Designs is also produced in the same factories, but likely are. Since both products are manufactured similarly, it is up to personal preference and use case to decide on the best traction pad for you.
They are both great alternatives to traditional plastic/rubber traction pads as it helps to reduce its impact by integrating algae. Both a similar price, it is up to you to decide which pad will be most comfortable and useful for your next surfing adventure.