What SURF WAX do I use on my SURFBOARD and WHY?!
It is so important to be able to ask the basics about surfing. Even if the question seems simple or silly, we are here to answer them for you! A beginner surf lesson might not cover these basics. Check out our youtube channel for more how to surf videos.
Why do I even need to wax my surfboard?
Great question! SO the goal with surf wax is for your surfboard to be sticky enough when you SURF, so that you have traction on your board and you don’t slip off unintentionally. You have enough on your plate to have to worry about whether or not you can actually stick to your board. We want your feet to be able to get a firm grip on the deck of your board without you sliding off. A surfboard without wax is like stepping on glass with water thrown over the top. You are going to slip. Check out the video below on a detailed explanation of why you need surf wax, what kind of surf wax you need and what each kind of surf wax is for!
There are 2 different types of surf wax you will be using on your surfboard:
- Top coat
Basecoat is what you will put on your board first, when the surfboard is clean or brand new. You do not need to put basecoat on every time you wax your board, only when you are starting from a clean deck. The basecoat creates a thin layer of traction between the glass deck of your board and the top coat wax. It is the most dense and least likely to melt at any average water temperature.
Step 2: Choose the right Top coat surf wax for the water temperature you will be surfing in.
There are 4 types:
Cool Wax is designed for when the water temp is 58-68 degrees (cali water) so it stays SOFT when it is in the water – enough for you to stick and not slide off. Cold and cool water waxes are the softest so they can resist getting hard in cooler temperatures.
Now what happens with the WARM wax – is that is hardens in cooler water making it NOT as affective. You are more likely to slip off because it is no longer sticky. Warm water Wax is for 64-74 degrees so it will stay soft enough to be sticky in those temperatures, but hardens in any temps less than that.
And Tropical Wax has the same principle for warmer locations like Costa Rica.
#1 ASK YOUR LOCAL SURF SHOP for current water temperatures and their recommendation for which wax to use.
For long term care, my recommendation is lay your surfboard flat and upside down to avoid melting. If it has melted a little because it has been in your garage or you left it on the beach, take a wax comb and comb through the surface in a crisscross pattern to give it more traction and place a light layer over the top of new wax to spruce it up. Give the board a fresh coat of wax every time you go out unless it feels like it has enough.
I get rid of the wax whenever it looks ugly or has a ton of dirt or sand in it. Only for aesthetic reasons really or if the wax is pulling off. If that is the case, clean off the wax and start over with a clean coat of basecoat.
Stay tuned for more video blogs on how to surf INCLUDING: How to wax your surfboard!
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