If you’re thinking of buying a surfboard, know that you will also need to wax your board thoroughly to keep from slipping off the board when you surf. Waxing the surface provides you with a good grip on the surfboard while cutting through waves.
No matter how good your surfboard is, every surfboard needs a proper waxing to keep it ready for use anytime. Check out different brands to find the best board wax to go with your board and the conditions. For example you may want a wax for warm or tropical waters. Or if you are in cold water conditions you should choose a wax that better fits that temperature profile.
If you’re looking for a guide on how to wax your surfboard, here are 5 simple steps on how you can accomplish it.
1. Prepare what you need
- Base coat wax
- Top coat wax
- Wax comb
If you’re planning to apply wax on a second-hand surfboard or if you’re just simply planning to reapply wax to the board, you may also need to have some paper towels and a wax cleaner to go with you.
Make sure you buy enough base wax, proportioned to the dimensions of your board, as provided on the surfboard size chart.
2. Cleaning your board (for used boards, not brand new ones)
In re-waxing applications, simply clean the deck part of your surfboard and remove previously applied old wax. Make sure to clean it thoroughly and don’t leave any residue from the past waxing as this will result in flaking in the near future. To clean the surfboard:
- Scrape off the previously applied wax using the straight side of the wax comb.
- Remove all the wax of the built-in rails by making use of the curved side of the comb.
- Raise the board and tip it sideways into the light to check and see if there is still a thin layer of wax remaining on the board.
A product like Chief Firewater can sometimes come in handy to dissolve the remaining wax. Once your surfboard looks glossy again, you can now apply the coating.
3. Apply the base coat
Once cleaned, thoroughly, apply the base coat directly on the surface of your board. Make sure all areas have been covered well.
This is the most crucial part when waxing your surfboard since the top coat can get worn off with use; the base coat will remain completely until the time that you re-wax your board again.
The main reason a basecoat is applied is to create a textured bump pattern that will last. These types of wax are a harder wax that allows it to last longer on your board.
Consequently, it is also a bit more difficult to apply since more force is needed to rub the wax off to your surfboard.
Apply the wax by pressing down strongly on the board; it may start off making a strange sound, but it’s a good sign the wax is being pressed down on the board to form a pattern.
Keep on making broad strokes using the wax until a bump pattern emerges on your surfboard’s deck. If you press too lightly, it may take a long time before you finish waxing your board.
There is no best technique to apply wax to your surfboard, it is simply a matter of preference, whatever way you wish to apply it. Continue applying until you see that you have created enough depth in the bump patterns of the wax you applied.
4. Apply the top coat
This is a much softer coat applied to your surfboard after the base coat has been applied. This allows the board to become tacky and stick to your feet better.
The top coat is the one most affected by the water’s temperature. So make sure to use a good type of wax that can best work with the temperature of the water where you normally surf.
When buying a top coat, make sure to check the temperature range that the wax can best work with. Warm waters from tropical environments dissolve wax faster than in colder waters.
As a general rule, you can use warm wax on cold water, but not a cold wax on a warm water because it can easily dissolve the top coat from your surfboard.
Application of the top coat can be applied in the same way as that of a base coat, with the difference being that the topcoat is comparatively softer than that of the base coat so there is no need to strongly apply the top coat.
5. After surfing
Once you start surfing, you’ll notice that a bit of the topcoat will begin to flake off from your board. To account for this loss, it is best to wax every time before you surf.
Sometimes, it will result in a flat and squished look. If this happens, use the wax comb’s side to scratch lines into the wax and create a checkboard pattern with it. Doing this will ensure you will be able to to enjoy using your surfboard longer.
Once you notice that you are frequently doing a lot of combing, this may be a signal for you to start cleaning the board from scratch and apply a new base coat.
To do this, simply go back to step 1 and repeat the process. Ideally, application of a new base coat should be every three months to at least once a year, whichever suits you best.