Wax is often used to help you stick to your skimboard when riding flat or waves.
There are specific techniques for waxing a skimboard so that it sticks to your board, and so do you.
The surface of a skimboard is slippery, which is great for the side in contact with the water but not good for under your feet.
A good wax job creates bumps that give your feet something to hold on to.
If you’ve never waxed a skimboard before or are just looking for tips on getting a better waxing job, here’s a guide to waxing your pole.
Supplies you will need
To prepare a good wax job, you will need a few supplies:
1. Base wax;
2. Finishing wax;
3. Wax comb;
If you are going to wax a used board or reapply wax, you will also need wax cleaner and some paper towels.
See below for how to remove the wax.
Put on a base layer
The base layer is the most important step in waxing a skimboard.
The top layer of skimboard wax will wear and rub off as you skim, but the base layer will stay until the next time you completely re-wax your stick.
If a base coat does wear off, you will have a consistently wax-free area – even if you apply more topcoat, it will wear off.
The purpose of the base coat is to create a bump pattern that will last.
The base wax is harder and lasts longer, but it is also a bit more difficult to apply.
Make sure to press down on the wax so that some of it comes off.
If you press too lightly, nothing will come off and it will take a long time for you to wax.
While waxing, your wax may slide along the surface, making a strange noise – that’s okay.
It just means that bumps are forming and the wax is bouncing off them.
You’ll want to start by making wide strokes across the board and continue until you see a bump pattern emerge.
There are many different techniques for applying wax, none is the right one and you have to do what works for you.
Over time, you will discover which method is best for you.
Hair removal techniques
Here are some of the techniques you might want to try:
Rub the wax in small circles, moving up and down on the board.
Front to back
Rub the wax in a straight line parallel to the rocker.
Go diagonally in one direction, then perpendicular to that direction.
Go all over the place, spiral, do whatever you want.
Once you see bumps starting to form, you’ll know you’re doing it right.
Continue until you’ve created enough depth or used the amount of wax recommended in our guide below.
Applying the topcoat
The top layer of wax is much softer than a base coat and allows it to be tacky and stick to your feet.
Top coats are much more affected by water temperature than base coats.
Therefore, you want to use a type of wax that is suitable for the temperature of the water where you are surfing.
Surf wax comes within the temperature ranges stated on the label and becomes milder when the water is warmer.
Different chemicals are added to the wax to ensure that the wax is at an ideal softness level for a specific water temperature.
A tropical temperature wax will be the ideal level of tack in hot water; a cold wax bar will be sticky even in cold water where most waxes will have frozen.
However, if you take a cold wax to warm water, it will be too soft.
As a general rule of thumb, you can always use a hotter wax in cold water, but don’t use a colder wax in lukewarm water.
The top coat of skimboard wax should be applied the same way as the base coat, but since it is softer, you won’t need to press as hard.
Most riders prefer to apply the topcoat using large circular motions.
As with the base coat, try a few things and eventually you’ll find something that works for you.
Hair removal after skimming
As you skim, some of the top coat is peeling off – some of it may even stick to your wetsuit or boardshort.
To account for this, you may want to add a little wax every now and then before you skim.
Sometimes the skimboard wax will be really crushed and look flat.
If this happens, use the comb side of your wax comb to draw diagonal lines in the wax, creating a checkerboard pattern.
This will ensure you stay on your board for a few more sessions.
Where to put wax on your skimboard?
Most skimmers wax the entire surface of the board, staying about half an inch to an inch from the edges.
Wave skimmers usually don’t wax all the way to the nose of the board as their feet never touch it, so not only is it unnecessary, but it adds weight, and the nose needs to be light to glide over and over. through the waves.
The idea is to make sure that you have the most wax in the area where your feet land.
Of course, when doing tricks and other shenanigans, other parts of the board are used, so it’s best to just cover the whole thing up.
How much wax should I use?
There can be a lot of variation in the amount of wax you will need for a particular board. Like many things, it’s mostly a preference.
Most skimmers generally prefer a mixture of traction pads with wax on their foam boards.
Wooden skimboard racers will usually have either full traction pads covering the entire surface or a mixture of traction pads and skimboard wax.
Some still prefer full coverage of skimboard wax and will often have a ton of wax.
Take a look at how much wax the best skimmers use on their boards.
Chances are, if you think you have a lot of it, you probably don’t have enough yet.
The entire board will often be covered with about a half inch of skimboard wax from nose to heel.
This adds a lot of weight to the board, but with wood this is usually best as it makes the board very grippy and durable.
How to remove wax
Be careful – this can be messy. Do it somewhere where it is acceptable to put wax all over the place.
Things you will need:
1. Paper towels and / or newspaper;
2. Any scraper / spatula (Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax comb works well);
3. Heat source: for example, sun or hair dryer;
Start by leaving the board in the sun for a bit or use a hair dryer, but be careful not to burn your deck.
Once the wax is soft and melting, it can be removed easily.
Place newspaper or other covering under the board to collect the old wax.
Use your scraper along the board in long, gentle strokes.
Collect the wax in a ball and put it in the trash.
To remove all the residue, you can use makeup remover liquid, but if you’re just waxing again, don’t bother.
Don’t want to use all that sticky wax? Instead, try traction pads.
Keep a spare wax block with you whenever you go to skim.
Put it in a bag to prevent it from melting on your belongings and / or sand getting in.
Also keep a wax comb handy.
When not skiing, place your board wax side down and out of the sun.
Words from Nicole Rigler | Skimboarder