How to Wax a Surfboard : Everything You Need to Know

How to Wax a Surfboard

So you got your new surfboard and you’re ready to hit the beach and catch some waves. But, do you know what to do to take care of it and keep it in good shape? Your surfboard is your partner when you’re out on the waves. It is exposed to elements like the sun, water, salt, and harsh temperature which can eventually take its toll on your board. 

Too much sun and harsh temperature can cause it to crack and dry up. On the other hand, water can cause delamination of its outer coating. It can make your board less durable and can also cause discoloration. 

This is where learning how to wax a surfboard comes in. Waxing your board is an essential way to maintain its functionality and durability. Applying a surfboard wax to the surface or deck of the board can prevent you from slipping off while you are paddling out or riding a wave. 

It can help you to maintain a good grip of your board and retain your balance. You can also do tricks with a well-waxed board because it can help you slice the waves while keeping you in an upright position. 

Finding the right wax appropriate for your board can bring the right traction and stickiness. This will help you maintain optimal balance and enjoy your surfing experience more. 

Is it easy to use surfboard wax

Yes! It is easy to use surfboard wax. You might think this isn’t important but did you know that waxing your surfboard can be critical to your entire surfing experience? Whether you’re an experienced surfer or a beginner, you’re likely to want to know how to wax a surfboard to get that perfect wax job for your board. Read along to learn more about how to wax your surfboard properly. 

You might be already thinking if the new wax you’ve purchased is good for your new board. You might even think if it’s easy to use compared to the traditional waxes the local store has been advertising. Nevertheless, getting the right wax for your board is a matter of personal preference. Whatever you choose, applying wax is easy and can help your overall surfing experience to be smoother and safer.

The purpose of the wax comb

The purpose of the wax comb

Let’s start by answering, “what’s the purpose of waxing a surfboard?” In short, surf wax is meant to help surfers like you maintain the grip on the surfboard. Without it, you’ll find it difficult to maintain balance on your board, and you can forget about doing any tricks.

The right wax can keep you upright and slicing through the waves. It’s important to find the right balance of traction and stickiness so that you can maintain optimal balance throughout your surfing experience.

Now let’s find out what the purpose of a wax comb is. A wax comb is used to remove excess wax and maintenance after you’re done waxing your surfboard. The jagged edges of the comb can also take out old wax as well as those new ones after increased traction has occurred on your board. 

Wax combs are not required when applying or applying wax. However, a lot of surfers find it convenient. This is why it has become a popular choice during surfing sessions. 

How can I do a wax application?

How can I do a wax application

A positive surfing experience will not only need practice, skills, and the right waves to catch. It will also require a good surfboard to use as well as the right way to apply wax. 

Applying wax to your surfboard can be challenging but it is not impossible to do on your own. If you miss applying wax, then chances are you won’t be able to stay upright while surfing. Beginners should take this as a very important matter, especially that you will need a good grip to enjoy a ride.  

On the other hand, too much of anything is bad. This also holds true with too much wax application on your board. The board will end up very slippery which is a waste of wax plus you will need more effort to clean up your messy equipment.

When is the right time to apply wax?

When is the right time to apply wax

Have you ever thought about when is the right time to wax a surfboard? Do you need to apply wax every time you go out to surf? Re-waxing every time you go surfing is a misconception that most beginners encounter. Although it is recommended to apply a light wax coat, you don’t necessarily need to apply the same amount. 

Another way to figure the right time to wax is when you feel like you are already losing traction. Other factors that will help you determine if a re wax is needed will include the frequency of your surfing sessions as well as how long you use your board.

Tips and Tools When Waxing you Board

Tips and Tools When Waxing you Board

Beginners are advised to follow the standard wax job procedure. However, surfers have their unique way of applying it. Nevertheless, following a standard can help maximize the time for surfing rather than utilizing time for waxing alone. Here are some tips that you can follow:

Collect Your Supplies 

There is a lot of surf wax available in the market that you will find it hard to choose which one is the best applied on your board. The type of wax that you’re going to buy will depend on the water temperature of the area where you will be surfing. In warm water, you’ll need a hard wax with a high melting temperature. In colder water temperatures, you need a softer wax with a low melting temp. Not using the appropriate wax will make you slip and slide all over the place. Check the wax package instruction so you’ll know what wax to apply in a given condition. 

List of supplies you will need

  • Tropical wax or a bar of base coat wax
  • For the top coat, one bar of temperature–appropriate wax
  • Plastic scraper or wax comb
  • Liquid wax dissolver (optional)

Expose your board and wax for five minutes under the sun. Make a long straight line up and down your board, using the thin side of the wax comb or plastic scraper to remove the existing surf wax. If you have a liquid wax remover, use a small amount to help remove the excess wax. This can also be helpful when you don’t have enough direct sunlight to help melt your wax. If you are waxing a new board, skip this step and move to the next.

Apply your base coat indoors if possible to avoid smearing your wax when being applied directly under the sun. Waxing your board can create friction which can heat your wax to melt. If you are ready to start then sit comfortably, put your board on your lap and start working your elbows off waxing your board. 

Two methods for surfboard waxing

Two methods for surfboard waxing

Circle Method

For the base coat, apply very light pressure and rub the wax in small circles using the thinner side of your bar of wax. Each new circle should move along the deck of your board making sure you are applying the lightest pressure to apply a thin wax since this is just the base coat. Continue the circular motion until you have covered the deck from rail to rail. Take note of the areas you will be putting your hands and feet on when you pop up. If you are using a longboard, you need to cover the entire deck with wax. For shortboards, waxing around two feet of the centerboard as well as the tail will suffice. Take notice of the pressure dings, make sure they are filled with wax by using the corner of the bar like a pencil to fill them in. 

Criss-Cross Method

Using the thinner side of the wax, make long diagonal lines in one direction across the deck of your board. Use light pressure when doing this, taking into account the areas of the board where you plant your feet and put your hands when you pop up.

For a longboard, make diagonal lines on the entire deck. For shortboards, cover about two feet on the center of the board and the tail if you do not use a traction pad. When you are done with your crosshatch, fill in the squares with very light circular motions. Pressure dings should not be neglected. Make sure you also fill it with wax.

Topcoat wax should be applied in a circular motion on the surface of your board regardless of the method you use when applying your base coat. By doing this motion, it can create as many little bumps as possible. Use light pressure and even waxing motion to accomplish this goal.  Use twice as much wax on your top coat as you did on your base coat, covering the areas needed. Once you have done all this, you are ready to go out and ride your wave.

How Often Do you Need to Wax Your Board?

How Often Do you Need to Wax Your Board

After understanding how to wax a surfboard, you may feel that you want to get your feet on fresh wax every time you paddle out. However, you only need to apply a very thin coat of it as needed on your surfboard if you want to “freshen up”. For added traction, you can use a wax comb to scratch enough criss-cross lines. However, if your wax runs out, you can also go knee-deep in the water and scoop a handful of sand. Gently rub it on your wet board wax. By doing so you will be able to create a rough surface.

When to Remove The Surf Wax

When to Remove The Surf Wax

It’s quite difficult to tell when to remove surf wax from your board. This is because it will highly depend upon your own preference. Some surfers want to have a clean white wax coat. Meanwhile, others don’t mind how their boards would end up looking. Short boarders who go surfing several times in a week, then it is suggested that you apply a thin wax layer on a monthly basis. 

Meanwhile, a longboarder is recommended to have his board waxed until a change in the temperature occurs. Remember not to over wax your board. If you pile a lot of wax on it, it will become too thick and heavy.

Give yourself a break and plan out when is the best time to wax a surfboard and the best time to remove it as well. Anything that works well after learning how to wax a surfboard will most probably work out just fine for you.

How to Use a Wax Remover

How to Use a Wax Remover

Old wax is a big problem for surfers as it adds more weight to the board. It leaves sticky bumps on the surfboard and it also loses tackiness. In turn, this makes a surfboard useless. Leaving your board clean for a new layer of grip is possible when you learn how to properly remove old, unwanted wax.

The extra sticky wax feel should be avoided as it can cause slippery wipeouts. This can be a hindrance to safety. However, your brand new layer can get the right stickiness it needs if you get rid of the unwanted wax away from your board. 

On the other hand, you also get lazy and feel like you don’t really need to use a wax remover and just let it be. However, keep in mind that removing wax is not so difficult to do. Furthermore, it helps keep the right slippery board you need to catch those green waves when surfing.

Gripping needs vary in different water temperatures for many surfers. You may need to remove wax often or as needed. Continue reading and let’s find out what’s best for your surf trip needs. Relax! Surf wax are inexpensive so you can simply have one in your bag. You might realize its impact as of now but the quality of your future surf trip can improve if you have enough wax applied on your board.

Scraping Old Surfboard Wax Off

Scraping Old Surfboard Wax Off

In this section, you will learn how to remove that dark old wax. You can start off by doing the following:

If it’s a warm day, place your surfboard under direct sunlight. This one’s easy because the old, hard wax will turn into soft wax in a few minutes. It will melt away like butter in no time. 

In contrast, simply pour hot water onto your board and heat things up using a dryer or a heat gun if the weather isn’t sunny at all. 

Scraping your hard wax that has on your board too long can be done using a waxcomb. Simply comb it off using a pattern starting from the tail going to the nose then in the opposite direction.

Sticky small bumps can also be removed once the main job is done. You will know this as the base coats return to their original color that is now more visible than it has been before you’ve removed the unwanted wax. 

Get some paper towels to use after you spray a citrus-based wax remover. Moving in small circles, wipe the deck off until it is completely dry. 

Helpful Tips from Pro Surfers About Surfboard Waxing

Helpful Tips from Pro Surfers About Surfboard Waxing

Surfboard top or bottom? Which one is wiped?

Wax the top of your surfboard, specifically on the part where you usually stand and move. Wiping the bottom of the surfboard won’t help you because this can even slow you down when you’re in the water catching waves. 

Is wax foam necessary for surfboards?

Little grip is attained using wax foam. Although it is not necessary, you can always make use of that extra grip. You can use a base wax then apply the right surf wax designed for your boards. 

Truth or Hoax: Candle wax for surfboards? 

This is definitely a hoax! Using candle wax can cause damage to your board, let alone a new surfboard. So, don’t use it! In fact, there isn’t even any specific wax that can offer a good rub or grip. 

How do you use base surf wax?

A base wax, as the name suggests, is a coat for the top layer of your board. It is applied first in a generous amount until tiny bumps are made. After that, add a thin layer of top coat wax. This will give you that bubblegum surf wax feeling to ensure the right cling and maximum grip. 

That's a wrap

Learning how to wax a surfboard is an essential skill. You should not miss this before going out to catch some waves. Surfers who apply surf wax every now and then get the best experience especially when the board gets the kind of stick for extra grip. You can use a bubble gum surf wax to achieve this the next time you re-wax your surfboard.  Get a firm hold of yourself onto your board as you surf the cold water, although water temp will always vary depending on the season.

The thing is, you wouldn’t want to end up missing getting extra traction just because you didn’t apply enough top coats. However, if you’ve got the board simply covered from base wax down to small beads and other essentials when you wax your surfboard, then an epic session is bound to happen.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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