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How to Clean a Surfboard

Cleaning a surfboard is straightforward once you know how to do it. Learn how to clean your surfboard, how to clean wax off surfboards & a few cheats!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

wax a surfboard

If you’ve given your new surfboard a waxing job and taken it out a few times to catch some waves, you may find that the tackiness of the wax begins to wear off after a few rides. The purpose of surf wax is to keep your feet on the deck, so it’s no good surfing with a board covered in old wax that isn’t sticky anymore. It’s time to give your surfboard a fresh coat of wax, but first you need to clean it with some tools and surfboard cleaner.

Don’t have a wax comb on hand? Use an old credit card to scrape off the old wax – it’s a tried and tested substitute for when you’re eager to hit the beach but can’t find your wax comb to get the old wax off.

How to clean a surfboard (and how to clean wax off surfboards)

Cleaning a surfboard is actually quite straightforward, but you do need to carry out that prep work first, meaning there is wax scraping ahead. Here’s how to clean your surfboard and clean wax off surfboards in a quick and easy way:

  1. To melt the wax on the board in an easy way, put your surfboard out in the sun for about 5 minutes if it’s a sunny day; the wax will melt and become much easier to remove. If it’s not a sunny day, warm the wax by pouring warm water on the board or try using a hair dryer until the wax is malleable.

  2. Scrape off the old wax using a wax comb. If you have a wax comb with a curved edge on one side, you can use this to scrape the wax off the rails more easily.

  3. Read the directions on the label of your chosen surfboard cleaner. Then, spray some on the surfboard and some onto a clean cloth, and then wipe the board in a pattern – either tail to nose or rail to rail. If you’ve run out of surfboard cleaner, you can use some coconut oil and wipe the surfboard thoroughly afterwards.

  4. Make sure the board is completely free from old wax and cleaning product.

  5. Apply new wax.

Now you know how to clean surfboards, you can make child’s play of surfboard maintenance and hit the beach on no time! You should ideally clean your board after every surfing session, but you can get away with doing it after every few sessions. A time-saving cheat between cleans is to use the serrated side of your wax comb to create diagonal patterns in the wax on your board and get some more grip out of it before it’s time to give your board a bit of TLC again.

  • Let the old wax melt off the surfboard in the sun, but be careful not to leave it out in direct sunlight for longer than five minutes or so.

  • Scrape off the soft wax with a wax comb (or an old credit card).

  • Use a citrus-based surfboard cleaner (or coconut oil) and wipe the board from side to side with a clean cloth. Always follow the directions on the label and test in a small area first.

  • Apply new basecoat and topcoat wax to your surfboard.

Originally published