How to Wax a Skimboard for Improved Grip and Performance

How to Wax a Skimboard for Improved Grip and Performance

Skimboarding could be an extremely challenging water sport, especially for beginners. In order to make this activity less difficult, you need to consider factors such as using the right skimboard for you and learning how to wax a skimboard properly.

In the world of skimboarding and other water sports, waxing refers to applying wax on the bottom of the board to protect it from the elements. As a result, you get to experience faster speeds and smoother rides.

What kind of wax is appropriate for the boards? How do you apply the wax? What is the equipment needed? This article discusses everything you need to know about waxing a skimboard.

Why Do You Need to Wax a Skimboard?

When skim boarding, you do not want to slip off the board while riding the waves, and you do not want to stand on an unstable board too. Although a traction pad is also a must for an awesome grip, applying wax on it will create a very good surface.

Waxing a skimboard is done for a reason opposite from waxing curbs and rails for skateboarding. While skateboarding needs wax for a smoother and better slide, skimboarding requires waxing to prevent the surfer’s feet from sliding off of the board. The wax used makes the surface of the board sticky.

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How to Choose a Skimboard Wax

The surfboard wax comes in four types: tropical, warm, cool, and cold. Each type or rating is intended for various ranges of water temperature. The tropical wax is for temperatures 75 F and below, the warm wax is for 68 F to 78 F, the cool rating is for 58 F to 68F, and finally, the cold wax is for 58 F and below.

It is important to determine the temperature of the water where you intend to skimboard in order to determine the right type of wax you need. Why is it important to use the right wax, though? That’s because if the wax used is colder than the wax rating, it will be hard rather than sticky. If it is used in water that is warmer than the rating, it will melt and only slide off the board.

Skimboard Wax manufacturers

There are several companies that manufacture and distribute skimboard waxes. Among the most popular are Mr. Zogs Sex Wax and Sticky Bumps. Each brand of wax has its own rating, which is usually indicated in the package.

You can buy the wax from watersports equipment shops or at a surf shop. However, if you want to prepare in advance before going on a road trip to the beach, you can purchase the wax at board shops and sporting goods stores. Online stores also offer hundreds of skimboard waxes that cost as low as one to two bucks.

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How to Wax a Skimboard: A Step-by-step Guide

Once you have chosen the wax appropriate for the range of water temperature in your area, you need to apply it before going to the ocean. Other materials that you need are the basecoat wax, topcoat wax, and a wax comb. You will also need a plastic scraper or cleaning agent if your board has an excess wax on it.

The following step-by-step guide will help you apply the wax effectively:

1. Clean the surface of the board

Wash it with water to easily spot dirt. If there is an old coat of wax, scrape it off using a plastic scraper to avoid damaging the surface. You can also safely remove the old wax by melting it with a hairdryer and easily wiping it off.

You can also remove excess wax by using a cleaning agent. One popular product is the Chief Firewater, which melts the wax. When the board looks polished and smooth again, it’s the sign that you have removed any excess wax.

2. Next, apply the first coat.

It will be the base coat the will help create a bump pattern that will stay on. For the base coat, use a tropical wax or a wax with a high temperature rating regardless of the water temperature.

Rub the wax on the surface in a circular motion. The base coat is a harder type of wax that stays longer and is a little tough to apply. Therefore, you need to apply it with added force. If you apply it too lightly, too little of wax will come off, and it will take you a long time to do it.

3. Apply Top coat with straight motion

After covering the board with the wax, apply one layer of the topcoat wax but with a straight motion from the nose to the tail of the board. Apply another layer of wax with a straight motion from side to side (rail to rail).

4. Apply temp rated wax

Once the base coat is done, apply the wax that is rated for the water temperature you will be skimboarding in. Apply one layer of this wax on a circular motion. You should have several small bumps of this wax all throughout the board. Once done, you are now ready to go!

5. Reapply as you ride

After skimboarding, a little of the top coat will have flaked off. Some of the waxes have gone to the water, while some have stuck on to your suit or shorts. To replace this significant amount of wax, you need to add another layer of wax before you go in the water again.


Getting into the world of water sports is fun, gives you a sense of achievement, and draws you near to nature. Learning how to skimboard is quite challenging, but using a board that matches your needs and preferences and knowing how to wax a skimboard properly will make it less difficult.

Waxing a skimboard involves several steps that are easy to follow. Now that you know how to apply the wax and remove any excess wax, you can do it on your own. Just remember that you need to prevent your board from getting slippery or unstable. Otherwise, you will have poor performance and won’t be able to ride the waves.