How to Wax Your Surfboard Like a Pro!

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1. The first thing to do is figure out which temperature wax to buy for your surfboard. You will need to check with your local surf shop on the average water temperature for your area. Below is a quick reference chart to help you select the right surf wax for your area:

  • Cold Water Wax (water temp 58 degrees F and below)
  • Cool Water Wax (water temp 65 degrees F and below)
  • Warm Water Wax ( water temp 66-74 degrees F )
  • Tropical Water Wax ( water temp above 75 degrees F)

Use this wax chart for estimates only, as different wax brands will vary. You will also want to purchase a base wax along with your top coat. If no base wax is available a bar of tropical surf wax will work for your base coat.

2. The next step is applying a good base coat to your surfboard. The base coat, made up of harder wax, helps to keep your later layers of wax from matting down (flattening out on the deck of your board). A good wax job should have wax bumps on the deck of the board to help bead the water and provide good traction. I like to heat my base wax up by putting it in the sun for a few minutes, or putting it in the microwave for a short amount of time before applying it to my board. Please Note: If you use the microwave to soften your wax do so at your own risk. Check owners manual or contact manufacture to make sure it will not damage anything and is safe to do. Remove the label and put the wax in a small dish in the microwave. The small dish will help collect any melted wax, as you do not want melted wax all over your microwave. After 30 seconds in the microwave, check to see if the base wax softens up so it will be easier to apply. After you have your base wax softened up, follow this sequence for application:

  • First, apply the base wax to the deck of the surfboard with lengthwise vertical strokes only
  • Secondly you apply the base wax with horizontal strokes only
  • Thirdly you want to apply the base wax with diagonal strokes only
  • Fourthly you will apply the base wax with diagonal strokes opposite of the diagonal strokes you already applied
  • Lastly apply circular strokes with the base wax and you should see some good bumps starting to form if you have applied the base coat correctly

3. You are now ready for your top coat. Apply the top coat wax the same way you applied the base coat, and you will have some great wax bumps on your board!

4. A few extra tips to keep your wax job looking great: If the outside air temperature becomes extremely hot, feel free to move up to warmer wax, even if the ocean temp remains the same. This can prevent your wax from melting during commutes. Storing your board in a light colored or reflective board bag can also help keep your wax from melting. Do not leave your board in the hot sun, or a hot car, as it will melt and ruin your wax job and the heat is also hard on the fiberglass. When hanging out on the beach try to keep your board deck side down to keep the sun from melting the wax. Setting your board on its bag or on a towel will keep sand from sticking to the wax.

5. A few quick tips for removing your old surf wax: Set your board out in the sun for a few minutes to help soften the wax (Avoid long term exposure. You do not want to damage the fiberglass). Get a plastic wax scraper and scrape off as much of the old wax as you can. If you want to get all the wax off the deck of your surfboard. Purchase some citrus based wax remover (read warning label and keep out of your eyes) and apply on any remaining wax and let sit for a few minutes. Then rub off with a clean soft towel and some elbow grease. Waxing your surfboard is fairly easy when done correctly. You should now be able to wax your surfboard like a pro. Have fun and go surfing!

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