The Wax on Wax off Bodyboarding Guide to Waxing

Giving Your Bodyboard the Proper Waxing

Waxing your bodyboard or surfboard is an additional step many riders take before taking their board into the water.

While it’s still a debate amongst bodyboarders whether or not it’s actually beneficial, it’s good to familiarize yourself with why some people use it!


What is board or surf wax?

Similar to the texture you find on a candle, surf wax is a material that is applied to areas your body is in contact with on the board.

Believe it or not, there is actually a right and wrong way to applying wax onto your board!

Some bodyboarders are even seen applying the wax to their wetsuit or hands.

We do not recommend doing this, however.

This could reduce the lifetime of your wetsuit, it will not give you the best grip, and it can be harder to take off.

Let’s jump into the proper way of applying surf wax to your bodyboard!


You should apply wax to the areas you come in contact with the most. This would be the nose area and rails.

This area is represented by the image below: 


A few good areas for applying board wax.

Applying the wax to the nose gives you better grip when holding the bodyboard and the rails will come in handy when you are trying to turn or do tricks!

If you notice yourself slipping up and down the board we recommend applying wax to the stomach and hip area as well.

This area is highlighted by the image below:


If you're slipping around your board, applying wax to these additional areas may help.


Before you start this step, make sure you have a wax scraper with you.

Whether it’s your first time applying wax or the 100th, you could accidentally apply too much.

Having the scraper is handy for removing the excess wax.

To apply the wax, lightly stroke each of the areas shown earlier.

Don’t just judge the wax job by looks, feel the areas you covered and determine if you need to apply more.

Remember, applying more wax is easier, than taking off a little! 


Do NOT wax your board directly in the sun.

Just like a candle, the wax will melt if it gets too hot, which could leave a mess, or worse, require you to start over!

Find a nice shady or cool spot while you are applying the wax.

Before waxing your bodyboard for the first time, some riders first cover the waxing areas with the ocean water and sand.

Even though this isn’t necessary, some believe this removes the slipperiness that came from the glossy film.

Keep in mind, though, that the board will already get its fair share of sand and water once you take it out to the ocean. This step is entirely up to you! 


There are many reasons why you would want to remove the wax from your board:

  1. There is excess wax.
  2. You want to apply a fresh coat.
  3. The grip is getting loose or ineffective.

It would seem the easiest way to remove the wax is to stick your board out in the sun for a while.

However, do not do this! Leaving your board in the sun is a recipe for disaster. A bodyboard can quickly deteriorate in the hot sun.

In fact, just leaving a board for an hour can cause irreversible damage to many parts of your board, most notably the slick and rails.

You can read more about bodyboard care here.

There are many ways to remove wax without using the sun method, some more convenient than others.

Here are some additional methods of wax removal you could try:


Since almost everyone has a blow dryer handy, this is a great way of removing wax indoors.

To remove the wax:

  1. Turn on the blow dryer to a hot setting and aim at the wax. You don’t want to point directly, rather point at an angle to the wax. This prevents creating any imperfections in the board itself. Hold it in place for as long as the wax is still hard.
  2. Like the first method mentioned, use a wax scraper or wax comb to remove the soft wax using the sharp edge. If you don’t have the tool handy, you can use almost any sturdy rectangle shaped item like a credit card to remove the wax.
  3. Repeat the process until all the wax is removed from the board or to your liking! 


Bring a pot of water to hot temperature.

Make sure the water is not boiling since it could ruin the shape of your board.

We don’t recommend this method of removal for extremely hot water, but for warmer temperatures, it should work just as well.

  1. Pour the water over the wax you want to remove. Continue applying water until the wax is soft or loose.
  2. Take your trusty wax scraper or another sharp edge item to remove the wax.
  3. Repeat the process until all the wax is removed from the board or to your liking!


If you haven’t noticed, you need to heat up the wax to remove it.

So what happens if you don’t have good sunlight, hot water or blow dryer?

Well you can use the power of friction with a towel!

  1. Start rubbing your towel over the areas you have wax on, creating heat. This will take some elbow grease for sure, but continue rubbing until the wax is soft.
  2. Take your trusty wax scraper or another sharp edge item (not too sharp though!) to remove the wax.
  3. Repeat the process until all the wax is removed from the board or to your liking!

If you want to try out this method, something that could help out is applying hot sand to the waxed areas.

This will warm up the wax so that you don’t have to spend as much time rubbing.

Just like the hot water method, we really don’t think this is a practical way of softening your wax.

However, some bodyboarders still use these unconventional methods so we thought we’d let you know about them anyway! 


If you have already started researching the different waxes out there you are probably seeing different grades.

Some of the most recognizable brands including Sticky Bumps and Sex Wax have different grades of wax: cold, cool, warm, and tropical.

These different wax grades are measures of hardness.

As mentioned earlier in the article, the warmer the sun is, the softer your wax will get. The same reasoning applies to water temperatures.

As the water temperature gets colder, the more your wax will harden and lose its grip. 

Tying everything together we get the following:

Cold: The softest wax and is used for colder temperature riding so that the grip holds longer. This wax is best for water temperatures under 60.

Cool: A semi-soft wax used for warmer water temperature, but still cold enough for you to think twice about going in! An example of this would be a high-50's - high-60's water temperature.

Warm: Another semi-soft wax used for warmer water temperatures. The typical temperature range for using this wax would be in waters that are in the high-60's  mid-70's. This is one of the most popular grades of wax.

Tropical: The hardest of all board wax. This is meant to be applied to boards that will be in tropical weather. Water temperatures for this wax are are above 75 degrees.


When you go bodyboard wax shopping, make sure you are actually getting wax for a bodyboard.

While they are very similar, bodyboard wax is stickier than surf wax.

Fortunately, if you already went to go get your wax and it turned out to be used for surf boards, it will work just fine on your bodyboard!

NOTE: The opposite is not true. Surfers highly discourage riders to use bodyboard wax on their surfboards due to the extra stickiness it brings. 

As we discussed earlier, a blow dryer or warmer water provide two reliable ways to heat up some wax.

If your goal is to keep your wax on, refrain from leaving your board outside.

Within minutes, the wax can start to soften and lose shape. 

The last thing new bodyboarders ask is how often to reapply the wax to their board.

While this is entirely up to you, there are a few conventions:

  1. If you are falling off your board a lot in the water, it most likely doesn't have much grip. This would be the first indicator that it's time to reapply.
  2. If your board is feeling heavy and you haven't been taking the wax off, now it's time. Don't let the wax be the reason why you are no longer flying through the water!


Whether it's your first time riding or your millionth, always check your wax before going into the water.

Use the waxing tools discussed if there is too much, or reapply in the highlighted areas. 

Don't let a wave throw you off your board.

Get a grip, apply your wax, and hang tight as you are flying through the ocean.

ⓘ Need some wax? Check out the links below:

Bodyboard Wax and Wax Accessories (Wax Scrapers, Wax Combs, etc.)

ⓘ Looking for a new board? Check out these links:

→ How to Choose the Perfect Bodyboard

 The Bodyboard Size Calculator

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