What can you use to wax a skimboard, or can you board without it?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  01.03.2022
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Skimboarding is a lot of fun, but it can be difficult to get the hang of.

Waxing your board is an important part of getting the most out of your skimboarding experience. It’s also not always easy to figure out which type you need for your board and how to apply it properly.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss two types of wax. We’ll also provide tips on how to apply them so that you can get the most out of your skimboard experience.

Woman waxing the top of her skimboard on the beach

There are four ranges of wax for skimboarding, depending on the water temperature. The warm range is from 68F to 78F, the tropical range is for temperatures 75F and below, and the cold and cool ranges are adjusted for various water temperatures.

Can you skimboard without wax?

You should wax the top of your skimboard or use traction pads to make it less slippery.

Skimboards without wax are hard to stand on when they’re wet because you need a bit of speed when jumping on. Wax will help you stay on the board better without sliding right off.

I’ve tried skimboarding without wax when I first got started.

I did know about it, but I ordered a skimboard online and there wasn’t a surf shop near where I was vacationing so I figured it’d be ok.

It was fun practicing those first few weeks, but after discovering wax, a whole new world of skill opened up for me.

You definitely need some wax, it’ll be so much more fun having some decent grip on your board.

The four ranges of wax for skimboarding

  1. Warm wax: for water temperatures from 68F to 78F
  2. Tropical wax: for water temperatures below 75F
  3. Cold wax: for water temperatures below 50F
  4. Cool wax: for water temperatures below 32F

Do you wax the top or bottom of a skimboard?

The top of the board.

When you wax your skimboard (like this), you should use a cloth to apply an even layer of wax to the entire upper surface of the board.

You don’t have to wax the bottom of the skimboard as it will glide well enough on the water as it is.

Do you need speed wax on the bottom of your skimboard?

No, you don’t need speed wax on the bottom of your skimboard.

You should use a different type of wax for the top of your board, which is called traction wax.

Traction wax is formulated to create more friction between the board and the water, which will help you stay on the board while you’re riding.

How to apply skimboard wax properly

The following are tips on how to apply wax to your skimboard:

  1. Use a cloth to apply an even layer of wax to the entire upper surface of the board.
  2. Make sure the board is clean and dry before applying the wax.
  3. Do not apply the wax on a hot board or in the sun, but instead wax it in the shade or with your back turned towards the sun.
  4. Apply the wax in the direction of the grain of the wood.
  5. Let the wax dry completely before using the board.
  6. Reapply wax as needed to maintain a good grip on the board.

How much wax do you need?

You should apply a thin layer of wax, which will help you avoid getting too much on the board.

Too much wax can make the board more difficult to control and can also slow you down.

A light coat of wax is all you need to keep your board from slipping.

How often should I wax my skimboard?

Generally, you should re-wax your skimboard every 3-6 months. This will depend on the water temperature, If the wax melts and resets, it turns yellow or fills up with sand and becomes too clumpy under your feet. That’s when it’s time to re-wax your skimboard.

If you’re having trouble staying on the board, then you may need to apply more wax.

Even with heavy use, waxing your board every few weeks should be enough to keep it from slipping.

It’s also a good idea to clean the board before waxing it to make sure the wax will stick properly.

Alternative skimboard waxes

There are some alternative ideas to waxing your skimboard than these professional store-bought waxes.

Let’s look at a few ideas:

Can you use hockey wax on a skimboard?

Yes, hockey wax can be used on a skimboard.

The temperature range for hockey wax is much lower than surf wax, so it will work well in cooler climates.

However, hockey wax may not provide as much grip as surf wax in hotter temperatures.

Hockey wax is used to increase the stickiness of the hockey stick, so it’s the right mixture for providing grip on a board as well.

Don’t expect to be blown away by the results though, and you might need to reapply a lot more often.

Can you use car wax on a skimboard?

Yes, car wax can be used on a skimboard, but only on the bottom if you want to increase speed (which not many pro’s do).

Car wax is not sticky so putting it. ontop of your skimboard will result in you falling off of your board like, 100% of the time.

Can you use skate wax on a skimboard?

Skate wax is applied to rails and curbs to reduce friction. In other words, it helps you glide on surfaces more easily. The paraffin in the wax makes surfaces easier to glide on but you want to have more friction on the top of your skimboard.

So, skate wax isn’t an option to increase grip on a skimboard.

Can you wax a skimboard with a candle?

No, it is not recommended to wax a skimboard with a candle.

Candle wax is much harder than surf wax and is also more slippry than skimboard wax.

Surfers used candle wax back in the day, before commercial wax was available. They would have to rub sand into the wax to create a grip, so it’s way more hassle than it’s worth.

How do you make a skimboard wax?

Now that we’ve gone over some different types of wax, let’s take a look at how to make your own skimboard wax.

All you need is:

-A stove or microwave

-Bowls or pots for melting the wax

-A spoon for stirring

-Parchment paper or tin foil


-Coconut oil or fragrant oil

-Tree resin / sap (for cold water wax only)


1. Place the beeswax, coconut oil, and fragrant oil in a bowl or pot and melt them using a stove or microwave.

2. Add the tree resin / sap to the melted wax and stir well.

3. Pour the wax mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or tin foil.

4. Let the wax dry completely before using it on the board.

5. Reapply wax as needed to maintain a good grip on the board.

Alternative methods for making your own wax:

-If you don’t have access to beeswax, carnauba wax can be used as a substitute.

Making your own skimboard wax is much cheaper than buying it from a store, and you can customize the ingredients to make it perfect for your needs.


Making your own skimboard wax can be a fun and affordable way to get the perfect grip for your riding style.

You can customize the ingredients to make sure you’re getting the right combination of stickiness, and it’s a great project to do with friends.

But, there are so much specialized types of waxes available, that it’s almost not worth the hassle of going through the process, at least in my opinion.

Also read: increase your skimboarding abilities with one of these top brands

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.