What is Surf Wax Used for and How do You Apply it?

Surfboard wax provides grip and traction for your feet on your surfboard. Surf wax also stops you from sliding off your board while paddling out to the waves. It is about essential to successful surfing as a surfboard and a decent wave. Of course, their are alternatives, but today we are talking about surf wax.

As the name would suggest surfboard wax is primarily made from bees wax and paraffin. Generally other substances are added to provide tropical fragrances (think coconut and the like).

What kind of surf wax do you need? There are huge varieties of different surf waxes to select from. While you may be tempted to purchase your wax on its humorous name alone, you need to ensure that the wax is going to be right for you and your surfing environment.

Huh? Well, if you are planning on surfing in Hawaii you will need totally different wax to surfing in a cold water climate like South Africa. The reason being that the water temperature can vary so dramatically. Are you surfing in your boardies or bikini alone, or with booties and gloves?

If you use your cold water wax in a tropical environment the wax will melt and you will be sliding off your surfboard. If you take your Hawaiian wax to some freezing place where your wet suit weighs as much as you do, then the wax will get too cold and lose its traction.

If in doubt, read the surf wax label. If you are still in doubt, give us a ring and we can help you out.

How to wax a surfboard.

* Firstly, make sure your surfboard is clean.

* Drag your surfboard into the shade so the wax doesn't melt.

* Remember, you only need to wax the part of your surfboard where your feet will be standing.

* Don't put too much wax on or your surfboard will have unnecessary weight on it.

* If you find it hard to keep a grip on your surfboard out in the water, you may also want to put a bit of wax on the edges (called the rails) where you hang on.

* When the wax is starting to lose its grip, use a surf comb to drag some marks through the old wax to get back the traction.

* When you have accumulated so much wax on your board that it has doubled in thickness, you may want to scrape it off and start again. Stick your surfboard out in the sun, until the wax has softened and then start scraping it off with a wax scraper. (These look a bit like a credit card.) There are commercial products available that make this much faster if you are pressed for time.

* Be sure not to wax the underside of your surfboard. When the board warms up, in your car, on the roof of your car, or on the sand, this wax will melt over everything. Very messy. The Beach Boys said it in 1963: "we're waxing down our surfboards". Almost 50 years later, surfboard designs and technology may have radically changed, but the surfboard wax remains the same.

Garek Hurt
Garek Hurt


1 Comment

Timothy Capra
Timothy Capra

May 07, 2014

This is great info for surfer starting.

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