Having the right preparation is key to a good surf. Making sure that your equipment is ready for the conditions that lie ahead of it is the difference between a good session and a terrible one. What makes one of the biggest differences in the way you surf is how you wax your board, and if you even apply wax to begin with. As a beginner surfer, you may ask yourself, is wax even a big deal? The answer is 100% yes, but with a few caveats.
How do you know if you need wax?
Most surfboards need wax, but not all boards are made equal. Our Softop Hybrids for example are made with a Fingerprint Foam material that is totally wax-free. This means that you could take the board out of the box and bring it immediately to the beach and rip. However, if you instead have one of our Pro-Series epoxy boards, such as the 6’6 Fish Beef or 7’6 Funky Bus, it is mandatory that you wax these boards before you surf them. There are also gray areas, boards that don’t need wax but could still be applied if you feel like your board is a bit slippery. The 6’ or 8’ Guppy is an example, which has a foam top but isn’t made with the same Fingerprint Foam material like on our softop hybrids. Either way, the best way to know whether you need wax is to take your board and try them out for yourselves. If you’re slipping or having trouble consistently getting up on the board, then you’ll likely need some wax.
How to wax your board.
Waxing your board is simple. You need two things, wax and basecoat. Basecoat is what you want to apply first. I like to apply it in parallel lines going down the board at a slanted angle. With this method, you want to create multiple overlapping arrow’s that are pointing towards the nose. Other methods will work as well, but typically when you’re applying your first layer of basecoat you want to make sure you're using a deliberate process to cover the whole board thoroughly. Afterwards you then want to apply a regular surf wax which will create bumps on the top of your board. This will create the grippiness that you’re looking for. To test whether or not you did a good job, place your hand flat on the board, and try moving it in one direction. If your hand is meeting a large amount of resistance, it means you did a good job. If not there’s no worries, since you can always apply more wax.
There are several different brands of wax that you can use, and most should be sufficient. There are distinctions in cold and warm water wax, which will depend on where you surf. Here in Southern California we need cold water wax throughout the whole year, but if you’re surfing in the tropics then it’ll obviously be a different story. For my preference, I typically like to use either Sticky Bumps, Mr Zoggs, or Sister Betsy’s Surf Wax. These will give you the confidence you need to drop in on pumping waves. If you’re unsure what to use, reach out to us or your local surf shop for advice, since we’re always happy to help our local surfer.
Hope to see you in the water,