Skip to main content

How to Wax a Surfboard

Whether you've just bought a brand new shiny surfboard, or your current wax job is a grimy, slick mess, here's how to get that perfect grip so you don't slip off.


  • Step 1: If you've just bought a new board, it should already have a clean deck surface ready to be waxed. If you've got an old board that needs a new finish, scrape the old wax off with a wax scraper or the straight edge of a wax comb.
  • Step 2: Choose your wax based on the water temperature of your local beach. Wax is separated into categories: the base coat, and cold, cool, warm, and tropical top coats.
  • TIP: Using the wrong type of wax for your local waters will render the wax useless.
  • Step 3: Place your board on a steady surface with the top of the board facing up. Apply an even layer of base coat. Rub the bar of wax against the top of the board, moving perpendicular to the line down the center of the board, called the stringer. Then, repeat the same process going parallel to the stringer so the wax starts to build up into tacky bumps.
  • TIP: Wax a short board up to the farthest point where you'll place your front foot. Wax a long board from tip to tail so you can walk up and down the length of the board.
  • Step 4: With the teeth of a wax comb or with a hair comb, scratch the base coat in a crisscross pattern along the board.
  • Step 5: Apply a top coat the same way you applied the base coat, first perpendicular to the stringer, and then parallel. Add extra wax to the rails, where you grab the board with your hands, for added grip when popping up and duck diving.
  • Step 6: After you've surfed a few times, apply another top coat to keep a tacky grip. When you've surfed so many times that your board is too grimy and slick to add more top coat, scrape it all off, and start again with a new base and top coat.
  • FACT: An English sailor wrote the first European account of Hawaiian surfing in 1779.

You Will Need

  • A surfboard
  • A wax scraper
  • A wax comb
  • One bar of base coat wax
  • One bar of top coat wax
  • A steady surface
  • A hair comb (optional)

Popular Categories