How to Put Wax on a Surfboard

How to Put Wax on a Surfboard
Non-surfers often have a misconception on surf wax. Wax is not applied to the bottom of a surfboard and has nothing to do with providing a smoother ride. That's ski wax. Surf wax actually has a much different function: it provides an abrasive grip on the top of the board so that the surfer doesn't slide off. Applying surf wax is easy once you've determined the right wax.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Plastic scraper Wax comb
  • Plastic scraper
  • Wax comb
Step 1
Clean the surfboard. If there's old wax on the board, you'll want to get it off before applying new wax. Heat the wax by leaving the board in the sun or using a hair dryer. Once the wax has softened, use a plastic scraper or wax comb to gently scrape the wax off.
Step 2
Determine the water temperatures where you'll be surfing. Different waxes are designed for different temperatures. If you use the wrong wax, it will peel off the board and be useless. If in doubt, ask surfers in your area what they use, or check with your local surf shop. Temperature ratings will also be listed on the wax packaging, so compare with the water temperatures where you surf.
Step 3
Apply wax to the board. Rub the edge of the bar directly onto the board. Thoroughly wax from the tail of the board to the upper part of the board where your chest will be when paddling out. You don't have to wax all the way to the tip. Rub wax on up and down the length of this area, then rub it across the width of the area. You could also rub the bar of wax in small circles to apply.
Step 4
Continue to apply wax until you have a bumpy, abrasive surface. You will be able to see and feel the bumps.
Step 5
Apply wax to the upper sides (handrails) of the board where you'll hold onto it when you dive into the waves.

Tips & Warnings

Use a base coat to help the surf wax stick better. Beginners should use an extra thick coat of wax to provide the best grip.
Use a base coat to help the surf wax stick better.
Beginners should use an extra thick coat of wax to provide the best grip.
Don't leave your board laying face up in the sun, or the wax will melt.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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