Surf Wax Guide

The surf wax is a natural or synthetic formulation that’s used to increase the grip between the surfboard and the surfer. The wax is applied on top of the surfboard to avoid the surfer from slipping off the board. Once the wax is applied to the surfboard – It also gives the surfers chest a good grip when paddling.

surfboard wax

Q & A

Which wax is suitable for surfing?

The best wax is the one that stays on the board most periods while maintaining its grip. To choose the right type of wax, you have to know the water temperatures you will be surfing in.

What is the surfboard wax made of?

Surfboard wax is a formulation of natural and/or synthetic wax. Those waxes are generally composed mixture of paraffin and beeswax. Other hard waxes may have been used as well, and petroleum jelly can also be added to soften the wax. Surfboard waxes can be found in many different scents from bubblegum, coconut, pine resin, hemp, and so on.

How often should you wax your surfboard?

Before every surf session would be a great habit as you wouldn’t want to slip off the board on a great session now do you? Most wax combs have an attachment loop so you could carry it with you in case you’ll be needing it during the surf session.

Leaving a bunch of old wax on a surfboard increases the weight of the board
+ Wax can cover up some small dings for a permanent fix!

What are the best surfboard wax brands?

  • Sex Wax
  • Sticky Bumps

cleaned surfboard



Temperature & Thickness

Selection of surfboard waxes

Using the right type of wax is crucial to maximizing your performance on the waves. The main difference between the waxes is their consistency, and the texture determines the temperature range the wax has the best characteristics.

Cold-water waxes are soft.
Tropical or warm-water waxes are hard.

Temperature and wax consistency by SexWax:

  1. Extra Cold to Cold 58’F / 14’C and below (Yellow Label) EXTRA SOFT Wax
  2. Cold to Cool 48’F to 68’F / 9’C to 20’C (Purple Label) EXTRA SOFT Wax
  3. Cool to Mid-Warm 58’F to 74’F / 14’C to 23’C (Green Label) SOFT Wax
  4. Mid-cool to Warm 64’C to 78’F / 18’C to 26’C (Orange Label) FIRM Wax
  5. Warm to Mid Tropic 70’F to 84’F 21’C to 29’C (Red Label) HARD Wax
  6. Tropic 78’F and above / 26’C and above (Blue Label) EXTRA HARD Wax




Sticky Bumps 6 Pack – Warm&Cool

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How to Wax the Surfboard?

waxed surfboardTwo main types of how to wax your board:


Use only one formula of wax. The good part is that it will stay soft and stable, but the thinner the layer, the shorter it stays grippy.

Under Coat plus Top Coat

Use a harder wax on the bottom and softer on the top. A harder basecoat will keep the main layer structure all together so that the soft coat would also stay in place.

Sticky Bumps Surf Wax BASE - 3 Pack
Sticky Bumps Base Coat 3-pack

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How to wax a surfboard?

surfboard wax guide
Where to wax the surfboard?

The waxing process is up to each surfer’s preferences. There are many ways and patterns how to apply the wax, but the most common way many surfers tend to do it is pictured down below:

surfboard was guide

Starting as the criss-cross pattern, then moving on to covering the top layer with round movements. You either use the single or double-coating; the process will be nearly the same.




Maintaining the Wax

surfboard wax comb features

The main thing to do to keep the surfboard wax tackier is by using the wax comb.

You could either make criss-cross, round, or diagonal patterns when scraping the board in order to loosen up the old bumpy patches of wax. Bumps are like dreadlocks, if you keep on waxing the board without using the comb- you will see “Rastafarian” bumps on your board pretty soon.

Then again, some surfers never use the comb, and some like to clean their boards after 2-3 times of use.


How to remove the wax from the surfboard?

  1. Place the surfboard under the sun until the wax starts to ‘melt’
  2. Use a rubber comb to scrape off the main portion of wax on the board
  3. Use a wax-remover cleaning spray – leave it on for 5-10mins
  4. Wipe dry clean with a rag
  5. Rinse the board with fresh water before applying the new layer of wax

Check out the WAX Removal Solvent




What are the alternatives to surfboard wax?

alternative to surfboard wax
Still needs wax for added grip

Check Price at

Hexagrip, for example, is an alternative to surfboard wax as it consists of non-slip rubbery patches that are glued to the surfboard. One Hexagrip kit contains – 18 full hexagons, 4 half hexagons, and a star-shaped installation template.





Extra Tips

  • Before or after each surf session, try not to leave your surfboard (neither the wetsuit) out in the sun.
    – The UV rays can melt the wax, which eventually drips anywhere where you don’t want it to be.
  • Try not to leave your board inside the un-ventilated board bag on a hot day OR store the board under a hot roof or garage door.
    – When the temperature starts rising inside the board bag – the wax eventually melts all around the surfboard’s bag interior
  • Clean the bottom of the board to maximize its glide!
    – Small wax bumps under the surfboard can and will create some drag, which will eventually


Read next

How to Clean Your Surfboard?

Different Types of Surfboards

Best Surf Brands

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I created Nulltuul to share my experience, research and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels - I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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