Ohh don´t you love the smell of a freshly waxed surfboard? Even if you are far away from the ocean it reminds you of those last epic waves, sunsets and good times. But then, surfwax can also be quite a hassle. It melts when you leave it exposed to the sun, pretty much everything sticks to it (not only your feet), it get´s dirty with sand and once in a sudden, it makes your beautiful surfboard look nasty and used. And then, which one to choose?? Depending on the water temperature you will have to change your wax and stock up on different waxtypes.
So how to deal with surfwax and waxing your boards? We have looked into the right waxing technique, the best surfwaxes on the market and also into alternatives available.
How to remove and apply surfwax
Surfwax hardes and softens with temperature. If you want to remove your wax the first thing you need to do is expose it to heat. Use the sun, if available, and wait until the texture of the wax is soft. Next use a waxcomb, alternatively an old credit card, and carefully start removing the wax, working your way up or down the board. Collect the wax into a ball, make sure to take all the little bits as well, and store it in a bag to later dispose of it correctly.
Now that most of the wax is removed, use an old cloth / boardbag and polish away the last little pieces until you can see the smooth surface of your surfboard (and all the dings).
Now that your board is ready to roll again choose the right wax for the water temperature in which you want to surf and start waxing your board evenly. Begin at one end by applying enough pressure to leave little bumps of wax spread over the surfboard. Wax the way all the way up to the point where your front foot is positioned, and even a little bit further. You might not always land in the right stance straight away. Don´t forget to wax the bits close to the rails where you place your hands when duckdiving. This will give you extra grip and confidence when facing bigger waves.
Not sure if you are doing it right?? Here is a little tutorial for you 😉
Best surfwaxes on the market
There are loads of different types of surfwax on the market. How do they differentiate? In shape, color, smell and, most importantly, ingredients. In times where pollution of our oceans is a very important topic, your main concern about surfwax, apart from making your feet stick to the board, should be how ecolocigal your wax it. You will be floating on top of it in the water for hours, and you will have to remove it quite frequently.
The surf industry, still years away from being an ecological and sustainable business, is changing however. Like with every market, the demand defines the offer. The surfwax industry has already made steps into the right direction and by now offeres several (affordable) alternatives, generally offered by smaller companies. Did you know that the main ingredient of surf wax used to be parafin (= rest bits of petroleum)? The newer biodigradable surfwax products contain mainly of beeswax, tree resin and coconut oil, making them a lot easier to digest for the environment.
Here are some, locally produced, environmental friendly surfwaxes:
Our #1: GREENFIX
Tested, used and approved by NOMB Surf headcoach Angie for years, this great surfwax has a great stickyness and is totally recommended.
Our #2: MATUNAS
It´s completely eco-friendly and biodegradable and available with different smells. The coldwater version is tested and approved by professional Chilean surfers.
Our #3: WE ARE OTHERS
Only available in the cold water version at the moment, and at selected surfshops. Great stick and incredible swell of pine forest. Recomended!
Great surfwax alternatives
Sure, we love our wax and the whole getting stoked while waxing your board process. But it´s worth it to look into some alternatives that also make your feet stick to the board.
How about softboards for example? Generally used by beginner surfers, often left with the wax facing the plain sun, sand all over it. Australian surfboard company Hot Buttered has introduced a great line of foamies called Salty Swamis. Available in different sizes and shapes all foamies of this line have a snakeskin top, giving you enough grip on your board without having to use wax. We have been using those boards for nearly a year and they still shine like on their first day! Don´t you think??
Another great option to try are surfgrip patches. Those triangular stickers are applied where you would normally apply wax. There are not many options on the market yet but Van Der Waal for example offers a more ecological alternative to surfwax. That´s what they look like. Why not give it a go?
Fact is that we need our feet to stick to our surfboard. There is no right or wrong in how to make this happen. Like everything in surfing, it depends on your personal preference and ability. However, it never hurts to try something new 😉
Wishing you great (and sticky) waves, hope to sea you in the ocean soon!
Angie & das NOMB Surfteam