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Why Do You Wax A Surfboard?

Why Do You Wax A Surfboard

If you’ve recently purchased a new surfboard, you’ve probably heard various opinions on how important it is to wax it. Most pro surfers know the importance of waxing a surfboard, but as a newbie, you may be wondering how rubbing some sticky wax over the surfboard makes it better. This article provides a comprehensive answer to the question, “Why do you wax a surfboard?”

Applying wax to your surfboard deck is an essential step in maintaining the performance and longevity of your board. This simple act protects the board from the elements and ensures that your feet have extra grip when surfing, which enhances your performance.

Wax On Surfboard

You put wax on a surfboard so that you don’t lose your grip on the board when riding a wave. A dry surfboard is usually smooth to the touch and it becomes very slippery when it comes into contact with water. Riding the wave on a slick surfboard makes it difficult to enjoy your surf session because your feet will not have a good grip on the board. Waxing your board increases traction, ensuring that you maintain control of the board while surfing.

Do not use sticky wax on soft surfboards , as it may be difficult to get the old wax residue out.

What Is Surf Wax Used For?

A surf wax is used to protect the surfboard and improve your grip when surfing. Here are some of the benefits of applying wax to your surfboard:

  • Beginners can use surf wax to improve the grip on their board. Surfboard wax gives your feet great grip and traction to remain stable on the surfboard
  • Surf wax keeps you from slipping off your surfboard while paddling out to the waves
  • You can apply wax to protect your surfboard, Surfwax prevents elements from damaging your surfboard

Avoid leaving residual wax exposed to the sun for a long time, so it won’t melt.

Different Types Of Wax

There are different surf waxes, so we’ll go over each one of them so you can decide which is most suitable for you.

Different Types Of Surf Wax

Surf waxes are divided into two main categories:

  • Basecoat wax
  • Topcoat wax

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Basecoat Wax

Basecoat wax, also known as undercoat wax, is a type of surf wax that is applied to the base of the board before applying a conventional surfboard wax to make two layers. The basecoat creates microscopic bumps throughout the surface, increasing friction between the surface of the surfboard  and your feet. Furthermore, it makes it easier to apply new wax and also helps the second layer of wax stick well to the board.

Most surfers may not apply the base coat, but we advise that you do, especially if you use a soft top surfboard, which is very slippery.

Topcoat Wax

Once you have applied a base coat wax, the next step is to apply a top coat using light pressure. There are different types of topcoat waxes and the temperature determines which one is most suitable for your board. This is due to the fact that some waxes harden in cold temperatures while others soften in warm temperatures.

Find out how to paint a surfboard here.

Here is a breakdown of the different topcoat waxes:

  • Cold Water Wax: Cold water wax is the softest kind. These waxes are great for use on boards in water with temperatures below 58°F (12°C).

Avoid putting too much wax on your surfboard because this can cause the board to be unnecessarily heavy.

  • Cool Water Wax: Cool wax is also soft, but not as soft as the cold water wax. It is the best surf wax to use on boards in water temperatures ranging from 54 to 69°F (12 to 20°C).

Learn how to wax a surfboard next.

  • Warm Water Wax: Warm water surf wax is a harder wax that is most suitable for warm temperatures. Use this on your board when the water temperature is between 63 and 78°F (17 and 25°C).
  • Tropical Water Wax: Tropical wax has the hardest texture. These hard waxes are suitable for use on your board when the water temperature is above 75°F (24°C).

Softer wax works better in cold water, while harder wax works better in warm water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Surfers wax their boards to improve traction and grip on the surface of the board. The wax makes the surface sticky and repels water, which allows the surfer to maintain a secure footing while riding the waves. It also helps to prevent slipping and sliding on the board. Additionally, waxing a board can also protect the surface of the board from damages, such as dings and scratches.

Surf wax is made from a mixture of natural and synthetic materials, such as beeswax, paraffin, and other waxes and oils. Beeswax provides the sticky texture that gives the surfboard traction. Paraffin and synthetic waxes, on the other hand, ensure durability and resistance to melting in a wide range of water temperatures.

You wax the top of a surfboard, not the bottom. Waxing a surfboard improves traction and provides better grip for your feet when you’re riding the waves. Surfers have different methods of application, but most people prefer to rub the wax into the deck in circular motions. Applying the topcoat wax in a circular motion enhances the bumps on the base coat, giving you more traction and allowing you to ride the surfboard correctly.

How often you wax your surfboard depends on usage and the condition of the water. Most wax manufacturers advise surfers to reapply wax to their boards every few sessions or when the current wax has worn off and no longer provides adequate traction. Before applying a fresh coat of wax, remove the old wax with a wax comb to prevent the board from becoming bumpy.

Yes, there is a surfboard wax alternative. Most people who don’t want to use surfboard wax can use a traction pad. Surfboard traction pads are designed to be stuck on the tail of your surfboard to keep your feet from slipping off. Your placement of the traction pad needs to be perfect, as it is difficult to remove it once it has set.


We hope that this article has provided a clear answer to the question, “Why do you wax a surfboard?” Waxing a surfboard creates a sticky surface that allows you to maintain a secure footing while riding the waves. Ensure that you use the right wax on the board, depending on the temperature of the water you plan to surf in.

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