The Wax Job

Ok ino swaylocks is a surfboard design forum but i thimk this topic comes into the equation aswell and some people might benifit from it

Ok people lets hear you methods of the perfect wax job. When i get a new board i seem to always have a great wax job for the first surf but then after it goes all crappy.

wat sort of wax do you use?

do you comb your board down before u wax it?

How often do you change you wax?

Seems a bit off topic for a surfboard design forum, but I guess you youngsters are a curious bunch and its better that you ask these sorts of questions here than learn about in on the street.

Here is a step by step process:

  1. Some stimulating reading material might be helpful to get you in the mood.

  2. Use a solid but relaxed grip, don’t grab it too tight. Either hand should work fine.

  3. Start off slow and then work up some speed-but don’t get carried away.

  4. It may help to use some lotion.

Oh, wait, you said a WAX job! Sorry, I was thinking of something else. Just rub wax on the deck of the board and you’ll be fine.

when my buddy keith is a little too bored and a little too high, he strips all the wax off his boards and re-waxes them with his signature technique – he pulls off tiny little wax balls from the bar and smashes each one down to the deck of the board. it actually makes for a pretty cool look…and it works! however, it takes a LONG time…hence the necessity for both boredom and pot.

Funny thing on the way to the beach youd expect the odd “nice board mate” but on a few occassions I’ve actually had “nice wax job” ?? I thought what the ??? but now that I think about it its not bad.

Mr Zoggs,

I surf in cold water so I use warm for the base coat.

I hold the bar as 30 degrees and use the edge, working across the board at 45 degree to the stringer from one end to the other, then back the other way 45 degrees in the opposite direction. Once or twice around the out side, then use the flat of the block in a circular motion to bring the bumps up.

For the topcoat I use 4X4 sticky bumps. Parallel to the stringer. Add more of this before every surf.

At the end of the day wax is wax though, once the base coat is on I don’t worry about it too much.

don’t get any more clear than this…

combs are for roughing up the wax that has flattened under use.

Wax is such a personal thing. I know guys who spend two hours, under cool flouresent lights, with multiple hardnesses of wax, to get the bumps perfect. I loaned a board to Laird once, and he must have spent less than thirty seconds putting wax on - just a single thin zig-zag down the middle of the board. I’ve been seeing more and more old school longboards with fancy graphics within their waxjobs - like floral patterns.

When I’m in Nor Cal I spend a little more time on wax than when I’m in Hawaii. The cool weather allows the wax to stay put longer. When I’m waxing a bare board, I start by lightly going over the whole deck, just to get some wax on. Then I go over again to get some buildup. I do a third - circular - pass to get the texture just right. If my board is already sporting wax, I’ll do a light waxing over critical or worn areas. If the board has a lot of wax, but it’s not bumpy, I’ll use the comb to rough it up. I do diagonal passes - nose to tail, one way, then the other. I end up with tiny diamond shaped bumps that work really well.

In warm water, I just try to get some wax on. It’s not worth making the wax perfect since it just comes off in the heat anyway.

For a couple years my main boards were Hydro Epics with black carbon decks. Try keeping a fancy wax job on one of those in Hawaii. I had to wax those boards in the water to keep the wax from melting off.

TSJ did a great article on waxing your board a couple years ago. They likened the proccess to a religious experience. Meditating with petro-chemicals.

What gets me is how after over fifty years nothing has come out to effectively replace wax. It’s messy. It comes off. It adds weight. It distorts your beautiful graphics. It collects sand and other stuff. Still it works better than anything else so far.

I use Sex Wax, Mrs Palmers, and Sticky Bumps. Sex Wax as a base or only wax. Palmers and SB as topcoat. I tried some “Sticky Gum” in Costa Rica that was horrible. It had the consistancy of chewed bubble gum. I got about six square inches on my board, said something like “yuk”, then threw away the four bars I just bought.

I’d like to try some of Roy’s beeswax, but I’m not sure I surf fast enough.

With a new board and even with an older board that needs a good wax job I will take some 100 grit sandpaper and lightly sand in circular swirls on the glass. Then clean it off and start waxing really light until there is a nice film on the board. I keep this light waxing going, making sure to turn the bar over every once in a while because the friction causes it to heat up. Two or more bars is good for this. Eventually, like 2 hours later, you will have some lovely looking bumps all over your board that last a long time.

i just ordered some Hula Dek…will report back.

It is hard to find, but Waxxon base coat is the stuff to use if you want a surface of nice little waxy mounds. It is much harder than warm water wax or any other base coat that I have seen. Put one bar of Waxxon onto you deck, and then lightly rub on some normal wax on top of it. I use Sex Wax for cool or cold water.

6X Sex wax - draw lines 45 degress to the stringer roughly 2 inches apart so you have a bunch of 2"x2" diamonds, then do circular motion, circles about 5-6" diameter until you have a light coat over the entire area you intend to wax. Then just start rubbing parallel and perpendicular to the stringer. Good bumps should appear. Then get the wax recommended for slightly colder waters than yours and use this as a topcoat, just a litle bit over your bumps each time you surf.

It’s best to have the board surface nice and cool. Keep your base wax in the fridge and your topcoat nice and gooey.

The idea is that the firmer base wax should flake off and then smear creating bumps and that your top coat should just coat the bumps already there with some sticky goodness.

If you only have one type of wax, put it in the fridge, do your base, then take it out in the sun for a bit and do your topcoat.

If you surf somewhere that is tropical it’s probably not worth the trouble.

I work at a shop with a rental fleet that is half made up of waxed bics, they come back with sand in the wax everytime, no matter how much you advise against it. So…uhhhhh…I’ve spent a little time waxing boards, hahaha.

If my foot slips, i add more wax next surf. If not, i don’t. BTW, i like mighty mounds, but that could be that it has a good picture on the box haha.

I gave up on the idea of cosmetically pleasing wax jobs long ago. The brand I use is Mrs. Palmer’s - not because of what it does, but what it doesn’t do. Most everything else sold around here has the same kind of glue in it as the “sticky bumps” variety. I like to occasionally surf bare-chested in Summer, and being of the more hirsute persuasion and also not a masochist, I sort of object to having the hair ripped out in large clumps…


Be careful when applying wax not to end up with what at cobra they describe at the bottom of the the following page on the left…


I’d like to try some of Roy’s beeswax, but I’m not sure I surf fast enough.

Kendall, I’ll let you in on a secret… shhhh…

it’s wax that makes the speeeeeeeeed!!


I’d like to try some of Roy’s beeswax, but I’m not sure I surf fast enough.