How to clean and re-wax a surfboard

As every surf bum knows taking care of and properly maintaining your surfboard or collection of surfboards is a really big deal if you want to continue to surf, at least without any real stick troubles. All you surfers know that it is true too even if those landlover goons are too thick to understand that there is more to it than just paddling out and catching a wave. So let’s talk about cleaning and re-waxing a surfboard and what is the best way to get the chore done so you can get out there and enjoy some very choice walls.

The obvious first step is of course how to get the old wax and the gunk stuck in it off your board. Some like to use a hairdryer on their boards to get the old wax and stuff off their boards, while others like to use hot water to accomplish the same thing. These two methods may get the old stuff off without any real labor but they may also damage the surface of the board by lifting the glass off the blank, which is not a good thing.  Another bad idea is leaving your board out in the sun so the wax will heat up and run off,  this tends to turn the board yellow though.

The best way to clean off your board is still the time honored and tested method of scraping. Yes, it is a little bit more work than the other methods mentioned here, but there is a better chance of not doing any damage to your board this way. Moreover, while you are scraping all of the old mess off the board you can also take the time to take a closer look at the board and see what little dings and stuff need to be fixed. Make sure you have a good wax comb or scraper and then remove the last of the old wax with a turp-soaked rag.

Once you have all of the nasty gunk off your board you are going to want to apply some new wax to the surface of it. An important thing to think about is the work surface you are going to use when waxing your board. If you are going to be using a concrete surface or something that is similarly hard put a towel or something under the board so it doesn’t get scratched or dinged up. It’s is best to put down your first coat of wax at home  – this way you can take your time and get some nice bumps happening and avoid getting sand etc on your newly waxed board.

Make sure to choose the right kind of wax for your stick because you are almost certainly going to want to stay on your board when you take off on that killer wave. Your choice of cold water and warm water wax is important so make sure to check with the local in the surf shop to find out what works best in the locale where you are going to surf.  As a general rule make sure to apply the wax to the spot where you place your feet. The first coat of wax needs to be light and in a circular motion, and then you can put on a thicker second coat and leave the rails a little sticky for duck diving.

Zak