How To Remove Wax from a Surfboard
Removing wax from a surfboard is something we all need to do occasionally, but often neglect doing. Maybe you just need a good ole “how to” to refresh your brain on how to rid your board of surf wax. Old wax can build up on your board, causing unnecessary weight, and resulting in a board with fewer grips. How could we forget about the notorious “surfboard grip tape”, if you will, that occurs when large amounts of sand get stuck in the wax. Your chest and torso will thank you after a new coat of wax! To get started, there are a few materials you will need in order to properly know how to remove wax from your surfboard:
-A good wax comb (preferably one with a curved side to gather leftover wax on rails)
-A little bit of sunshine…
-Maybe a blow-dryer if the weather does not permit sunshine
First things first: Preparation
There are a few things you can do to best remove wax from your surfboard! I usually allow my board to sit in the hot sun for five to ten minutes. Allow time for the sun to begin to soften the wax. If the temperature doesn’t allow for this, this is where the blow-dryer comes in, you can try blowing hot air steadily over the board, or even pouring hot water over your board to help soften the wax. After the wax has softened, take your wax comb and scrape the wax off in strips. It should come off fairly easily, like butter, but if not, let it bake for a few more minutes. Use the curved edge of the wax comb, if applicable, to remove any wax left on the rails.
Once the large chunks of wax have been removed from your board, take the rag and use that advice that we all learned from Mr. Miyagi. Take the remaining waxy residue off by wiping the rag in a circular motion until the board is completely free of any residue. If you don’t have a rag nearby, I like to sprinkle beach sand over my board and exfoliate over areas that have waxy residue, this will help to rub off the last of it. If you don’t have a wax comb handy, try using a credit card or a driver’s license, and scrape in strips as if you were using a wax comb. I recommend using a comb because they’re sturdy, and also to avoid damaging your license or credit card. Now your board will be clean of old wax and the board should look brand new, minus the pressure dings from the days we all live for!
Another tool you can try is Pickle Wax Remover, a chemical-free, dry…well, pickle. Seriously, it looks like a pickle, but essentially it’s a pouch full of a sawdust-type powder that works to help rub the wax residue off, following a good scraping with a wax comb or credit card. This is definitely the tool to utilize when you’re left wondering how to get that old wax off of your board! It’s also green in color for it’s eco-friendliness with our environment which doesn’t hurt!
I prefer to use either Sticky Bumps or Mrs. Palmers on my boards, due to the fact that I find that the grip tends to last longer. Be sure to buy surf wax that coordinates with the temperature of the water you will be in. I would also suggest using a basecoat of wax if you are going to surf in waters in a hot climate, it really takes a lot to melt this type of wax. Types of wax range from: Cold: 60 degrees and below, Cool: 58-68 degrees, Warm: 64-74 degrees, Tropical: 75 degrees and above
Personally, I completely rewax my board 3-4 times per Summer on the East Coast, but I apply a little more each time I plan to set out for the waves. On the other hand, living in Hawaii or a more tropical climate, you’re going to find yourself needing to do so a lot more frequently. Again, proper removal of surf wax is crucial to keep unwanted added weight off of your board, and to keep it protected and looking as slick as possible. If dirty wax is clinging to your board and it’s beginning to look dingy, you might want to set aside some time to follow these steps. Feel free to check out this blog on How To Wax A Surfboard and leave your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below!