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You’re probably thinking, “are you supposed to wax a bodyboard?” and if so does waxing a bodyboard even work!?
I mean, if you want a rough time and zero fun, then no skip it.
But, if you’re looking to have fun on the waves and get the most out of your session, you’re gonna read this first. I’ll tell you exactly how to wax a bodyboard for the first time along with some quick pointers you can use to make sure you’re maximizing your fun while minimizing your workload.
As a bodyboarder, waxing is kind of like brushing your teeth, there’s the right way and the wrong way. Just like toothpaste though, wax isn’t permanent at all, even if you’re the worst at applying it. The only way you’ll regret applying wax is if you apply it the wrong way and don’t take care to remove it when you’re done. That build up acts like tartar on the teeth and can be a real pain if you don’t address it early on. But, fear not! I’m gonna show you exactly how you can apply and remove it to make sure you slay those waves. Let’s get into it.
As a bodyboarder, waxing your bodyboard is almost like brushing your teeth. There are many different toothpastes out there just as there are waxes for your bodyboard. You first want to make sure that you’re getting the right wax. It makes no sense to buy beeswax to apply to your board if it isn’t going to give you the results you want (unless your goal is to have a “sweet” bodyboard and nothing else). Second, try and make sure the color of the wax is white. Why white exactly? Well, because some surfboard wax has an off-yellow tint while it’s clear and can make your board appear more smudgy if that makes any sense. I normally use regular surf wax or bodyboard specific wax because they both do the same thing. Any wax labeled specifically should be perfectly fine as well. Want to know what brands to look out for?
My personal favorite is Sticky Bumps Original. I haven’t really used anything labeled specifically, so I can’t really tell you if there’s any difference between surf wax and bodyboard wax. I think it may just be a marketing gimmick. The main point here is to check and make sure that if you can’t get anything specifically labeled,you should be fine with just surf wax. Can’t really go wrong with surf wax.
Some great waxes that I personally like are:
Incomes Mr. Miyagi. Time for the “wax on, wax off” session. There are a few areas I really pay attention to when applying the wax when going bodyboarding and those areas are the two corners of the nose where you grip your bodyboard with your hands and the elbow area. You can obviously apply the wax to any other area you need, like around the stomach area. I just make sure to focus on the railing and the nose area that way I get the best grip possible. Where you choose to apply your wax is completely up to you though. Whatever works best.
Now, here’s the fun part that a lot of people surprisingly screw up: when you apply the wax onto your bodyboard, you don’t want to lay it on thick with a lot of force like you would some peanut butter on a pb&j sandwich. No. Not like that. You want to spread it like jam in an even surface area that isn’t too overwhelming. Don’t worry, you can always add more wax before your next session, so don’t think too much about that. Just keep in mind that when you’re starting, less is more. Instead, make sure you have juuust enough to scrape gently across your deck with a few strokes in each spot. If you end up spreading it too thick just be prepared for it to be a pain in the rear end when it’s time to remove it.
If you’re like me and want a little extra grip on your bodyboard, you can actually rub wet sand on it. I personally do this as weird as it might sound, but it gives quite a bit of grip and stick when I rub the wet sand in a circular motion. I’ve noticed it helps new boards get rid of that shiny gloss. It basically removes that slippery shine. If you’ve ever gotten on a new board that hasn’t been waxed and still has that gloss, you’re probably familiar with how difficult it may be to ride and get a grip at first. Using wet sand also helps those older boards get a little extra grip in the water. Same method here, just grab a handful of wet sand and give the board a good old rubbin’ around the nose, elbows and rails plus a little extra around the stomach and tail of the board, and boom! You’re all set and ready for the waves!
Alright, now we’re at the “wax off” part of our lesson here. There’s a few different ways that it can be removed. The methods I tend to use the most are:
You can try any of the above methods and even combine them when trying to remove wax faster if it proves to be troublesome. Your call.
Now, when I say hot water, I’m not talking about boiling water. I’m talking about “coffee temp” water, something less than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Either way, you’re gonna want to be as careful as possible here.
When I tried this I poured hot water on all of my bodyboards soften the wax. You definitely don’t want to use boiling water, just make sure it’s hot enough to melt the hardened layers of wax. My brother actually once asked me “how to use a wax comb”, so I thought I’d add this tidbit in here- once the wax is soft, start scraping it using a wax comb (like the SBS Wax Comb & Scraper) or the sharp edge of your scraper.
If for some reason you left your wax comb at home, you can use the edge of any laminated card like an ID or debit card. Just try not to break them 😉 I’m sure you wouldn’t want to call your bank to replace your debit card.
Here’s a little bonus tip for you: it’s a little easier to remove all of the wax when you follow a pattern. I prefer to go from rail to rail or from the nose to the tail, but again, that’s completely your call and how you choose to go about it. Long as you have some pattern (like you would when you vacuum) it should be off in no time.
(Image Source: the homie Josh Yarish)
Alright, so for some reason, you’ve got a blow dryer nearby and you want to remove the wax with a blow dryer. Sweet! Just turn it on and aim it diagonally at the wax across from your deck. Just remember, you don’t want to put it too close for an extended amount of time, otherwise you can damage your bodyboard while you’re melting the wax. Do you really want to have to buy a new bodyboard? I thought so. Just aim a few inches away at the wax until it begins to melt. Once the wax is soft, start scraping it with your wax remover or with the edge of your laminated cards as I said above. Follow the pattern you like best and keep to it. It’ll come off eventually.
Alright, so you’ve got no access to hot water and you’re not cool enough to have a blow dryer around. That’s okay. We’re gonna use your (dry) towel for this method. Grab your Spongebob towel (or whatever cool design you have) and rub the towel back and forth across the deck.
This will create friction that will eventually warm up the wax and soften it so that you can remove it. Be warned though: if you don’t take care of your bodyboard and you’ve got a ton of build up, this method may take a significant amount of elbow grease. Once the wax is soft just wipe it off with your towel. If for some reason you have some persistent spots of wax that refuse to come off, use a wax comb (like my personal favorite, the SBS Wax Comb & Scraper with Bottle Opener) or grab the edges of your laminated cards like before. Again, whatever works best for you here, go with that. It’s your bodyboard.
Alright, so you don’t want to head home yet, but you want to get the wax off asap. This method is probably one of the most conventional. If it’s hot out, you probably have access to hot sand. This method happens to be one of my favorites and it’s super easy! First, grab the hottest sand you can find and rub it all over the board. Just slap it all over. That hot sand should melt the most stubborn patches of wax on your bodyboard. If not, find some that’s hotter. Once it’s slapped on, give it a good rub. That coarse, hot sand will help melt the wax so that it’s easier to remove. Once it’s all softened and melted, grab your Spongebob towel and wipe off the rest! If for some reason you don’t want sand on your towel, just use the wax comb or a laminated card. Whatever is easiest for you, do that!
Lastly, when considering whether to wax or not to wax, make sure you find the right information. As a nomad myself, finding the best information about bodyboarding is crucial. This is why I’ve reated this blog! Today, like all days I go out early crush some waves and share my thoughts and what I’ve learned over the years. With some damage to my elbows (and various body parts lol) I’ve amassed some really valuable information about waxing a bodyboard.
Find everything you were looking for? Drop a comment below if you did (or didn’t)! I’d love to open an open dialogue about the best bodyboards, a boyboard you’re thinking of buying, or even debating the wax or not to wax question. So feel free to drop that comment below!
I hope this guide helps your session become more enjoyable. Now, go out and slay!
About the Author Chet Thornberry
My name is Chet and I'm a surfer living in Cocoa Beach. I created this blog to put my experience with surfing, skimboarding, bodyboarding, and paddleboarding to good use (pretty much all things water sports).
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