Surfing has always been a very popular sport. Having the right gear and equipment is part of the package in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience with the waves. Just like with basically everything else in life, having too much of something is not good.
Adding more wax doesn’t mean more performance when you surf. Learn this fact and more useful information on surfing wax in this article.
What Is Surfing Wax?
For those who do not know, surfing wax is a compound applied on the surface of the surfboard. This wax provides the necessary surface for your feet to stick into the surface of your surfboard.
If you use the right wax and apply it the right way, you can ride even the tallest of waves and not worry about falling down or losing control of your board. There are different waxes designed for different water conditions, so you can choose the product that best approximates the surfing conditions of the day.
Surf wax can be made from both natural and synthetic materials. Among the ingredients used for creating wax include beeswax, petroleum jelly, and paraffin. Scents are sometimes applied to these products as some surfers note that wax products traditionally smell nasty.
A conscious effort has been made to use more environmentally sustainable ingredients for creating wax and nature has become better off for it.
How to Apply Surf Wax?
Proper application of surf wax is important to get the most out of the benefits it can provide. Regardless of what type of surfboard you own or the brand of wax you use, the steps are just the same.
The first step is to ensure that the surface where the wax will be applied is clean. This may not be necessary for new surfboards, but this step is crucial when you are using an older board.
You can do this by scraping off the old wax (there is a specific technique for this, consult your user manual or read/watch tutorials. You can then use soap and water to remove excess saltwater, wax, and other debris that may stick on the surface.
The next step is actually applying the wax into the surface of the surfboard. Depending on the water conditions, you can directly apply the wax into the surfboard immediately or you can use a base coat beforehand.
Using base coat is particularly useful when you are surfing on cooler waters. When applying the wax, make sure that you evenly spread it across the surface of your board, especially in areas where your feet touch the board. You can apply the wax using any stroke you like, as long as you apply it evenly throughout the surface.
Why Too Much Surfing Wax Is Not Good?
As the popular adage would say, anything in excess is usually not great. The same thing applies when it comes to adding surf wax. While having sufficient coating of this substance is essential to keep your feet planted while surfing, having too much of it can lead to poor performance.
This is because having too much wax can make your board too slippery, making it virtually impossible for you to ride the waves properly. Even worse, putting too much wax can create a nasty mess on your board, which can be quite a pain to clean.
You can have a case of too much wax when you are too eager to place wax into your board. A lot of beginners make this mistake of thinking that more is better, but they end up messing up their board instead.
You can also have too much wax on your board when you do not properly clean your board. Your board needs to be periodically cleaned as old wax and other impurities may pile up with long-term use, resulting into a board that contains too much wax and other stuff. In such a situation, you can get less-than-ideal grip.
When to Use Wax Removal?
Removing wax from your board periodically is important to ensure that your board is always in peak condition. How frequently you should remove wax depends on how often you use your board and how sticky the current coating you have on your board is.
One of the easiest ways to determine if you need to have wax removed from your board is to see how it is performing on the waves. When you are slipping often even with a fresh coat of wax, it is possible that you placed too much wax or the residues of previous waxing sessions have already piled up.
There is no hard and fast rule as to when you need to remove wax from your board. If you are using your board often, it is recommended that you remove the wax either when you are getting ready to apply a new coat or when you are noticing that you are losing grip even when you’re placing fresh coatings of wax.
It is also recommended to remove wax when you haven’t used your board for a long time. Wax tends to harden, crack, or melt depending on the weather conditions, resulting to less-than-ideal grip.
Performing periodic wax removal is just as important as replacing the tires of your car after a certain amount of mileage. It will keep your board in top shape, save you from a lot of trouble from slippage, and enable you to take on just about every water condition imaginable.
Advantages of Proper Wax Removal
Applying and removing wax when necessary is an essential part of maintaining your surfboard. There are numerous advantages of periodically removing wax.
For optimal grip – Performance is always the main reason why you routinely replace surfing wax. When wax coating becomes old, the grip it’s capable of providing diminishes.
Also, when there is accumulation of too much wax, it can adversely affect the grip. As such, periodically cleaning your surfboard before applying a new coat of wax is ideal to get optimal grip.
For maximum benefit from wax coatings – Removing old wax is recommended before going for a fresh new coat of wax mainly because of what is stated in point number one. Also, it is essential if you are surfing on different waters.
There are waxes that are designed for use in particular water conditions, so not removing old wax when transferring waters can lead to poor performance.
How to Remove Wax?
There are multiple techniques you can use when trying to remove wax from your surfboard. Regardless of what technique you are planning to use, it is important that you have the wax adequately removed from the surface of the board.
Any leftover wax can interfere with the next coating of wax you will apply, which can lead to less-than-optimal grip and performance. This chapter will show some of the most commonly used wax removal techniques by surfers.
1. Heat gun – The heat gun is your friend when you are doing maintenance of your surfboard at home. Melt the wax by passing the heat gun over it for a few minutes.
Once the wax has softened, you can then wipe it off with a rug. Just a warning though: make sure that you use a thick rug and a pair of insulated gloves as the wax can get really hot!
2. Sand – This is the most convenient technique for removing surf wax when you are already in the beach. All you have to do is lay your surfboard on the sand for a few minutes. The sand would then stick into the waxed portion of the board, making it much easier to remove.
After a few minutes, just wipe off the sand from your board; the sand particles have already absorbed most, if not all of the excess wax from your board. From there, you can wipe the board clean with a rug or wax comb.
3. Wax comb – The trusty wax comb is your friend in applying, and in this case, removing excess wax from your surfboard. Doing this technique is simple; just run the comb down the surface of the board, removing as much wax as possible with each running.
Repeat this combing motion until the board is cleared of any residue. Aside from being remarkably simple, this technique is also great as it causes little to no abrasions on the surfboard’s surface.
4. Surf wax remover – There are products designed specifically for removing old surf wax from boards. You can purchase these products from your local surf shop and can help you save a lot of time on cleaning up your boards.
Most of these products would allow for a deep clean, taking out old wax and other impurities and providing a clean slate for you to apply a fresh coating of surf wax. You don’t have to use such products all the time, but it’s very useful to apply from time to time.
Now that you know the value of surf wax removal, make sure that you make it a part of your routine when surfing. It’s going to make for a better, more fun surfing experience!