How to Wax Your Surfboard
In our series for #WaveWednesday, we get back to the basics. This week we share the basics on how to wax your surfboard. Big thanks to Chica Surf Adventures for this amazing guide.
Before you get started:
- Figure out what type of surfboard you are riding. This info is used as you decide where to wax your surfboard. Take a look at the chart above and it will tell you where you will need to wax the surfboard based on the board type and size you will be riding.
- Decide what water temperature you will be surfing in. There are 4 types of waxes: Cold, Cool, Warm & Tropical. Cool Wax is designed for when the water temp is 58-68 degrees (like California or NE water), so it stays soft when it is in the water – enough for you to stick and not slide off. Cold and cool water waxes are the softest so they can resist getting hard in cooler temperatures. Warm water wax is for 64-74 degrees so it will stay soft enough to be sticky in those temperatures, but hardens in any temps less than that (generally for places like Central and N Florida). Warm wax hardens in cooler water making it not as effective. You are more likely to slip off because it is no longer sticky. Finally, tropical wax has the same principle for warmer locations like (for places like South Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America). Not sure what wax to use? STOP IN ISLAND WATER SPORTS for current water temperatures and their staff recommendation for which wax to use and how to wax your surfboard the right way.
Now for the basic steps of waxing your surfboard:
- Start with a clean slate. Make sure the surfboard is clean before you put on a basecoat.
- Begin with a thin basecoat. A basecoat is the first layer of surf wax you will be putting on the board. It creates a thin layer of traction for your top coat to stick to. There are 4 different ways to apply the surf wax. All 4 ways you can use for both the basecoat and the top coat layers of surf wax. Check out the different patterns below. They will help you get the most coverage so you don’t have to constantly reapply the surf wax.
- Add the topcoat. Once you have applied the basecoat, repeat the same pattern application with the top coat.
Although, applying wax is not an exact science, the goal is to wax the board completely in all the shaded areas so “you don’t slip off when you are trying to shred”. Make sure you have extra wax handy. Waxing your board is not a one-time thing. Every time you head out for another session, you want to re-wax the top coat.
Always make sure you have enough wax on the board. Sometimes, you may just need to use a surf comb to loosen up the current wax you already have on the board. Other times you may need to add a bit of top coat in the areas that have the most wear and tear.
Chica Surf Adventures finally suggests,
“For long term care, my recommendation is lay your surfboard flat and upside down to avoid melting. If it has melted a little because it has been in your garage or you left it on the beach, take a wax comb and comb through the surface in a crisscross pattern to give it more traction and place a light layer over the top of new wax to spruce it up. Give the board a fresh coat of wax every time you go out unless it feels like it has enough.”
You can scrap off the wax whenever the build-up looks ugly or gets embedded with dirt or sand. Simple scrap off the old wax and start over again with steps one to three.