Skimboarding or skimming is a boardsport in which a skimboard is used to glide across the water’s surface.
However, if you’re just starting to skimboard and are struggling to maintain your balance, you might be curious to know: How do you wax a skimboard?
In this article, I will cover some key information about skimboards, including a step-by-step guide on how to wax a skimboard.
So, let’s get started.
Why Should You Wax A Skimboard?
It’s important to wax a skimboard for a variety of different reasons, especially when you’re first starting to skimboard.
Namely, the wax increases your grip and balance on your board, meaning that your feet are less likely to slip off your skimboard when it’s in the water.
If you don’t wax the top of your skimboard, you are likely to find that it is far easier to fall off. This, in turn, could potentially lead to an injury that could cut your new hobby short before you’ve even properly started!
In addition to waxing your skimboard, you might find it useful to use a traction pad, too. Traction pads are grippy pads that you can stick at the bottom of your skimboard to help you to balance and stand up on your board.
They are not only helpful for beginners, but are also used by more advanced skimmers in conjunction with wax, too.
Where Should You Wax A Skimboard?
You should wax the top of your skimboard, where you intend to be standing. Most skimmers put wax on the majority of the surface of the board, staying about half an inch to an inch away from the edges.
Skimmers don’t typically place wax all the way to the nose of the board, as you won’t be standing there. That being said, adding wax to the nose of the board is not only a waste of wax, but over time, it can also add unnecessary weight to your board that can upset your balance.
This is counterproductive and can make your life more difficult, as the nose of your board needs to be light to glide over and through the waves.
The main thing to remember is to make sure that you have the most wax in the area where your feet land when you’re skimming!
How Much Wax Should You Use On Your Skimboard?
How much wax you should use on your skimboard primarily comes down to preference. However, it also depends on whether you’re using a traction pad, or are using wax alone to make your board more grippy.
If you decide to use a wooden skimboard, many skimmers will usually either have full traction pads covering the whole surface or will use a combination of traction pads and skimboard wax.
Alternatively, many skimmers that use foamie skimboards opt for a combination of traction pads with wax to provide them with better traction.
How much wax you should use on your skimboard will become second nature the more experienced you become at the sport. When you’re first starting out skimming you might think that you’re using a lot of wax.
However, it’s better to have more wax while you’re still getting the hang of maintaining your balance on the board.
While adding a lot of wax adds a lot of weight to your skimboard, it is usually preferred and safer as it makes the wood board more grippy.
Be mindful of the fact that how much wax you put on your board is how much wax you will need to clean off it when it comes to it. This isn’t a problem, but is just something to note.
A Guide On How To Wax A Skimboard
As a beginner, it can be tricky to know how to wax your skimboard and gauge whether you are doing it right.
Equipment That You Will Need
- Base coat wax
- Top coat wax
Step One – Apply The Base Coat
When applying the base coat, make sure that you are pressing down hard to ensure that the board is getting a thick coat of wax.
You will want to begin by making broad strokes on the board and continuing until you see a bump pattern emerge. Continue until you feel satisfied.
Notes On The Base Coat
Over time, the top coat of wax that you apply to your skimboard will rub off as you use your board. On the other hand, the base coat will remain until the next time you completely re-wax your stick.
The base coat is essential for the top coat to work. If a patch of base coat rubs off, you will have an area that is consistently slippery. No matter how much you reapply the top coat, it will rub off.
Step Two – Apply The Top coat
Once you have evenly applied the base coat, it’s time to add the top coat. The top coat of skimboard wax should be applied similarly to the base coat, but since it is softer, you will not need to push down as hard.
The majority of skimmers apply the top coat using big circular motions, but again, this is down to your personal preference and what works best for you.
Notes on the top coat:
While the top coat will be easily affected by the water temperature, the base coat is less likely to be affected.
Surf wax comes in temperature ranges marked on the label. For instance, a tropical temperature is ideal to use in tropical warm waters.
Bearing this information in mind, you will need to use a wax type that is suitable for the water temperature where you use your skimboard for the best results.
Notes on applying wax to your skimboard
- There are many different techniques to apply wax. There isn’t an incorrect method, so you should apply the wax in whichever way works for you.
- As a rule of thumb, you can always use a warmer wax in cold water, but don’t use a colder wax in warm water.
A Guide On How To Remove Wax From Your Skimboard
Equipment That You’ll Need
- A wax comb or scraper
- A paper towel or newspaper
- A source of heat, such as a hairdryer or the sun on a hot day
Step One – Heat The Wax
To begin, you will need to heat the wax on the board. You can do this easily with a hairdryer or alternatively by leaving your board in the sun for a bit.
If you do opt for the latter method, make sure that you don’t leave your skimboard unattended for a long period of time.
Step Two – Place Newspaper Under The Board
The process of removing wax from your skimboard can be pretty messy. To make the clean up process easier once you have finished, make sure that you place the newspaper under the board to collect the old wax.
You should also make sure that you do it outside, such as in your backyard to prevent getting warm wax on the floors inside your house.
If you don’t do this step, you’d be surprised how much of a mess there is by the time that you have finished removing the wax from your skimboard.
Step Three – Remove The Wax With The Wax Scraper
Once the wax is soft, it’s time to remove it. After you’ve had the hairdryer on it or it’s been sitting in the sun for a period of time the max should be melty and can be removed relatively easily.
However, just because the wax is warm, this doesn’t automatically mean that this is going to be a super easy job. It is normal to find that some parts of the wax will take more effort to remove than others.
Use your scraper tool along the board in long smooth strokes to help you remove all of the wax.
Step Four – Collect And Dispose Of The Wax
Finally, you will need to collect all of the wax in a ball and dispose of it in the trash can.
Once you have finished scraping the wax off, you are likely to be left with some wax residue. This is totally normal, and can be removed with a bit of elbow grease. To get all the residue off, you can use a wax remover liquid to aid the process.
That being said, if you’re planning to re-wax your board straight away, this is a pointless step. However, it’s a good option when you’re cleaning your board to pack it away for the season.
If you don’t want the hassle of waxing, removing, and rewaxing your skimboard, then you can always try traction pads. However, you might struggle to use them exclusively when you’re first starting out, so it’s good to have spare wax on hand.
Tips When Removing Wax From Your Skimboard
- When skimming, you should always make sure that you take a spare block of wax with you on every trip. You never know when you might need more wax, especially if it’s a scorching hot day!
- When taking spare wax with you to the beach, you will also need to store it sensibly. This means that you need to make sure that you keep it somewhere cool out of the sun. Wax can quickly melt, and cause a huge mess in your bag if you’re not mindful of this!
So, there you have it! Now you know how to wax your skimboard. In addition to this, you also have some key information to keep in mind and know how to remove wax from your skimboard.
Have fun and be safe.