Today, we dive into how to wax your surfboard perfectly every time. If you have just picked up a new surfboard or are looking for a fresh coat of wax on your current board, we can explain the best method for waxing up your deck.
Why Do You Wax A Surfboard?
Waxing a surfboard is imperative to your success in the water. Because the surface is smooth, applying the wax provides a layer of traction so your feet can grip and manoeuvre the board. It also stops you from sliding when paddling.
What Type Of Wax Is Best For Surfboards?
The first thing to ensure when it comes to waxing your deck is using the correct wax for the climate you are surfing in. The water temperature will determine the type you use, which is as follows:
|Cold water wax||9c-14c|
|Cool water wax||14c-20c|
|Warm water wax||20c-24c|
|Tropical Wax||24c +|
The average sea temperature in the UK in the winter time is around 6-10 degrees Celsius and reaches 15-20 degrees Celsius in the summer. Therefore, if you are planning on surfing throughout the year in the UK, then you will want to use cold water wax in the autumn, winter and spring, with the potential to use cool water wax in the summer months.
If you are venturing outside of the UK for a surf holiday, then you will need to research the average water temperature of your chosen destination to ensure you coat your board with the correct wax.
Should You Wax A Foam Surfboard?
If you have completed a few lessons at a surf school, you may have noticed that the foam surfboards you learned on didn't have wax on; this is because some foamies are designed with particularly grippy decks to assist complete beginners.
However, these types of boards are the exception, not the rule. Many foamboards will still require waxing. So it is worth researching your board and finding out if you need to wax your foamie.
As foam surfboards are made of a considerably softer material than fibreglass boards, we recommend using either a cool water wax with a very light hand or, for the guaranteed correct application, you can use bodyboard wax.
How To Wax A Surfboard
There are numerous techniques for waxing a surfboard, and each way is relative to the surfer's preference. However, there seems to be one technique that is commonly used among surfers, and that is the cross hatch. These are the steps to wax your board perfectly every time.
Step 1: Clean Your Surfboard
First and foremost, you want to ensure your deck is squeaky clean. If you are waxing up a brand new board, take a clean cotton rag (an old t-shirt works great) and ensure the deck is free from any grime or dust.
If you are re-waxing a board, you must soften the wax before removing it. You can do this by either leaving the board in the sun for 15 minutes or carefully using a hairdryer to heat the deck.
Once the wax is soft and malleable, use a wax comb to scrap off the previous layers of wax. To remove the little bit of remaining wax, apply either sprinkle flour or a wax remover over the deck and rub it off with a paper towel.
Step 2: Apply The First Layer Of Wax
Now you have a clean deck; it's time to apply the wax. There are many techniques to use, but we’ll discuss the cross-hatch method here.
You want to wax from the highest point your foot will be on the board, right down to the tail or traction pad. Drag the corner of the wax diagonally across the deck of your board, leaving approximately 1 inch between the lines and then do the same in the opposite direction. You should be left with little diamonds across the deck.
Step 3: Build Your Foundation Of Wax
Now you have your cross hatch of wax on the board; it's time to begin building the layer of wax. Start by gently rubbing the wax across the cross-hatching in circular motions. The wax will start to catch on the diagonal lines and begin to form little bumps of wax.
Build-up The Wax
After about a minute of gently running the wax over your cross-hatch, the little bumps will have formed, and you will feel your bar of wax begin to glide more easily over the surface of the deck. When this happens, you can begin to put a little more elbow grease into it to increase the thickness of the wax. You will want your final result to resemble the picture below.
How Much Wax Should Be Put On A Surfboard?
You want to ensure that there is enough wax to provide you with traction when out in the water; however, you don't want too much wax as it will weigh your board down. The approximate amount of wax you should use is as follows: for a shortboard surfboard, you should use approximately half a bar; for a minimal surfboard, you should use ¾ of a bar; for a longboard, you should use the entire bar.
Do You Wax The Rails Of A Surfboard?
Whether you choose to wax the rails of your surfboard is entirely up to you. When popping up, your hands should be placed on the deck, not gripping the rail, so you don't require it. However, when duck diving or turtle rolling under a wave, waxing on the rails can help you grip the board.
How Often Should You Wax Your Surfboard?
Again, the answer to this is relative to your preferences. You can choose to add a fresh, top layer of wax before each surf to improve the grip.
However, we do recommend doing a complete cleaning and rewaxing of your board every 2-3 months to ensure that the wax is able to provide you with enough traction in the water.
Visual Guide On How To Wax A Surfboard.
If you visually take in information, the video below is a fantastic demonstration of how to wax your surfboard deck successfully.
Now you are ready to wax up for surfboard and hit the waves! For more information on any of our products, feel free to contact Wetsuit Centre. Alternatively, you can refer to our blog for a wealth of information on all things water sports.