How to wax a surfboard | The basics
Waxing a surfboard is an import ritual that creates a bond between you and your stick. One of the most asked questions we get is about how to wax a surfboard. What wax should I use? How can I easily remove the wax? What parts of my surfboard do I need to wax? Read all about the basics.
Wax itself comes in all sorts of shapes, colours, and smells and this makes it easy to get lost. The most important thing is that you choose wax that suits the water temperature you surf. This temperature is most often written on the packaging and you can easily find the water temperature online, or ask a true local. There are several theories on whether or not you should use a basecoat and a topcoat or just a topcoat. We would advise to use both unless you surf in tropical waters. In this case your topcoat and basecoat are the same wax.
- The basecoat is a layer of wax that you apply first on a clean deck (top) of your surfboard. This usually is the hardest wax available and will allow the wax to firmly stick to your surfboard. If your favourite brand doesn’t have a separate basecoat, just use the tropical wax as a basecoat.
- The topcoat is the layer you adapt according to the water temperature. When you surf cold water the wax will be softer because the cold will make it harder. If you choose the wrong wax it will get too hard and become slippery. On the other hand, warm water will make your wax softer. That’s why warm water wax is harder than the cold water wax.
How to wax a surfboard in 5 steps:
Waxing a surfboard is easiest on a flat surface in the shade. If the sun is too strong it will melt your wax. The image above shows you what surface areas you should wax depending on the kind of board you surf.
- Make sure that your deck is clean and dry. Remove all old wax.
- Take your basecoat and break it into two pieces. For an average board you should use a quarter to half of your wax.
- Take the side that you just broke off and apply long strokes in the length of the board. Don’t push too hard but just make sure you apply the wax evenly. Then apply a second layer across the width of the board.
- Take your topcoat and again use about half of the wax. Remember this wax is softer so you don’t have to push as hard. It’s important to put some love in this part of the proces. This creates not only a good wax job but also an unique bond between you and your surfboard.
- Make sure you apply the topcoat in all different directions. One layer in the length of the board, one from side to side, both diagonal directions and finish with clockwise and counter-clockwise circles. Remember wax on wax off?!
If you’ve done it right, you should have a nice layer with humps and bumps. This creates grip and also little channels in which the water flows away.
If you have mastered the basics you could always start working on how to wax a surfboard using different patterns.
There are several ways to remove wax from your surfboard. Always make sure though that you are friendly to your environment and collect all your wax scrapings. One of the easiest ways is to put your wax in the sun. After a while you can just get it off with a wax comb. An important tool every surfer should have.
Another way is to use soft sand after you have heated it in the sun. There are several other tips on how to remove your wax effectively but these are the most basic ones.
Bonus Tips on how to wax a surfboard:
Use a wax comb to refresh your wax before a session so you don’t have to use wax every time you want to go for a paddle.
If your wax turns black or looks dirty, it’s probably a good time to change your wax job.
Don’t leave your waxed board in the sun after a surf. If you want to stay at the beach just create a small pile of sand and lay the nose of your board on top of it with the deck facing down towards the sand. Your wax stays sand free and out of the sun. Another option is to store your board in a heat reflecting board bag.
Keep an eye out on the water temperature and change accordingly when your wax becomes too slippery or too sticky.
Try and use a topcoat and basecoat from the same brand. They seem to work best together.
Wax your board in your bedroom for a nice smelling palace.
Thank you for reading the basics on how to wax a surfboard. Feel free to share this with your surfing buddies and keep an eye out for more I Love Surfing information!