How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard

surfboard sawhorse bench How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard
Yes, it’s the middle of winter and if you live in Southern California you can still wear shorts and a t-shirt. You can also surf while wearing a wetsuit and remain relatively comfortable. These days my regular surfing has taken back seat to my new found love for stand up paddle surfing so my 9′ Andy Johnson has been a bit neglected and mostly used as a loaner board.
I’ve been itching to go surfing recently and figured I needed to make sure the board is decent shape. There are a few pressure dings but no major damage but the wax is very dirty and has picked up a ton of sand. None of that is pleasant to touch or see so it was time to remove the wax from the board. It just takes a few simple steps and when you’re done your board will be ready for new wax and an all day session.
1. Warm It Up
Place the board on a solid structure, preferably one that is raised. We used two sawhorses. Let the board sit in the direct sun for about 20 minutes. The heat will loosen up the wax and allow you to scrape it off. On a hot day it will need less time on a cool day it may need a bit more.


tools remove wax How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard
2. Assemble Tools
You’ll need a clean rag, credit card (preferably one not in use) and a cleaning agent such as denatured alcohol.
remove surfboard wax credit card How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard
3. Scrape It Off
Once the board is properly heated and the wax feels sticky to the touch its probably ready to scrape off. Using the credit card scrape the wax off in one direction and work the length of the board. You can go from center out or lengthwise. We prefer working across our body and move down the length of the board.
old surfboard wax How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard
4. Dispose of Old Wax
Don’t just let the wax fall onto the ground where a dog or cat could eat it (toxic) or you could step on it and bring it into the house. Place the old wax in one location and dispose of it in the trash when you are finished.
clean surfboard How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard
5. Final Clean
You can leave the board like this and it will have a slight residue of wax still remaining which is fine as it will be clean, but if you want to remove all of the wax you can use denatured alcohol and a clean rag and finish the job. Just splash a bit and wipe quickly.
wax free surfboard How To Remove Wax From a Surfboard
6. Go Surf!
Once you’ve got a clean board pick your wax based on the water temp and hit the water with a clean board.

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Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
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