How To Wax A Surfboard
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You’ve just gotten your brand new longboard or shortboard and a bar of the best smelling wax in the shop.
You might be wondering what you’re supposed to do next so that you can go surf.
A good wax job is essential so you don’t fall off on your first wave.
Though the first time can be challenging, waxing your board is pretty simple. So with a little bit of time, you can have a fresh coat of wax that’s ready to hit the waves.
If you follow these steps for how to wax your surfboard, you and your board will be ready to go.
Step 1: Make sure you have the right kind of wax
The purpose of surf wax is to provide traction. If you have the wrong kind of wax, it’ll melt off your board and you’ll slip right off your board. No one wants to look like a kook because they banana peeled on their pop up.
If you are somewhere with warmer water, make sure you get warm or tropical wax. This wax is harder and won’t melt in the water and flake off. Cool water waxes are soft so they can be easily applied to the deck of your board.
You will also need a basecoat wax. This wax is extra hard and provides a good starting layer for you to wax your board.
Step 2: Apply wax basecoat to the top of the surfboard deck
We already talked about the benefits of basecoat wax. If you don’t have any basecoat wax, Warm water wax is the next best thing since it is the next hardest wax.
The basecoat is stiff and can be difficult to apply wax to your board. Application is a little different than normal wax so we’ll explain both.
Hold the bar of basecoat wax so that a long edge is against the deck of the board. Tilt the bar slightly so that there is only a single edge on the board and move the bar around in circles or diagonal lines on the deck of the board.
Since basecoat is extra firm, you may need to give a little extra pressure to make sure the wax sticks to the board.
Step 3: Apply the appropriate temperature wax on top
Once you have the basecoat, you’re ready to apply the surfing wax on top of it. There’s two main schools of thought when it comes to applying surfboard wax.
I prefer to use the circle method. You will hold the bar of wax with the long edge against the deck. In a light, circle movement, apply the wax to the deck of the board. I like this way because it’s quicker and you get an even layer.
The other way to apply the top coat of wax is to use the narrow edge of the bar of wax. Drag the wax across the deck in tight, crossing diagonal lines. This method takes more pressure to apply the wax and way more time. The benefit is that it looks nice and lasts a little longer, but ultimately you’ll lose the pattern just from surfing.
Step 4: Lightly scuff the wax
Using a wax comb, scuff up the wax so that it sticks better. When wax is pushed down, it becomes less sticky and more slippery. Use the teeth of a wax comb to roughen up the wax a bit to make it more grippy before you take it out.
Step 5: Admire your work
There’s nothing better than having a fresh coat of wax on a fresh stick. Even a fresh coat on an old board will make it feel like you’re riding a brand new board.
You don’t have to do this, but we recommend it.
Why wax a surfboard?
Most surfboards are glassed with fiberglass or epoxy resin. They are slick and when put in the water become more slick. Surfers realized they needed something to help them stick to their boards and viola! Wax was born. Surfing wax provides the grip you will need to shred.
How do I take old wax off of my board?
The first step is to take a wax comb that has an edge, or an old credit card, and scrape as much wax as you can off. If you want to take the rest of the wax off, you can use a pickle remover or something similar. Don’t use acetone since it’ll eat the glass of your board. But, you actually don’t need to get your board completely spotless for your next waxing since some old wax will help the new wax have something to adhere to.
Which side of my board do I wax?
Always wax the top of your board. Waxing the bottom is for skis not surfboards.
Which part of the board should I wax?
Generally, you want to wax anywhere you’ll be placing your feet. It’s also a good idea to wax where you lay so you don’t fall off.
Do I need to wax my soft top?
Usually, you don’t need to wax a soft top surfboard but you can for added grip. Some soft tops require wax before riding and some will be ruined if you wax it so definitely check the specific board first. See our full page do you wax foam surfboards for more information.
How often should I rewax my surfboard?
As frequently as you feel like it. You should definitely rewax your board whenever the water temperature changes from the temperature range of your current wax. We recommend about 4 times a year and maybe even more if you surf frequently.
Can I repair a ding with wax?
The short answer is no. The long answer is your ding repair guy will get mad at you since it’s a nightmare to clean wax out of dings and makes for worse patches.