Surfboard Maintenance Surfing

How to Remove Wax from a Surfboard

Removing wax from a surfboard is probably the last thing you want to do before or after a surf session. Not only will a fresh coat of wax make you a better surfer, it will also increase the lifetime of your board, so it’s important to know when and how to remove it.

Why Do I need to Remove Old Wax?

Older wax doesn’t provide the same traction and balance as a new, fresh coat. You will get the most out of your surf session by removing it and applying a fresh coat when necessary.

When to Remove your Surfboard Wax

It is hard to give an exact amount of time as to when you should remove old wax. Many different factors go into it such as water temperature, frequency and length of sessions. Although, the telltale sign is when you begin to feel yourself losing traction with your board. Through trial and error, you should be able to figure out an amount of time that works best for you.

how to remove wax from a surfboard

Using a Wax Comb

Wax combs are tools used for maintenance and removal of wax from surfboards. These combs contain a sharp edge that can be used to remove old wax from a board. Be sure your wax comb also has an inward curve on one of the sides, as this will help scrape the wax off the rails. Also, be sure your wax comb isn’t made out of metal. Wood or plastic are the best materials for wax combs.

Wax combs are not only used for removal of wax, the jagged edge is used to comb newly applied wax for increased traction. Check out this post for more information on how to wax a surfboard.

Though wax combs are not required for either wax application or removal, many surfers find them convenient and remark that they provide for a better surfing session. For this reason, it’s worth investing in a quality wax comb.

How to Remove Wax

To start, set your surfboard under direct sunlight for five to ten minutes. The sun should begin to soften the wax. If it is a cloudy day, you can use a blow dryer or heat gun to blow hot air over the surface. If you don’t have either of these, pouring a bucket of hot water over your board will also do the trick.

how to remove wax from a surfboard

After the wax has softened, you can take your wax comb and scrape the wax off in strips. If you don’t have a wax comb handy, you can try using a credit card or driver’s license. It is best to follow the same pattern with each scrape. The most common patters are from tail to nose or from rail to rail. The wax should come off with ease. If it doesn’t, you will need to let it bake in the sun for a few more minutes. You can use the curved edge of your wax comb, if applicable, to remove any wax left on the rails.

how to remove wax from a surfboard

Do not use any sharp objects when scraping your board. Avoid using scissors, a knife, or even a kitchen scraper. These objects can damage the surface of your board.

Once all the large chunks of wax are removed from your board, spray a rag or abrasive sponge with a citrus-based wax remover. Rub the rag or abrasive sponge in a circular motion until the board is completely free of any residue. If you don’t have these supplies on hand, an old t-shirt and water will also work. Be sure to check with the manufacturer to make sure that the citrus-based wax remover is compatible with your surfboard.

The Pickle Wax Remover

Another tool that you can use to remove the remaining wax residue is the Pickle Wax Remover. This tool is friendly to the environment as it does not contain or use any harsh chemicals. It is made out of 100% recycled ingredients. The Pickle Wax Remover is reusable and is the fastest, easiest and best way to remove unwanted wax from your surfboard.

Prep for New Application or Storage

The last step is to prep for new wax application or storage. Dab a clean rag with acetone and rub it on your board before applying a new coat or hanging your surfboard up for the winter. Acetone works great to achieve a wax-free shiny look and won’t damage your surfboard.

Traveling with Wax on your Surfboard

If you intend to travel with your surfboard, be sure to remove the wax before leaving. If your board has a cold water wax on it, there is a chance of it melting in your bag during travel.


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