We all know the feeling of paddling hard and popping up with control—only to fall off because your foot slipped over the rails! If you have been experiencing this often, it’s time to reapply some good old wax on your board. Read on and get your grip on!
Surf Wax Rating
#1 Sticky Bumps
Sticky Bumps was is the original surf wax brand made for surfers, by surfers. Sticky Bumps was founded in Encinitas in 1971, and since then, about 4 million surf wax blocks have been handmade using their unique and environmentally safe
process. Sticky Bumps produces zero waste, and all parts of the wax are recycled and safe.
- Cool – 58°F – 68°F
- Cold – 60°F and below
- Warm – 64°F – 74°F
- Tour Series/ Warm-Tropical – Above 75°F
- Tropical – Above 75°F
- Hawaiian Formula – For extra hot water
- Punt Bits – Extra sticky to keep your feet stuck to your board when doing an air, comes in 70°F and below, 70°F and above
- Munkey Wax – 5X stickier that the original formula – comes in 69°F and below, 69°F and above
- Day Glo – 80’s style colors – comes in below 68°F, above 68°F
- SUP Wax – Comes in Hard (all temp.), Ultra Hard (all temp.)
- Bodyboard Wax – Comes in above 69°F, below 68°F
- Skimboard Wax – Comes in below 68°F, above 69°F
- Industry leader
- Easy to apply
- Long lasting
- Wax types for any kind of water temperature
- Board specific: surfboard, SUP, bodyboard and skimboard
- Comes in the original blueberry wax scent as well as grape and coconut
#2 Mr. Zog’s Original Sex Wax
This attention-grabbing name is known for its specially formulated wax that provides effective traction between your feet and your board. It is made of biodegradable and compostable paraffin wax that is safer to use for the environment. Mr. Zog’s Sex Waxes come in different aromatic fragrances and can be used in different water conditions.
- Available in Original Surf Wax, Quick Humps, Really Tacky and Navel Wax
- Can be used in both cold and warm climates
- Produces great bumps
- Reduces friction
#3 Double Barrel Surf Wax
If you need all the gripping action you can get for gnarlier conditions, Double Barrel should do the trick for you. It provides superior traction and is one of the longest lasting surf waxes out there. It’s made in California and has been tested to last both its cold and warm seasons, overhead and above.
- Best gripping
- Longest lasting
- Available in Cold and Warm
- Comes in an original coconut scent
#4 Famous Surf Wax
Based in San Diego, Famous Surf is a surfer-owned company created by a group of friends with the same interest in creating
authentic products of supreme quality. Known for its superior tackiness or grip, along with its beady texture for easier application, Famous Surf Wax is made for amazing performance.
- Available in Basecoat, Cool, Cold, Warm and Tropical
- Made of high-grade refined waxes
- Long lasting
- Superior tackiness
- UV inhibitor
#5 Mrs. Palmers Surf Wax
This is the brand that introduced Traction 3000, an additive that not only increases the stickiness of the wax but also prevents wearing out when in the water. Mrs. Palmers is an ultra sticky wax made for the longest sessions ever. Reapplication will be scarcely needed because this wax will surely stay on.
- Available in Basecoat, Warm and Cool
- Ultra sticky for “the best grip around”
- Does not wear off easily
- Made in Australia
Now that you know some of our favorite surf wax brands, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the common do’s and how to’s of board waxing.
How Do I Wax My Surfboard?
First, make sure the deck of your board is clean. Apply a basecoat if it’s the first time you are waxing your board. It’s best to start rubbing the wax in small circles so you create small bumps. You can also apply wax in a crisscross manner. Any direction should be fine after you get that first layer of small bumps.
When should you add more wax to your board?
You only need to reapply wax when the deck of your board starts getting slippery again. Remember that you add weight to your board each time you add new wax. Also, lots of unused wax can attract dust, sand and dirt, which could cause skin irritations when you surf.
When should you remove your wax?
When the old wax loses its traction, apply a new layer. Remove all the old wax completely by applying hot sand over your deck and then rub all over. When you need to get the top of your board repaired, make sure to remove the wax. See the section below for more information.
Should I use a basecoat for my surfboard?
Basecoats make it easier for you to achieve the small bumps of wax needed for effective traction. You could save a lot of wax if you used a basecoat first, as tradition surf wax might not stick well to slippery decks right away.
When should I use a wax comb?
When you still have a thick enough layer of wax on your deck, simply use a wax comb to dig through the wax and make your deck grippy again. Using a wax comb before going in will give you great traction without the need to reapply new wax.
How To Remove Old Wax From Your Board
When your wax gets old, it loses its grip and purpose. This only makes your board heavier and it will allow unwanted dirt, sand and dust to accumulate on your deck. Make sure to remove old wax regularly so you don’t lose traction between your feet.
If you’re right on the beach, you can leave your board under the sun for one minute to let the old wax soften. You can then rub hot sand over your deck to help loosen up the old lumps of wax. Do so until your entire board is cleared up.
However, you may want to take off old wax at home, or perhaps it’s not a sunny day and you have no choice but to use a surf wax remover. Here is a quick guide to help you remove old wax in no time.
1) You can use a hair dryer or hot water to soften up the wax on your board.
2) Once the wax is soft, you can start scraping off the wax using the sharp edge of your wax remover. It would be best to follow a pattern so start from tail to nose, and then move from rail to rail.
3) You will need to repeat this step several times until you’ve cleared all the layers of wax on your board.
4) Once done, get a damp clean rag and wipe your entire board in a circular motion. You can also use spray-on wax removers to help achieve a shiny and clean finish.
Our Top 3 Best Surf Wax Remover Tools
Now that you know how to remove old wax, you can now choose from a variety of wax removers and similar tools to help you get the job done easier. Here is a list of our favorite surf wax remover tools.
Our #1 Choice: The Pickle Wax Remover
This iconic green wax remover aptly called the “pickle” is a unique and effective way to clean up old wax. It comes with a scraper that you first use to loosen up old wax. Once you’ve done that, you grab the pickle and rub it all over your board. Its special composition attracts old wax easier, and it’s chemical-free and environmentally safe.
- Made of 100% recycled materials
- 100% reusable
- Removes wax faster than an ordinary wax remover
#2 SBS Surf Wax Comb & Scraper with Bottle Opener
The Santa Barbara Surfing (SBS) Wax Comb and Scraper is a nifty tool ergonomically designed to fit your hand, allowing you optimal grip for all that wax removal action. It is designed to provide 3-sided versatility: it has a flat scraper for wide surfaces, a concave edge for the rails, and a wax comb for improving traction.
- Removes wax twice as fast
- Provides great leverage
- Durable and comfortable
- World’s only wax comb with a built-in bottle opener
#3 Bubble Gum Wax Remover Kit w/ 4 oz. Spray Bottle
The Bubble Gum Wax Remover Kit contains everything you need from start to finish. It has a sharp scraper with a flat edge, a bottle of citrus spray remover to help get a quick clean result, and a micro fiber towel to wipe it all off when you are done.
- Comes with a citrus-scented spray
- 1 wax scraper and wax comb
- 1 micro fiber towel
- 2 Bubble Gum stickers
Now you have everything you need to get your board clean and ready for a fresh coat of surf wax. As long as you don’t get lazy, you’ll always have a good grip beneath your feet. You’ll also need to remove surf wax when you’re about to install a new traction pad or maybe fix up a ding on your board. Whatever the reason may be, learning how to properly remove old surf wax is one of the signs that you are a serious surfer and not just another flashy kook.
Remember than being preventive goes a long way; so don’t skip out on cleaning up your board. Save yourself a slippery slip and remove old surf wax with any of these tools.