How to Wax a Surfboard


If you’re new to surfing, you’re probably excited to know how to wax a surfboard. You see other experienced surfers do it, making their beloved boards shiny under the sun. But do you even know why you need to wax your surfboard? Well, don’t worry because we will cover all of that in this guide.

There are also different types and brands of wax that may have varying effects on a particular surfboard. And there are also different techniques when it comes to waxing.

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Why Do You need to Wax a Surfboard?

So what is the idea behind waxing your surfboard? Why do you have to do it? is it just for aesthetics or is it absolutely necessary?

The deal is that surfboard waxing is important. Any new surfer needs to know this fact. That’s if you want to stay upright while surfing. It provides surfers with grip and traction. You use the surfboard wax to help you stick to your board while surfing. The hard shell of a surfboard is slippery and that’s good on the bottom part that touches the water but not on the one you step on. Without wax, the surfer could slip off the board more easily.

So it’s important to learn how to wax a surfboard and the proper way to apply it. It will make the difference between riding a wave and being wiped out. But don’t worry because waxing a surfboard is actually pretty simple and straightforward.

On the other note, you may also check out our guide on how to wax a snowboard.

How to Wax a Surfboard

So how do you actually do it? How to wax a surfboard and what do you need?

  • Supplies

    You will need a few supplies when you learn how to wax a surfboard. One is a basecoat wax. You will also need a topcoat wax and a wax comb. All of these are readily available in surfing specialty shops and you can also find it online, which we will provide a few examples below. You could also use a wax cleaner and prepare some paper towels.

  • Apply a Basecoat

    The first thing you need to do is to apply your basecoat. You should skip this step if you are waxing a brand new surfboard. But for waxing a used board, remember to clean the deck first so that you apply the basecoat directly to the surface of the board. Otherwise, it could flake off early.

    If you are using a longboard, you need to wax the entire topside of your surfboard from its nose to the tail. You also need to do it edge to edge. For waxing a shortboard, you should wax the topside of the board from its front logo to its back edge.

    The truth is you can get by without a basecoat wax however your wax will not last long. Without the proper basecoat when learning how to wax a surfboard, the topcoat will not stick to the board. It will leave a naked spot and you could slip and slide.

  • Techniques in Applying the Basecoat

    You will have to master the techniques in applying a basecoat as you learn how to wax a surfboard. There are different methods that you can use. You can choose whichever is most effective and efficient for you or you can combine them.

    In the circle pattern, you rub off the wax onto your board in small circles. Move it up and down the board until they form bumps.

    For the straight line pattern, rub the wax onto the board using straight lines in an up and down motion on the board. It should be parallel to the rocker.

    The crosshatch pattern means you have to rub the wax onto the board with a diagonal pattern. It should be perpendicular to the diagonal motion so it completes a crosshatch.

    Kitchen sink pattern is when you rub wax onto the board in any direction. You can use any of the patterns above and make them your own.

    Another note when applying the basecoat in this step of how to wax a surfboard is to remember to use the edge of the wax stick and not the flat side. Apply it until the coat is bumpy. This is important so your topcoat will adhere to the small bumps.

  • Apply the Topcoat

    Next, in how to wax a surfboard, you have to apply your temperature wax or the topcoat. This is softer than your basecoat and it allows the board to be tacky so that it sticks to your feet. You have to use the proper wax type that is suitable for the water temperature where you will surf because it is affected by the temperature.

    Wax over the entirety of your board area that you covered with the basecoat. Rub its edges onto the board in small circles. You can also use the techniques above. You could try using a different colored topcoat wax than your basecoat so that it’s easier to tell where you applied which.

  • Comb the Wax

    Once you have applied the wax in how to wax a surfboard, run the wax comb through the wax on the surfboard. Run it in diagonal crosshatch lines. This will rough up the wax and you will have a better grip on your board. Make sure that you run through all the wax on your board.

    You should use the wax comb each time you surf as long as you haven’t applied a new topcoat.

  • Spray Cool Water

    You can now spray cool water over your surfboard now that you’ve learned how to wax a surfboard, to make the wax harden. It will stick to the board better.

Ready Supplies

Here are some of the supplies you can readily buy for how to wax a surfboard

Sticky Bumps Base Coat Surfboard Wax

Mr. Zogs Original Sexwax – Warm Water Temperature

The Pickle Wax Remover w/Wax Comb