Surfing wax is a critical part of a surfer’s tool box. Without it, you are pretty much trying to stand up on a moving, unstable piece of glass without anything to assist your grip.
Before we get into what we think are the surf waxes on the market, let’s talk about surfing wax fundamentals. Believe it or not, there are some things you should know about surfing wax other than you need it to stand on a surfboard. Let’s get to it.
How Long Does Surfing Wax Last
We give a fresh coat of wax 2 - 3 sessions before we freshen it up. However, how long a surf wax is going to last depends on:
- If you used the right wax for the temperature
- The quality of the wax you use
- If you used a base coat or not
- How thick you applied the wax
- Where you store your board
- How hard you press on your wax when you are surfing
- How dirty your wax gets
Pro tip: Always have a fresh bar of the right temperature wax with you.
How Often Should You Wax A Board?
We generally give a fresh coat of wax 2 or 3 sessions before we reapply.
With that said, when you experience any of the below, wax your board:
- You can see the deck of your surfboard
- The wax is less tacky than it is slick
- You get dirt, oil or wax on your board. You should remove the wax in this case and apply a new coat
- Your wax melted off from the sun or other heat source.
- When you experience fluctuations in water temperature, you may have to use a different was for the new water temperature
The one thing you want to avoid over all is blaming your bad session on the lack of wax on your board. This makes you sound like a bad surfing and one who can’t keep a basic necessity on hand. It also makes you sound like a kook (yes, it does).
How To Wax A Surfboard
First apply the base coat, then apply the top coat.
The base coat should be a thinner layer of wax that covers the board. The top coast should bead or start to for little lumps on the deck of the surfboard. The more beads, the better the grip is going to be.
You can use a variety of ways to wax a board. You can rub the wax on crisscross style. You can rub the wax on up and down the rails. Or you can rub the wax on using a circular pattern. It really doesn’t matter as long as you get enough volume of wax on the board. Rub the wax hard enough to generate some friction. That will get the wax on the board. It’s really that simple.
What Is A Wax Base Coat?
A wax base coat is the first coating that is applied to act as a “base” for the tackier, seasonal / correct temperature surfing wax.
It forms a base on the surfing board that holds the wax firmly in position when applied. You could say that it acts as the glue to the top layer of surfing wax.
Should You Use A Base Coat?
Yes, we use a base coat and think you should too.
It will cost you a few extra bucks but will ensure that the surfing wax sticks to the surfing board and will extend the life of your top coat of wax.
Wax Temperature & Surf Wax Use
Temperature is the biggest consideration when deciding on which surfing wax to use.
In warm temperature one should go for the wax that can withstand the warm temperatures before it starts melting. In cold temperatures also use the wax that are designed to work well in the given conditions.
Warm water wax tends to be harder than soft-water wax, and it therefore easier to rub on the board. Don’t use cold-water wax in the winter because it is easier to apply to your board. All you will do, is smear the wax until there are bald spots on the deck, leaving you with slick spots on the board. Use the right temperature wax.
Stickiness (Or Tackiness Or Grip)
The surfing wax is considered to be more effective if it has the ability to stick on to the board firmly and also hold the feet firmly onto the board without the unnecessary movement. The stickier the wax the better.
We have tried multiple brands of wax. We think they are all pretty similar on the tackiness scale. Still, we have our favorites. If you want more options, you can find a big selection of surf wax on Amazon.
What About Wax Combs?
Wax combs are used to comb the wax from the board as a part of regular maintenance. It can be used to scrape off old, janky or dirty wax. It can also be used to comb the existing wax, which can help you get a little more tack out of your otherwise dying, less tacky wax.
Wax combs usually have a jagged sharp edge on one site and teeth that are used to comb through the wax on the other side.
Surf Wax Removal
Sometime wax comes off itself, like when you mistakenly leave it in the sun or in a hot car.
Generally, the more you surf, the more you should remove the wax and put on a fresh coat. This is because the wax gets stale and loses its tackiness after a while.
We say, you should remove your old wax once every 6 – 12 months, depending on the look and tack of the wax. If you wax has not tack, remove it. If your wax is some shade of dirty brown or feels like sand paper because you got sand imbedded in the wax, remove the wax.
Start with a fresh, wax free deck by using a wax comb to remove the old wax. You can let the sun soften up the wax a bit, but don’t let your board bake in the sun. The extended heat isn’t good for the board and you could end up delaminating (separating) the glass from the foam.
Surf Wax Reviews
Find the best surf wax for your needs. Do not eat or chew surf wax no matter how much you want.
Mrs. Palmers Surf Wax
Our go-to wax is Mrs. Palmers Wax. They have a fun take on an otherwise bland, basic category (it's surf wax, after all). Their wax comes in a nifty box that you can use to store your unused wax which helps to identify the temperature it is designed for.
From our experience, it does not lose its rate of stickiness easily. This mean that it can be used several times before a new layer can replaced.
Bubble Gum Surf Wax
If you want your room to smell like bubble gum, wax your board with Bubble Gum Surf Wax and stick you board in the corner. It’s makes the best air fresher. It also has great tackiness and grip.
Do not eat or chew this wax, or any other wax for that matter. With the whole Tide pod challenge thing we feel like we need to state that. Keep surf wax on the board and out of your mouths (you dope).
Other Surf Wax Brands We Like, & Some We Don't Know What To Think About
The following brands made it to our top list as well.
Mr. Zog’s Original Sex Wax
The one, the only, Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax. It’s been around for as long as we can remember and it’s a solid choice. Zog’s Original Sex Wax has sweet fruit scents and different colors to choose from. Who doesn't like a bucket of colorful wax to choose from?
This wax can also be used effectively as a base coat which means that you will not need to buy a base coat. That’s a plus. Zog's is an easy choice for a dependable wax.
We want exactly what is their a name from wax. We want it sticky. We want it bumpy. We are still talking about wax.
They have wax for every variation in water temperature. The have warm water wax, warm tropical wax, cool-cold, cool, cold and base coat. They even have wax for softboards (AKA, foamies). If you want to glue your feet to the board, use this wax.
Matuna’s Surf Wax
This surfing wax from the Matuna's farm in Santa Cruz, California. They claim to be the first and original eco-surf wax. Each bar of wax is organic (we didn't see a certified organic stamp on the site for what that is worth), biodegradable, and nontoxic. They only use local California-grown products.
Matuna is great choice for for eco-conscious surfers (we should all be). They support Surfrider Foundation and are supported by Patagonia (2 organizations that we are big supporters of) according to their website.
This is another eoc-friendly surf wax from Australia, mate. They support Surfrider and 1% For the Planet Foundation, and have a no-plastic policy. We think that's pretty dope. Based on what we see we don't think they have entered the US market.
Outdoor Wax Works Gripping Wax
This surfing wax is designed to work in both hot and cold water temperatures. This is great for when there is a sudden upwelling of cold water or when the water temperature drops like a rock from fall to winter and you don't want to re-apply another temperature-specific was. It is also 100% all natural formula and is environmentally friendly. They are a small company producing a solid product.
Double Barrel Surf Wax
The double barrel comes in two formulations: cold weather and warm weather. It comes in a coconut scent that sends you to Oahu, even if you are surfing 50 degrees water in the middle of winter. They claim to have "Higher Quality and better Customer Service than our neighbors Mr. Zogs Sex Wax and Sticky Bumps!" We'd like to prove that out for ourselves, but we can't since we can't find their product in stock.
If availability, spelling competitors' name correctly and grammar are your thing, get a different wax. Also, from what we can tell you don't have a choice in the matter, other than the multiple options on this page. Take that non-available wax.
Famous Green Label Cool Organic Surf Wax
Famous? We never heard of them and we bet you haven't either before you read this paragraph. As per their website they produce, "Petro-Chemical Free, organic and completely biodegradable, high performance surf wax. Made exclusively with ultra high grade, all natural, non-toxic, earth friendly ingredients that will satisfy any earth conscious surfer." For that they do deserve some recognition.
DaHui offers super sticky and NSB formulas. It's not clear what NSB is. Wax temperatures range from 62 degrees and below to 72 degrees. The copyright on the site is from 2015 and the last post on their Instagram page is from December 2019. We didn't try to order on the site, so we don't know if they are still in business or if they are just surfing everyday and haven't updated the site.
Give DaHui Wax a shot, bruddah, if you can find it.
This wax is made in Brazil. Fu Wax makes warm, cool, and tropical options. You got yourself quite a few choices with Fu Wax to cover you throughout each season. We will take Kanoa Igarashi's (Pro WCT Surfer) word that this wax works as this testimonial on the site is, "Fu Wax is a necessity for me whether I am competing or free surfing."
Cream Surf Wax
Brought to you from Robbie Page in Australia, this wax will give you the traction you are looking for. You don't need to use a base coat when you use Cream Wax. It was tough to find more information on this wax. Also, we couldn't confirm that this wax was made with any amount of cream. We're guessing, no as the would be ineffective not to mention, gross.
Rat Cheese Surf Wax
We never tried it. It’s apparently gourmet wax. We don’t know what that means. Let us know what you think if you have a chance to use it.
As you can see it looks like cheese, sort of. Also, everything on the site was sold out. So, either this is one highly sought after cheese-looking surfing wax (which is not a thing), or no one is paying attention to the website and/or the company is no longer in business. We bet our dollar on the latter.
Their site state, "Makes quick bumps in any situation and smells like paradise, what more could you ask for?" Well, availability for one. Secondly, we really need to know what paradise smells like here. Have you ever smelled stinky cheese? That is not our definition of "smells like paradise."