How To Wax a Foam or Soft Top Surfboard

A foam board isn't covered in a hard material like typical non-foam boards. It's a soft-top surfboard that features a special type of foam that's resistant to water. You'll typically find this foam on the board's deck with a special sheet to protect it against moisture and dents. The bottom of such boards is typically hard and smooth to ensure an optimal wave-riding speed.

Foam surfboards are also called foam top surfboards or foamie surfboards. Their foam attributes are unlike the hard-top boards in the sense that the latter is shaped with a foam blank that has a hard covering—as stated earlier.

Why You Need To Wax Your Foam Surfboard

Did you just get your first foam or soft-top surfboard? If so, then understand that you may have to wax it before use, depending on how good its grip is when surfing for the first time.

Foam boards aren't as slippery as unwaxed hard-top boards, but they can easily get slippery when wet. You may have to apply a thin layer of wax to have a comfortable grip on the board. Thankfully, you're reading the right guide to know just how to do so with proper surfboard wax!

Foam Surfboard Waxing Tips

You may find a shiny film on the top of your brand-new foamie board after unwrapping it. This part may be very slippery, so ensure that it's washed off. Use soapy, warm water and a small damp towel for the wash. Dry the board well after rinsing so that the wax you'll apply on it will stick.

Notes for Wax Temperature

1. Match the Water Temperature

Ensure that you use the appropriate wax type for the temperature of the water you want to surf on. Using warm water wax for a board that will be ridden on cold water will harden the wax to a point where there's inadequate grip. On the other hand, cold water wax will melt easily in hot water, and you'll start having a difficult time on your board.

2. Wax Under a Shade

Waxing shouldn't be done under the sun or in intense heat because it can soften the wax and make it unable to stick to the board properly.

3. Apply Slowly

One unspoken rule is to rub slowly so that the wax will remain cool and stick properly. Doing it fast can make the wax warm and melt a little. Soft wax won't stick well—as stated earlier.

Effective Wax Application Method: Cross Hatching

Make a criss-cross pattern over the board's surface with the wax bar. You can use a corner of the wax to draw diagonal lines across the board from one side to the other and then do it from the reverse side afterward. It could be from a top side to a bottom side and vice versa.


It's advisable to first use your brand-new surfboard after washing it before thinking of waxing. Depending on the product, the grip may be satisfactory without the need for a wax. There's the option of putting a traction pad (deck pad or deck grip) on the deck of the board instead. You can also try wetsuit boots for a good grip on cold water instead.

James Davis

Written by James Davis

I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.

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