How To Wax a Surfboard
Some of the crucial things we can learn about our boards for everyday surf is how to wax a surfboard, and what to use surf combs for. Summer is known to be the call for surfers in most countries and states around the US. Except for Florida, we don’t get many waves in the summer but we do get crystal clear water and that’s amazing as well. It also gives us a great reason to travel and go on surf trips and get to see other perfect breaks.
This is the season when the beautiful blue waves are splashing against the surfboards, calling out to all the surfers. With the sport of surfing, come many other tasks other than just being in the water surfing. Things like dry land training, fitness, breath hold practice, how to maneuver better, how to wax a surfboard properly and much more.
Waxing a surfboard is pretty straightforward. It is important to remove the fins first. Apply hot water and remove wax with surf comb. Grab a bar of wax and thoroughly wax your surfboard from tail to about chin high on your board.
We will break it down further because the more that we can learn about our surfboards and things such, fins, leashes, how to wax a surfboard, what to use surf combs for and surf conditions. This can get a little tricky, but with practice, there is nothing hard about it. Waxing a surfboard is something most of us do before every surf session.
If you are a beginner who has no idea how to take care of your surfboard, it can get extremely complicated and confusing. To avoid that, you need to study a little by asking your friends, other surfers and/or through this tutorial. Nowadays with the power of the internet, you can look practically anything and will learn easily. But following everything can be really hard without guidance. So, we have come up with the answers to some of your questions right here:
- Do you need to wax a Surfboard?
Surfboards have been used for decades and have evolved ever since. Modern shapers have used many different materials to make them better over the years. Some of them include polyurethane or polystyrene foam covered with many layers of fiberglass cloth, and polyester or epoxy resin. This makes the surfboards light and at the same time, extremely strong.
If you are using a soft top (a board that is made out of plastic at the bottom and foam on top) you do not necessarily need to wax them….although some still wax them for more grips under their feet. Yes, some of the foam boards are slippery and can cause injuries while you are surfing. If your board is also slippery, then without any further delay you must wax it. All other hardboards like longboards, SUPs, and shortboards made out of epoxy and fiberglass need to be waxed before ever going out to the lineup. Not doing so will result in wipe-outs from sliding off the board.
Here are some waxing tips you can follow and use throughout your surfing journey:
- When you apply wax on your surfboard, it ensures that water repels the wax off and does not allow it to affect your feet. As it is not slippery, it not only repels water but also offers you adequate traction.
- During different weather conditions and seasons, there is a need to ensure that you can enjoy surfing the same way. Different water temperatures wax is also available depending on where you are surfing and if the water is cold or hot.
- When you have a firm grip, you are more likely to be able to retain your posture or instead stand in the way that you prefer. Without any fear of slipping you can enjoy surfing even more.
- When you have waxed your surfboard, you do not need any other accessory or tool to ensure your firm grip on the board. Except maybe a stomp pad but we’ll talk about that later on another post or video. It also saves you money over time if you are a beginner and maybe some intermediate guys on wax which price has gone up.
Most surfers wax their board really fast before every session so that the grip is reinforced every time.
A little tip and reminder for those surfing soft tops; once you wax those surfboards, the wax cannot come off. On the other hand, when you have a hard top, as soon as you see the wax getting dirty and not gripping anymore, you can remove it with a wax comb and put a new coat of wax and back to being perfect. I usually do this process every six months because I like my surfboards nice and clean but you can find your way. As long as it has grip…you are good, It’s completely up to you.
- How to wax a surfboard?
Waxing a surfboard can go totally wrong if you do not know how to do it. If your surfboard is new or second hand, you still will have to put a fresh coat of wax on it. To get the perfect wax job done for your surfboard, follow the how to wax your surfboard instructions below:
You will need 1 block of cold or tropical wax, 1 wax scraper or what some call a surf comb, some hot water, and an old cloth. This process will take about 10 minutes, maybe even less. If your board is new, you can start the cleaning process from step 4:
1.Take the fins off and put them on the ground if you want. Its the smartest thing to do, but if you get lazy like I do sometimes, you just leave them on but are cautious of damaging it. Put your surfboard under some support under it to avoid getting it dinged (making a hole in the board). Usually, a towel will do or even a yoga mat is fine as well. It’s just to prevent dings and scratches.
2. Pour the hot water on the board which will help you get rid of the old wax coating. Make sure that the water is not boiling water, just hot enough to get rid of the coating. Once you pour water on the board, the coating will soften up by starting to melt and start to run off.
3. You can now scrape the soft wax off in long and steady strokes with your wax comb. Do not put too much pressure on top of the surfboard, this will create pressure dings (not actually a hole but just a pressure point). When most of the old wax is scraped off, pour more hot water and then use the cloth to wipe the board clean.
4. Take your tropical or cold wax and draw diagonal lines. Do from left to right (or vise versa) first all the way up the board to about where your head would be when laying down on it for most beginner boards. The surfboard that I am waxing is a performance board.
Then go diagonally from right to left all the way up to where you went earlier. It doesn’t have to be from left to right and then right to left but you get my point, go diagonally in one direction and then on top of it to the other. This will give wax layers something to bond to.
At this point, your board is waxed up, but not enough. Use the rest of your wax to do a bunch of little circles on top of the wax you previously put on. This will give it little bumps and will make the grip much stronger. Once you can see bumps, there, your board is all waxed up.
Waxing your surfboard is not hard. It does seem worrisome at first but it is quite easy, and anybody can wax surfboards like a professional. If you follow the steps correctly, you will easily be able to wax the board perfectly. It does take time and precision but honestly, it is my favorite thing to do. There is no better feeling then waxing a new surfboard!
- What do you use a wax comb for?
As we mentioned before you are using the wax comb to help remove the wax. The second-hand surfboards usually have a huge amount of older wax coatings that are extremely hard to remove. Sometimes, even hot water does not do the trick. Of course, that happens because of the age of the wax and the quality of which differs from one brand to another. It is possible that if the older coating is not removed properly, the new wax coating will not adhere to well.
A wax comb is a tool or an instrument used in the maintenance of surfboards. They remove the older coatings and has is known to be extremely useful in doing that. The wax combs have features which help in making your work easier when it comes to wax removal and grip for the surfboard. These features include:
- Jagged or Toothed Edge: This edge helps you in improving the gripping of the wax on the surfboard. This will definitely give your wax coating the perfect touch for grip.
- Straight Edge: This edge is used to scrape the older wax coating off the surfboard.
There you have it and now you are “officially” ready to go ahead and wax your board! As soon as you are done with that grab it and head straight to the ocean, then post your board waxed on the comments box. I know you will have an awesome session without wipeouts from the wax awesome gripping. See you in the lineup!
Here are a couple videos on How To wax A Surfboard Properly and How To remove surf wax from surfboard. Check them out for a more hands-on instruction videos.