Have you ever tried walking over a wet floor with slippery shoes? Friction is an amazing thing, and the lack thereof can send us slipping and sliding in all directions.
Surf wax is an essential piece of bodyboarding equipment and should always be used.
Do I Need to Wax a Bodyboard?
If you don’t want to slide off your bodyboard constantly, you will want to use wax.
By putting surf wax on your bodyboard, you increase the friction between your body and your board which prevents you from sliding off when you are paddling and riding a wave.
Let’s take a quick look at how and why we should use wax on our bodyboards.
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Can You Wax a Bodyboard?
A common mistake that many new bodyboarders make is that they think there is no need to use wax on their boards.
This is usually because many bodyboards have slightly rigid lamination and wetsuits have rubber chest areas that increase grip.
As a beginner, the best bodyboarding waves will be smaller, and you will therefore likely notice very little downside to not using wax, but as the swell size increases, the necessity to remain glued to your board increases.
It is not only possible to use surf wax on your bodyboard, but it’s highly recommended to do so.
You can use either surf wax or bodyboard wax, however, keep in mind that harder waxes could dent the deck of your bodyboard when you apply it.
Why You Should Use Wax On Your Bodyboard
As mentioned above, it’s important to wax your bodyboard if you want to get the most out of the day’s surf.
Ensuring your bodyboard is correctly waxed will help you in more ways than one, which further emphasizes its importance.
Although most of the time you paddle, you will be using your legs during take-offs and when racing to get past an oncoming set, you will likely be paddling with your arms for extra momentum.
Without wax on your board, you will find it extremely difficult to remain on the deck while your arms are moving and you aren’t holding on.
When you wax your bodyboard, you won’t slip while paddling, allowing you to generate more power with less energy and, therefore, more speed.
The truth is, if you want to perform just about any bodyboarding trick or maneuver, you are going to need some A-grade control of your board.
It’s simple, if you can’t stay on your bodyboard, you clearly have no control over it and will therefore find it impossible to learn ant tricks successfully.
Waxing your board will help you remain glued to it and will therefore give you more grip and control, both in a large and choppy swell, as well as when performing bodyboarding maneuvers such as drop knee (DK).
When you are in the water, your board is your responsibility, and where it ends up remains on your shoulders.
This means that if your board slips from under you and hits another surfer, it’s your fault.
Apart from the safety of others, not using wax on your bodyboard can be dangerous in large surf.
If you slip from your board while duck diving under a large wave or slip from your board as you coast down a giant, your safety could be in serious jeopardy.
Keeping your board securely beneath you while your bodyboard is safer both for you and for others.
If you are struggling to stay on your board, you will find it very difficult to progress.
Yes, when you first start bodyboarding it may be tricky to find your center, but without wax, you will be sliding all over the place.
If this is the case, you won’t be able to practice duck diving, paddling full power, and will constantly slip off the few waves you manage to catch.
Without wax on your bodyboard, you will massively slow down your progression.
How Do You Wax a Bodyboard?
Waxing a bodyboard is much the same as putting surf wax on a surfboard. However, there are a few key points to keep in mind.
Waxing a bodyboard is not only easy, but it will use far less wax than a surfboard.
1. Clean Your Board
Always ensure that your bodyboard is clean of old wax, salt, and any dust before you begin waxing it.
To do this, you can warm the wax in the sun and gently remove the old wax with a wax comb or old bank/ library card.
Wash your board and dry it once all the wax has been removed.
2. Apply Wax to Rails and Nose
Once your board is clean and dry, you can begin to apply your wax.
Many beginners, especially those who surf, will wax the entire bodyboard, but this will make it difficult for you to move and shift your weight while riding.
Instead, you should only place wax on the areas that you will be making contact with (rails, nose, and deck).
When applying wax to the rails and nose, ensure to only wax the areas that your hand will touch and not the entire length.
Additionally, you should wax the first inch of the underside of the rails to provide grip for your fingers (avoid waxing the bottom of the board as it will create friction and slow you down).
3. Apply Wax to the Deck
When waxing the deck area, you should avoid waxing the entire deck; instead, focus only on the stomach area that will be pressed against the board when you lift your chest.
To wax this area, you can use your favorite waxing technique, but using a criss-cross method works well and will ensure the wax is well distributed.
What Kind of Wax Is Used for Bodyboards?
To wax your bodyboard, you will need either surfboard wax or bodyboard wax.
Bodyboard wax is fairly new to the market and is similar to surfboard wax, but is made softer and stickier, which helps for easy application without putting your board’s health at risk.
If you can’t find bodyboard-specific wax or simply don’t mind, then using a softer surfboard wax is best.
Hard waxes can dent your bodyboard when you apply them and won’t stick as well.
The best wax for a bodyboard will be soft, sticky, and easy to apply, but not too soft that it melts in your current climate.
Although bodyboard wax is softer than surfboard wax, this could be a problem when you find yourself in tropical climates.
In this case, you may need to opt for a harder surfboard wax (which will be softened by the temperature anyway).
What Temperature Wax Should I Use?
The table below shows the suggested wax types and their corresponding water temperatures for surfboards.
When waxing your bodyboard, you will want to use, as mentioned above, softer wax, and should consider trying a wax from the next temperature group up.
|Type of Surf Wax||Recommended Water Temperature|
|Cold water wax||<14°C (58°F)|
|Cool water wax||12-20°C (54-69°F)|
|Warm water wax||17-25°C (63-78°F)|
|Tropical water wax||>24°C (75°F)|
In the end, the type of wax you use is up to you, but make sure that it isn’t too hard that you damage your board when applying it, and not too soft that it smears or melts on your board.
If you want to take your bodyboarding seriously and plan to progress to bigger and steeper waves, then wax is an essential part of your bodyboarding gear.
Without wax, you will find it difficult to paddle with your arms without sliding from side to side and will constantly slip from your board when riding waves.
Surf wax or bodyboarding wax, it doesn’t matter, but make sure you use it.