You got your first surfboard and you want to know how to wax your hardtop or foamie surfboard, what kind of surf wax to use and how much wax to use.
You can wax your foamie or hardtop surfboard by rubbing surf wax in circular patterns, criss-cross patterns, or by rubbing the surf wax up and down the length of the surfboard. It really doesn’t matter as long as you get enough wax on your surfboard.
In this guide to waxing surfboards, we cover how to wax a surfboard including foamies and soft tops like Beater surfboards, how best to use a wax comb to freshen surf wax, and how to remove wax from a surfboard.
Table of Contents
How To Wax A Surfboard In 6 Easy Steps
There are a variety of ways to wax a surfboard:
- You can rub the wax on crisscross style.
- You can rub the wax on up and down the length of the surfboard.
- Or you can rub the wax on using a circular pattern to get the surf wax to stick to your board.
It really doesn’t matter how you wax your surfboard as long as you get enough of wax to stick to your surfboard. Rub the wax hard enough to generate some friction. That will get the surf wax on the surfboard. It’s really that simple.
Follow The Below Instructions To Wax Your Hard Surfboard Or Foamie Board
- Surf wax goes on after the traction pad. Be sure to apply the pad first.
- Hold the base coat wax so the edge of the wax stick touches the surfboard.
- Using light pressure, run the wax along the length of the surfboard. Most people go about three-quarters of the way up the deck on a shortboard surfboard. Continue to apply wax with similar strokes until you’ve covered the width of the surfboard.
- Go the other direction. Work from one rail of the surfboard to other rail.
- Repeat this process until plenty of bumps form in the wax. Depending on the size of your surfboard, you may use between half and full stick of surf wax.
- Next, rub the topcoat wax smoothly over all of the places where you have already applied the base coat surf wax. When applying the topcoat, you don’t have to press as hard or use as much.
Do you need surf wax? Amazon has a ton of surfing wax options to choose from.
Surfboard Waxing Tips & Advice
Do I Need To Wax My SurfBoard?
You can’t surf without wax. Hard top (epoxy and fiberglass surfboards), foamie, and soft top surfboards should be waxed.
The top, or deck, of a surfboard will instantly become slick when it gets wet. To prevent the deck of the surfboard from becoming slippery you need to wax the top of the surfboard.
Can You Wax A Surfboard Too Much?
Over waxing a surfboard is not typically a problem. Under waxing a surfboard is a much bigger problem.
How Much Surf Wax Should You Use?
You will use about half a bar of surf wax on a shortboard surfboard or foam board, and a full bar of wax on longboard.
Generally speaking, the bigger the surfboard, the more wax you will use. Just make sure the wax forms beads (forms little bumps) when you wax your surfboard. Once you have a beads of wax all over your surfboard you are in good shape and are ready to surf.
What Is A Surf Wax Base Coat?
The base coat, as the name implies, forms a base layer of wax on the surfboard. You wax your surfboard with the surf wax that is right for the ocean water temperature you are surfing in.
How Often Should You Wax A Surfboard?
We generally give a fresh coat of wax 2 or 3 surf sessions before we reapply. With that said, when you experience any of the below, wax your surfboard:
- You can see the deck of your surfboard.
- The surf wax is less tacky than it is slick.
- You get dirt or oil on your surfboard. You should remove the wax in this case and apply a new coat.
- Your wax melted off your surfboard from the sun or other heat source.
- When you experience fluctuations in water temperature, you may have to use a different surf wax for the new water temperature.
You can also refresh the wax’s tackiness by using the rough edge (the teeth) of a wax comb to add new grooves. This will expose tackier wax and will get your through a few more surf sessions.
How Long Does Surfboard Wax Last?
Your surf wax will last as few surf sessions before you need to add a fresh layer of wax. How long a surf wax is going to last depends on:
- If you used the right wax for the water temperature.
- The quality of the surf wax you use.
- If you used a base coat of wax or not.
- How thick you applied the surf wax.
- Where you store your surfboard.
- How hard you press on your wax when you are surfing.
- How dirty your wax gets on our surfboard.
Tip: Always have a fresh bar of the right temperature wax with you to apply on your surfboard.
Surfing Wax Temperature Guide
Surfboard wax comes in different temperature varieties. For the surf wax to hold up well, you must match your wax to the water in which you will be surfing.
If the water is too cold for the wax, it could flake off your board and leave you with thin and/or bare spots on the board. In conditions that are too warm for the wax, it will melt and smear, again leaving your with bare spots on your surfboard.
The following guidelines can help you select the right topcoat wax temperature to use:
- Tropical: This wax is best in water temperatures of at least 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Warm: When the water is between 66 and 76 degrees, apply a warm topcoat.
- Cool: Choose this type of wax when the water ranges from 56 to 68 degrees.
- Cold: If the water temperature is 58 degrees or below, use this variety.
Stickiness (Or Tackiness Or Grip)
The stickier the wax the better. We have tried multiple brands of surf wax. We think they are all pretty similar on the tackiness scale. Still, we have our favorite surf wax.
If you want more options, you can find a big selection of surf wax on Amazon.
Do Foam Surfboards Need Wax?
Foam surfboards and soft tops like Beater Boards, Costco’s Wavestorm, and Almond’s R-Series are designed to not need wax. However, some surfers prefer a small coating of wax to give their soft top surfboard a little more grip.
When it comes right down to it, it’s a personal preference to use surf wax on a foamie surfboard. We think a little wax can go a long way.
How To Wax A Foam Surfboard?
You wax a foam surfboard the same way you wax an epoxy resin or polyurethane resin (AKA, hard top) surfboard.
The only difference is that you don’t need as much wax on a foamie surfboard as the deck of soft tops are designed to give the surfer’s feet grip right out of the box.
The Best Surfboard Wax Brands
After trying a few different waxes, you may find one that becomes your favorite. To get you started, consider these surf wax brands that are favorites of many surfers:
- Sex Wax (It’s been around a long time and is fun to ask for)
- Bubble Gum Surf Wax (It makes your worst surf session great because how mad can you get when all you smell is bubble gum?)
- Sticky Bumps Wax (It’s sticky and bumpy. What more do you need?)
You can find our review of surfboard wax here.