How to wax a surfboard

The day has come and you are so excited. You’ve grabbed your surfboard, your wet suit, and your favorite snacks and now you’re driving down to the beach to get your surf on! Just a second, wave rider! Make a sharp u-turn and head back to the surf shop, because you forgot to buy wax! Oh, You didn’t buy wax because you’re confused about how to use it and why you need it. I got you! Here is a simple guide on how to wax your surfboard.


What do you need?

You will need 2 types of wax, the basecoat and topcoat, and the wax comb. You can find these items anywhere surfboards are sold.  Waxing your surfboard is absolutely necessary because it allows your feet to properly grip the board and keep you from falling off. Properly applying the wax creates small bumps on your surfboard for your feet to grip. Without wax, you’ll be a regular visitor to Wipeout City! (not a real place, but it would be awesome if it was!)


Before you begin: Whether your board is brand new or older than the can of green beans in the back of your cupboard, it  must be clean. You wouldn’t place a gourmet meal on a dirty, crusty plate, right? Ok, if you were serving the meal to that dog owner on your street who always allow their mutt to poop in your yard, then I would  understand. But a surfboard must be cleaned often for the wax to work well and last a long time. So inspect your board for any old wax you may have missed and gently scrape it off or give your board a rinse if it’s fresh from the store.


Now we can begin! (Finally, geez! Let’s hurry this up! It’s going to be night soon!)


Step 1: The basecoat


Since your board is clean, you can apply the basecoat. So you grab your wax and … stare at your surfboad’s shining surface. You might be asking yourself “How in the world do I apply this greasy stuff?” Slap in on like lard on a frying pan? The answer is: any way that works for you.


Surfers all over the world have debated on the proper way to wax a board and each person will have their own unique way of doing so. So try using small circles, small back-and-forth strokes, or a criss-cross pattern to see which method works for you.


BUT, you must spread the wax gently and slowly. Rushing and using too much force won’t allow the wax to spread evenly and it could end up smearing. Smearing will not create bumps on your board and you will slide right off your board when you are trying to catch a gnarly wave!.  You’ll know you’re using the proper pressure when the wax starts to form small bumps. Remember these bumps allow your feet to grip the board and keep you surfing longer.


NOTE: The base coat does not come off but the top coat will eventually come off as you surf. It’s normal to have to reapply your board’s topcoat after a few hours of surfing. But if you missed a spot and you did not apply base coat to an area, then the topcoat will be washed away the moment you place your board in the water. Don’t put yourself in this slippery situation! Go over your entire board thoroughly and meticulously and don’t miss any spots.


Note: You must know the temperature of the ocean in the region you are surfing in and buy its corresponding top coat wax. If you use the wrong wax for the wrong temperature, the wax will either melt off in the water or turn chunky stick to your feet.


Step 2: The top coat

The top coat wax(which should be the correct temperature of your region’s ocean) should be spread directly over the base coat wax and applied to the board in small circles. This wax will be lighter and easier to spread than base wax. It is normal to use double the amount of top coat wax than base coat wax, so don’t be stingy! The top coat will also create small bumps for more grip.


Step 3: The waxcomb

Go over your board with a wax comb to create even more small bumps and turn the wax rough. Using your wax comb will only take a few minutes and sometimes you won’t even need to use the comb at all. This is just an extra step in case you need more bumps on your surfboard.


YAY! You’re finished!


Now you are ready! Have fun out there, and make sure to thank all the little people when you’re Surfing Champion of the World!

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