Surf wax is an important product for surfers or anyone learning to surf.
Essentially, all it does is provide grip and resistance to prevent your feet from sliding off the board and when paddling out to the waves.
It is necessary for every surfboard to be able to surf any waves – big or small – by preventing wipeouts. This is so your feet can stay firmly on the board.
In theory, when surfing, you should always be removing old wax and reapplying it with fresh wax before each surf session.
However, this can be a somewhat tedious process, leaving many surfers just adding new wax over old wax.
Over time, however, this leads to a build-up of wax on your board, making it even more slippery – making the wax you just applied, well, useless.
To avoid this from happening, it is important to remove all old wax before applying new wax.
While this can still be an annoying and time-consuming task, we hope to make this an easier process for you by creating a detailed set of instructions on the easiest method to remove wax from a surfboard – so you can spend less time waxing your board and more time surfing!
What You’ll Need
The most important thing you will need to remove wax from your board is a wax comb.
As its name suggests, it is essentially a comb with one side flat and sharper, and the other side having teeth-like ridges.
The flat side is used to remove wax, while the teeth-like side is used to roughen up wax and improve traction without having to re-wax your whole board.
A wax comb is specifically designed for removing surfboard wax without damaging or scratching your board, so having a wax comb is important.
Another thing you may need is a heat gun or hair dryer. While this isn’t completely necessary if you live in a warmer climate, you’ll need one if it’s much colder.
Primarily, wax is a meltable substance when in contact with hot temperatures and cools downs and hardens in colder temperatures.
So when removing wax, being able to melt the wax is very beneficial as it is much more straightforward and effortless.
Lastly, although not as essential, you may also need flour, this will be explained later in the article, but mostly it’s to help remove wax.
Now you have everything to remove the wax on your surfboard, it’s time to remove it! Below is detailed information on how to do this.
Step 1 – Set Your Surfboard In Direct Sunlight
As previously mentioned, surfboard wax is inherently a meltable product and will, eventually, loosen up and deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures.
Although, if you have no access to direct sunlight or live in a colder environment, a hair dryer or heat gun will come in handy.
If you are melting your surfboard wax using direct sunlight, it should be soft enough within 5-10 minutes.
Likewise, if using a tool to melt your wax, it should take the same amount of time or, sometimes, less.
You’ll know the wax is melted enough when it starts to become soft and gooey.
Although that being said, it’s important not to leave your surfboard under direct heat for too long, as this could potentially damage your board and make the wax much harder to remove.
Step 2 – Start Scraping Your Surfboard
After sitting your board in the sun, you’ll notice that the wax is much easier to see and should be just the right solidness to begin clipping it away.
The easiest way to start scraping the wax off your surfboard is to use a wax comb. Using the sharper side, not the comb side, you can easily lift off all the wax.
The best way to do this is to gently slide your comb along with the surfboard, as opposed to stabbing it directly into your board, as this could damage or even dent your board.
So, using long glides at a slight angle and with enough pressure, you should begin to notice the wax coming off easily and seamlessly.
This may take some time to get used to, but after a while, you should get the hang of it and start doing it fairly quickly.
If you notice any hard-to-scrap areas you could use a hairdryer or heat gun to target the areas directly, this should help the stubborn areas come off easy-breezy.
Step 3 – Scrap Using A Pattern
Additionally, you could scrap your board using a pattern. Whether this is a checkerboard pattern or you’re removing wax in sections.
This will help you focus on areas without missing any wax. Make sure to do this from the tail to the nose of your board.
Likewise, you can also sprinkle flour over your board which will help you see the wax better, this is an easy-to-clean alternative and will help you reach any hard-to-see areas such as the sides.
Step 4 – Spray With Cold Water
Once you have looked over your whole board, and have removed any excess sticky wax, you’ll notice that your surfboard has returned to its original color.
The last thing to do is spray it with cold water, whether this is from a hose pipe or the sea.
This is important to return your surfboard to its original state, as when heated, your board becomes more prone to nicks and scratches.
So using cold water will ensure it returns to its initial state and will prevent any damage.
Once this has all been completed and your board is fully dried, you can now begin reapplying a new fresh layer of wax on your surfboard, and get back to riding those waves!
While removing wax from your surfboard can sometimes be a time-consuming and tedious process, it is an important part of surfing.
Not only does it make your board look better (with no dirty wax), but it also allows you to surf better and perform at the best of your ability.
This is by having enough grip and traction, keeping you from slipping and sliding all over the place.
Especially when surfing big waves, you don’t want to be wiped out by having insufficient wax on your board.
So, making sure you remove and reapply wax before every surfing session will give you peace of mind that you won’t fall off your board easily, and allow you to surf freely.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to remove wax from a surfboard – so you can go back to catching waves.