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Las palmas surf camp | surf trip | Surfboard Waxing-Guide

Jan 15 2014

Get your board ready for your next surf trip. Las palmas surf camp guide you through the world of surfboard wax, explaining how to pick the correct surfboard wax, showing different techniques to apply it, areas to wax, amount to use and lots more you need to know about waxing for surfing in the canary islands

You think choosing a suitable board wax is just a question of smell and aroma? You have no clue why the hell you have to use wax, not to mention how to apply it? Waxing is easy; moreover, you can greatly improve the quality of surfing in the canary islands with a few pre-surf trip actions. In this article, las palmas surf camp will explain everything you always wanted to know about waxing your board

It has a square base, looks like a bar of soap, smells enticing and its surfer’s constant companion on surf trips. What we talk about is Surfboard wax.8

When you are in las palmas surf camp or elsewhere surfing in the canary islands, it’s impossible not so see anyone on beach just waxing their boards or walking around with a board littered with little white lumps on the deck. In fact, waxing a surfboard is relatively simple and straightforward, nevertheless, if you have never waxed a surfboard before or you are just looking for tips to get a better wax job, read our guide how to wax your surfboard before you go on the next surf trip.

1. Why do I have to destroy the beauty of a board with unaesthetic lumps of wax?

Waxing your board for surfing in the canary islands is no question of beauty, it’s functionality.  There is a huge range of surfboard waxes available in the market, all designed for one job only, to stop a surfer slipping off the surfboard. In other words, it is used before a surf trip to provide grip on the surface of the board, to help stick on it while surfing in the canary islands. Properly applied wax on a las palmas surf camp board can make the difference between riding a wave and wiping out.

2. The agony of choice- Which Wax is good for me?

When you´re in Las palmas surf camp, using your free time to strolling through different surf shops, your nose will immediately catch the aroma of the different waxes. There is sweet coconut aroma, fruity pineapple or strawberry smell hanging in the air. But do I decide about the wax just according my preferred flavor?? Wide failed.

There are different types of surf wax for different conditions on your surf trip, more precisely the temperature you´re surfing in the canary islands or elsewhere in the world.

Basically it must be distinguished between two different types of Surfboard waxes. First, there is the so-called “Base Coat Surf Wax” (we’ll come onto this later) to put on the board as a base coat. It might be entirely reasonable but for surfing in the canary islands it’s not strictly necessary. Secondly, there is the proper “temperature wax”, which actually gives you the grip on your surf trip. It should be chosen depending on the temperature of the water you’ll be surfing in. There are four main categories of temperature surfboard wax:

  • Cold Wax: When water temperature drops to 15° C /58°F or below and you definitely need a wetsuit, you’re using cold temperature wax. You will never need that kind of wax in Las palmas surf camp
  • Cool Wax:  If the water you’re surfing in is 15-19°C /59 -68°F, you can wear a cut-off arm wetsuit, cool temperature wax what you’ll need. You will use this wax for surfing in the canary islands between December and March
  • Warm Wax:  Warm water wax should be used for water temperatures 19-24 °C / 69- 74°F which means it’s the wax for surf trips on canary islands for the rest of the year
  • Tropical Wax:  A tropical temperature wax will give you ideal level of tackyness in warm water 24°C/ 75°F and above.

To make sure the wax is at an ideal level of softness in a specific water temperature, different chemicals are added. Most of them are petrochemical based which is not the best for the environment, your skin or your wetsuit. Therefor it worth thinking about choosing organic Surfboard Wax for your next surf trip. Therefore, las palmas surf camp we will provide you with Green Fix. 

Once you’ve decided on t1ahe correct temperature surf wax for surfing in the canary islands, it’s time to choose the brand. Selecting the right board wax, is like many in surfing, more a credo then a serious science. Here are a selection of few wax brand:

  • Matunas (Organic)
  • Sticky Bumps
  • Palmers
  • Mr Zoggs Sex Wax
  • Magma
  • Far King

3. How do I get the grip on my board?

Now let’s go down to wax!! Four easy steps to make your board ready for the next surf trip:

1. Step: Scrape old wax off the board

Before you start to rewax your board for surfing in the canary islands, remove the old wax and make sure the board is clean and free of damage, dirt, sand or dust. Any old wax on the board will sacrifice the integrity of your wax job. To soften the old wax, you can either lay the board out in the sun (!!) or carefully use the blow-drier. On request, las palmas surf camp provides you a wax comb or wax scraper which flat edge is used to remove the soft wax.

2.  Step: Clean the board

Some people also use cleaning products to remove the thin layer of wax still remaining. Once your board looks glossy, you can begin putting on a new coat.

3. Step: Apply the basecoat

As already said before, using a basecoat for your next surf trip might be entirely reasonable but is not strictly necessary, so feel free to skip this step. The top coat of wax will get worn out and rub off as you´re surfing in the canary islands, but the basecoat will remain until the next time you completely rewax your board. Use the edge of the wax stick, not the flat side. Apply until there is a bumpy coat, using any wax job technique explained above.

4. Step: Apply the temperature wax

The top coat of wax you use for your surf trip is much softer than a basecoat so you will not need to push down as hard as with the basecoat. Las palmas surf camp advise you to use a different-colored topcoat wax than your basecoat so it’s more visible when and where to apply new temperature wax. As with the basecoat, use the edge of the wax stick, not the flat side. Apply until there is a bumpy coat, using any wax job technique cited above.

Most of the time you will stick to Step 4, applying the temperature wax, however, there are some occasions where you will end up doing the whole procedure of rewaxing.  Either you bought a brand new board before coming to las palmas surf camp, you want to sell your old board after surfing in the canary islands or your board just looks shit because of contamination after all that surf trips. Moreover, it is also conceivable that you use a nice winter day far far away from the sun to spend some time with your beloved board, taking well care it while dreaming about the perfect wave to ride.

4. Which waxing techniques shell I use?

Surfers tend to use different techniques to put on the wax on the board for their surf trips. None is the corr2aect way and you should do whatever works for you.  As time goes on, you will find one that works best for you.

  • Circle pattern: Rub the wax onto the board in small circles, moving up and down the board until bumps start forming
  • Straight line pattern: Use straight lines, parallel to the rocker
  • Crosshatch pattern: Rub the wax onto the board on a diagonal, and then perpendicular to that diagonal, completing a crosshatch pattern
  • Kitchen sink: Use any direction, using any of the patterns listed above

5. Where to put wax on your Surfboard

The graphic shows the basic areas where you should put wax for your next surf trip. For su7brfing in the canary islands, and in general, wax should be applied in the feet working zones of the surfboard. Las palmas surf camp recommend to add some extra area, in case you need to move on the board or for your hands when you duck dive. Longboarders are the only ones who usually  wax the entire topside board, from nose to tail and edge to edge. Short boards are waxed over the lower 2/3 of the board, from the front logo to the back edge.

6. How much wax to use on a Surfboard?

There can be a lot of variance in how much wax you will need for surfing in the canary islands. Depending on the size of your board, you may need to use an entire stick of wax, or up to two sticks. As a guideline, you can use the graphic as a suggestion of how much wax to use for each board type.

7. What else do I need to consider?

  • Attention with combination of direct sun and wax when surfing in the canary islands- could cause aquaplaning on the board
  • Avoid having your melted wax contaminated with sand- you´re soft hands and tender feet will thank you after the surf trip
  • Remove the wax frequently to check for any unseen dingsor cracks lurking below
  • Don’t carry waxing to excess- otherwise they will call you a waxboy J just do it if it is really necessary
  • When wax starts to get flat and offers less grip, use the teeth of a wax comb to run it in in diagonal scrapes through the wax on your board
  • Think about using a Traction pads as a smart alternative to regular surfboard wax. Traction pads will ALWAYS have grip, no matter where you surf and what temperature dominates. Furthermore, it will guide you were to place the foot and protects the board from pressure dings.
  • As a rule of thumb, you can always use a warmer wax in cold water, but do not use a colder wax in warm water
  • Adding too many wax coats will add weight to a surfboard
  • Surfboards without wax or traction pads are impossible to stay on, so try a few wax brands out, find your favourite and never go for a surf without it!


Stay salty,  Lowcost Surf Camp Las Palmas,  Kelly

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