How To Clean Your Surfboard

If you're sick of standing on sand and grit, it's time you learned how to clean your surfboard! Cleaning a surfboard is a lot easier than it seems; the size of the board may seem daunting, especially when you hear that many people clean them by scraping all of the wax off, but there's a quicker and easier way.

Take Note: This is going to make a mess, so your backyard or another outdoor place is the best choice of location. Preferably close to your stove so you don't have to carry the kettle very far. The surfboard will have old wax and sand on it; cleaning it will not just strip the sand, it will also get rid of most of the wax, so you'll need to put new wax onto it before you can use it again. Surfboard wax comes in a variety of types based on what temperature the water they will be used in is; make sure you pick the right temperature for your surfing area.

You will need:

  • A surfboard that needs to be cleaned (that's why you're here, right?)
  • Water
  • Your stove top
  • A large pot or teakettle
  • A towel
  1. Lay the surfboard out flat on the ground. If you don't want wax to get onto the ground for some reason, now is the time to lay down something to protect it, such as a tarp.
  2. Heat the water in the kettle to nearly boiling. It's okay if it actually gets to boiling, but if it's too cold it won't melt the wax, so make sure it gets very hot.
  3. Slowly pour the hot water over the surfboard from one end to the other. Watch your toes, that water is hot! The wax will melt, and it and the sand will simply run right off of the board, leaving it shiny and clean in minutes. It may take several pots of water depending on how much sand and wax are on the board, and also how large or small your kettle is.
  4. Flip the board over and repeat the process. Heat water and pour it slowly over the board from one end to the other; make sure you don't lay the now-clean side of the board directly into the sand and wax you just melted off when you flip it over!
  5. Gently wipe the entire board down with the towel. This dries the water and wipes the last bit of the wax off. If your surfboard has stickers or decals on the surface, make sure not to scrub too hard or you may scratch them. The board should now be shiny and clean, ready to be re-waxed and get back out there on the waves!

There are several schools of thought on the best way to clean your surfboard; many seasoned surfers will tell you that the best way is to simply leave your board out in the sun so that the wax melts and drips off. This does work to clean the board, but it can yellow the colors of it at the same time, and so the hot water method is a better idea. And why scrape all of that wax off with a CD or your driver's license, risking scratching your decals, when you could just melt the wax off in a lot less time? 

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