How to Properly Wax Your Surfboard for Maximum Traction

How to Properly Wax Your Surfboard for Maximum Traction

Surfing is an exhilarating and powerful experience, connecting us with the raw energy of the ocean. One critical aspect of having a great time in the water is ensuring that your surfboard is properly waxed for maximum traction. This article will guide you through the process of waxing your surfboard, providing tips and techniques for an optimal wax job that will keep you connected with your board and the waves.

Importance of Proper Waxing

A well-waxed surfboard is essential for maintaining control and balance while riding waves. Proper waxing ensures that your feet have enough grip to maneuver the board smoothly and confidently, preventing slips and falls. Investing time in waxing your surfboard can significantly enhance your surfing experience and allow you to push your limits in the water.

Choosing the Right Wax

Choosing the Right Wax

When selecting surfboard wax, it’s crucial to choose a product specifically designed for the water temperatures you’ll be surfing in. There are two main types of wax to consider:

Temperature-Based Waxes

These waxes are formulated for specific water temperature ranges, ensuring optimal grip in varying conditions. Check the label for the recommended water temperature before purchasing.

Eco-friendly Waxes

Many surfers are choosing eco-friendly waxes made from natural and biodegradable materials. These waxes minimize the impact on the environment while still providing excellent traction.

Preparation for Waxing

preparing to wax

Before waxing your surfboard, you need to prepare it by cleaning and gathering necessary tools.

Cleaning Your Surfboard

Remove any old wax or residue from your board using a wax comb, plastic scraper, or the edge of a credit card. Then, use a wax remover or rubbing alcohol to clean the surface thoroughly.

Gathering Necessary Tools

You will need a wax comb, surfboard wax, and a clean cloth or towel.

Waxing Techniques

Waxing Techniques

Applying the Basecoat

Begin by applying a thin layer of basecoat wax to your surfboard using firm, even pressure. This layer creates a solid foundation for the topcoat and helps it adhere better to the board. Apply the wax in a diagonal crisscross pattern, covering the entire area where your feet will be positioned.

Creating Traction Bumps

After the basecoat, use the edge of the wax or wax comb to create small bumps or ridges in the wax. These bumps will provide extra grip and help your feet stay planted on the board.

Layering Topcoat

Apply a topcoat of wax in the same diagonal crisscross pattern used for the basecoat. The topcoat should be slightly softer than the basecoat, providing extra grip and cushioning for your feet.

Waxing Tips for Maximum Traction

Waxing Tips for Maximum Traction

  • Use a combination of long strokes and circular motions when applying wax.
  • Apply more wax on the areas where your feet will be positioned for the most traction.
  • Regularly inspect your wax job for wear and tear, and touch up as needed.
  • Experiment with different waxes and application techniques to find the perfect combination for your personal preferences and surfing style.

Maintaining Your Wax Job

Maintaining Your Wax Job

A well-maintained wax job will not only provide maximum traction but also prolong the life of your surfboard. Follow these tips to keep your board in top shape:

Regular Wax Removal

Over time, wax can become dirty and lose its grip. Remove and reapply wax every few months or as needed, depending on how often you surf and the conditions you encounter.

Surfboard Storage

Store your surfboard in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat can cause wax to melt and make a mess of your board.

Common Waxing Mistakes to Avoid

Common Waxing Mistakes to Avoid

  • Applying too much wax, which can make your board feel slippery instead of grippy.
  • Not covering the entire area where your feet will be positioned, resulting in less traction.
  • Using the wrong type of wax for the water temperature, which can lead to poor performance.


Properly waxing your surfboard is essential for maximum traction and an enjoyable surfing experience. By choosing the right wax, preparing your board, and following the waxing techniques outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of surfboard waxing. Keep experimenting and refining your technique, and you’ll find the perfect wax job for your unique style and preferences.


  1. How often should I wax my surfboard? The frequency of waxing depends on how often you surf and the conditions you surf in. Regular surfers should consider reapplying wax every few weeks or as needed.
  2. Can I use candle wax on my surfboard? Candle wax is not recommended, as it lacks the specific properties required for effective surfboard traction. Always use wax specifically designed for surfboards.
  3. How do I remove wax from my surfboard? To remove wax, use a wax comb or plastic scraper to gently scrape off the majority of the wax. Then, use a wax remover or rubbing alcohol to clean off any remaining residue.
  4. What’s the difference between basecoat and topcoat wax? Basecoat wax is harder and creates a foundation for the topcoat. Topcoat wax is softer, providing extra grip and cushioning for your feet.
  5. Can I mix different types of wax? Yes, you can mix different waxes to create a custom blend suited to your preferences and surfing conditions. Just be sure to use waxes compatible with the water temperature you’ll be surfing in.