Why Do Surfers Wax Their Boards? - Green Iguana Surf Camp

Why Do Surfers Wax Their Boards?

Surfing is a very popular sport around the world, especially in places where they’re very proud of their coastline and the beaches are immaculate.

But, just having amazing beaches doesn’t always qualify for a good surf location, the wind has to be in your favor, the water has to have a good swell, an abundance of long waves that you’re able to ride and a comfortable paddling channel to ensure top quality surfing.

Being a water-based sport there are going to be a few drawbacks, but none that haven’t been solved. For example, depending on the location, cold temperature may be an issue, but this is solved with warm full body gear to help prevent it.

Hot weather may be a slight issue, but nothing a bit of sun block can’t solve. Finally, water typically makes things slippery, and this has been solved with surfers waxing their boards.  

Why Do Surfers Wax Their Boards?

Surfboards are made from materials like soft-top foam, wood, polyurethane, and epoxy and when these materials come into contact with water, they become very slippery.

Typically, surfers won’t be wearing anything on their feet, especially in the warmer climates like the west coast of America. So, waxing the surfboard provides a layer of grip so that when surfers are holding onto their boards, or standing on it, they’re not sliding all over the place.

What Is Surf Wax?

Surf wax isn’t exclusively defined by one product or ingredients, it is made up of several different things and different brands will have their own version of it. Not only can you buy it and have different versions, but you’re also able to make it yourself or use a more natural variant of it.

It’s quite a simple product to make and can be made from a few ingredients. One recipe says to melt beeswax coconut oil and tree resin together, mix it, mold it, and finally let it dry, and that’s a simple surf wax.

Typically, the store-bought ones (or online) are made from beeswax, paraffin, and other types of hard wax, combined with something to make the scent smell good.

How To Wax A Surfboard

Unless you wax a brand-new surfboard, you’ll need to give your board a clean. You’ll want your board to warm up slightly as this will help to soften the wax that is already there and help you to remove it.

So once you have the wax removed then you’ll want to get started on applying the base coat of wax, waxing indoors is always a good idea if you live in a warmer climate as you don’t want it to smear on your board.

When applying the base layer there are two methods of waxing that are considered adequate, the circular motion and the crisscross motion. Whichever way you choose to apply your wax, just make sure you put plenty of effort into it.

Once the base layer is applied, you then move onto applying the topcoat, and this will be done in small circles. By applying a light amount of pressure in a circular motion applying about double what you did on the base layer, then this should be plenty to get going.

Criss Cross Method

This consists of waxing your board using straight diagonal lines, go from top to bottom, and when you’ve reached the bottom of the board start again but cross over the previously drawn lines so that you create a crosshatch pattern on the board.

Make sure to wax the area where you’ll be placing your hand for grip.

Circular Method

This method is pretty simple and literally just means using the wax to draw circles all over the board overlapping each other slightly.

Start from one end and slowly move up the board with each circle you draw, as this is only the base coat you won’t need too much pressure and move on once you draw each circle.

Like the crisscross method, make sure the spot where your hand goes has some wax on it as well to make sure you have grip.

Best Surfing Wax

There are a few options when it comes to surf wax and depending on how you surf and where you surf there is probably a viable option to choose from.

Here is a list of 5 good choices of wax in no particular order.

Sex Wax, this product is a very well-known brand worldwide when it comes to surf wax, its very cheap, very sticky, easy to apply, and smells like coconut. Sex wax is an environmentally friendly brand and is one of the original brands and is definitely worth consideration.

Fu Wax, a little bit pricier than Sex Wax but is considered to be stickier and easier to apply, but the smell is only comparable to a freshly cleaned, or new car. Despite this being one of the more expensive brands, it’s worth the money as it’s super easy to apply and is immediately sticky.

Bubble Gum, A cheap wax, very sticky and easy to apply, and if you didn’t already guess, its bubblegum scented. This brand has it all when it comes to surf wax, it is cheap, reliable, sticky and very easy to apply.

Kassia’s Palo Santo Surf Wax, this wax is the most expensive on the list, but very grippy, average to apply and smells like Palo Santo. This wax is designed to be super grippy and is nice to apply because of its unique triangular shape.

Final Thoughts

As previously explained, surfers wax their boards so that it doesn’t become super slippery when it comes into contact with the water, surf wax is water repellant and as its sticky provides excellent grip for the surfers.

Make sure when applying wax to your board it is done correctly, clean the board, have it slightly warmed, apply the base layer of wax, and finally add the top layer and if it’s all done correctly, they’ll enjoy some sound surfing. 

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