7 Easy Steps on How to Wax a Surfboard | Ultimate Guide 2022

Flo Farmer
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How to Wax a Surfboard: The Easy Way


Chances are if you've ever surfed before, you've also applied some wax to your board and taken care of finishing your board with that famous clear coat. It's a process that is looked down upon as hard to master and requires a lot of work and time on your hands.

But as with all skills, it gets easier when you practise.

So what does it take to get good at waxing your own surfboard?

{1}. Patience
{2}. Time
{3}. Will power
{4}. Placement of love (and science)
{5}. A willingness to get the job done…

Wait. What's that?!…

Is it true you can just let your boards get done by a professional, as there is no need to learn the art of waxing.

Yes, you can. Just pay someone to do to your boards for you…

You can do that, but there is more than meets the eye, when it comes to surfing.

Sure, you can have someone do anything for you. You can till someone else's field, you can get someone else to build up your house, you can even order your own food, but honestly, how cheap does that make you feel about your life?

#1. Prepare all the needed materials.

Before doing anything, you must first make sure that you will have all the things that you need. As much as possible, choose wax that comes in a kit, with all the needed materials. When buying the wax, you must also check its quality. We highly recommend you to go for waxes with 100% beeswax.

Also, be sure to have a very soft cloth when doing waxing.

#2. Clean your surfboard.

The first step in waxing a surfboard is cleaning it. If your board is really dirty, just giving it a rinse in the ocean should be enough. Otherwise, you might need to give it a full clean. Use an eco-friendly surfboard cleaner like a plant-based Eco Deck & any residue will come right off. If you are really worried about getting it completely clean, you can use a gentle cleaner and rinse it with the hose or a garden hose. The point here is to make sure that the board is clean. In this step, you also need to remove the stickers (if any).

#3. Apply your basecoat.

Now the fun part! Once you've attached your basecoat to the board, you need to apply it evenly with crossing direction strokes.

Be careful to avoid applying wax to the rails and only to the top of the board.

For a graphic design, you have to apply wax in a specific order. Just remember to remove each layer as you put on a new one to keep the wax in place.

#4. Apply your topcoat.

The topcoat is what gives you a nice shiny finish.

It also prolongs the life of your wax, or makes it last longer before you need to re-wax.

An inexpensive way to wax a surfboard is to buy a can of turtle wax.

#5. Comb the wax on your board.

Comb the wax with the board. Intertwine the comb and the board. The comb curls under a little. The comb should not be in contact with the board when you do this.

Waxing a surfboard is not a difficult process. Understanding the technique is the key. Different waxes require different techniques. If you’re using a soft wax, you should employ a wax comb. If you’re using a hard wax, a flat brush will do the job. It is a good practice to apply a wax base coat, let it dry and then apply the hard wax.

Different hard waxes have different melting points and alloys. To get the best out of your wax, you should first understand its melting point, application method as well as the best lamination temperature. Heat range can vary. It can range from 50 F to 200 F, depending on your preferences and the wax being used.

A bad lamination or good base coat with a poor sealing hard wax can ruin your installation entirely.

There is a lot of information out there about the best brands. Let me share with you some of the best waxes for your surfboard.

If you want to get the best out of your wax, you need to follow these steps.

#6. Spray some cold water over your surfboard.

You have to make sure you rinse all of the hot wax off of the surfboard so that all of the hot wax won’t melt in the water as you wax your surfboard.

This step is a crucial step and this is where most of the riders mess up. You want the surfboard to be comfortably warm but you don’t want to mess up the wax.

So you want to use either warm or cold water, pour the water on top of the surfboard and use your hand to move the water around the board and get all the previously waxed spots wet again.

The water water will warm or cool the waxed spots and you can then pour the water off.

Knowing how to wax a surfboard is an easy thing to learn and if you want to learn the steps on how to wax a surfboard, you can check out the link in the description below and watch the video as well.

We have also created a guide on how to wax your skateboard, you can check that guide out as well.

#7. Check your board after you surf.

If you go surfing a lot, it might take a bit of time before you notice that your board is becoming sticky or stiff. Take a quick look at your board after surfing to see what condition it is in and if you need to wax again. Try to notice any small or big issues such as cracks or bumps that might be preventing you from properly waxing.

Expert Tips

As soon as you step foot on the beach, wipe your board down. Sand, salt, and water are some of the biggest killers of your board. To make sure you aren't sanding through your paint job, use a soft cloth and rub your board down. Just like you can tell the story of an area by the stories of its people, you can get a sense of where your board has been by rubbing a soft, dry cloth over the area. If you don't wipe it down, your whole session could be filled with stories of your board getting sandblasted by other boards and drowning in the waves.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What wax do you recommend for a beginner?

If you’re just getting started, I would recommend using a high-.

Performance wax (for example, H2O XG Speed Paste Base Wax). In most cases, this is what the pros use, so you know it’s a top-quality product. Plus, they’re cheaper than the glass-like, spray-on waxes.

Another advantage is that these waxes come in easy-to-use sticks that are easy to apply.

Furthermore, the temperature indicator on the wax stick will let you know when wax is at the ideal temperature for application.

What is the best way to clean my board?

I recommend rubbing the board down with a clean rag and then wiping it down with a quality detailer. I have in the past used vinegar and water for cleaning. However, I have recently opted for detailer due to its shine and water resistance.

What wax do you recommend for a longboard?

I would recommend glass-like, spray-on waxes for your longboard. Glass-like, spray waxes are popular with surfers who need to apply wax in high-humidity conditions that can be challenging for stick waxes.

Q: How much wax do I need to use on my surfboard?

The wax that you use on your surfboard is going to be mostly relevant to the type of board that you’re using. It won’t be the exact same amount for every single board that you have.

The likelihood is that you’re going to be doing some sort of waxing based on the speed of your board. If you want a quick wipe down, you’d use a fine wax or a cream wax. That’s going to be your fastest option.

If you’re looking for a wax that you can do in a short amount of time, that’s going to last you a decent amount of time, and you aren’t going to have to do it all of the time, you can go with a wax.

You would want to use the wax on your speed board, but you can also use it on your long board as well. That’ll come with its set of limitations, as well. If you’re on a long board, you’re going to have to be very careful about how much wax you’re using on your board as well.

Q: What will happen if I don’t change my surf wax?

One thing you can take for granted is that your surfboard will lose its grip eventually. The sole fact that it’s exposed to the elements means it’ll chip off. It will be harder to use, eventually degrading to the point where it’s not functioning properly. And that can put you in a potentially dangerous situation.

You can treat the board like a car, where you change the oil at regular intervals. It also means that you don’t have to let the board out of your sight and you can leave it unattended.

To put it bluntly, if you don’t wax a surfboard regularly, you’re jeopardizing your surf session and putting yourself at risk of an accident. The reason why a surfboard is slippery is that you need it to be. The tiny grooves outlast the wax and that makes it more slippery, allowing you to ride the wave. However, if there’s no wax at all, there’s no grip. That’s exactly what will happen if you don’t change your wax.

Q: Do beginners need to wax their foam boards?

A: Unless you have an entirely clear polyurethane (PU) board, you most likely need to wax your board every so often. The wax goes on top of the board, holding the fiberglass in place and keeping the board waterproof.

Q: What wax is best for softboards?

A: It depends on your softboard. Wax works for many varying softboards. Some have a harder time with wax than others. But even then, it works.

The kinds of wax mainly vary in whether it’s for wet, dry, or soft surfaces. Most of the time, they’re used for wet conditions, and you can easily find them online. But before you buy wax, make sure that you know the size of your softboard, and that you’re getting wax that’s appropriate for the size of your softboard.

The other variation you can find in wax is whether it’s performance wax or wax for maintenance. Wax for performance does what it’s intended to bee. Performance wax gets the board up to full speed. For softboards, wax for performance works better on the board than wax for maintenance.