How To Remove Stubborn Surfboard Wax In Just 13 Minutes

Today I’m explaining how we turned the surface of a crusty, heavily waxed surfboard into a smooth, squeaky clean piece of art. It was super easy, took just a few quick minutes, and was made possible by something we like to call the “Pantyhose Technique”.

Whether you’re removing the wax off your surfboard to apply a fresh coat, looking to put on a traction pad, or prepping for a ding repair, this technique will ensure you get every last bit of overused old wax off.

The cool thing about it? It can be done with just a couple items lying around your house.

The Pantyhose Technique: Avoid Common Mistakes

Last year we were faced with an issue that’s been experienced by thousands of surfers. It all started when we wanted to add a front traction pad to our surfboard…

What’s the problem? In order to accomplish this mission we needed to remove every bit of wax already in place.

To our relief, what was anticipated to be a major headache turned out to be a walk in the park. By using the “pantyhose technique” our board was looking brand new in just a few minutes and our new traction pad was ready to install.

A nice little added bonus, we didn’t have to go to the store or place an order for any supplies. We were back in the water the very next day after giving the traction pad 24 hours to bond and seal.

The best part?

You can do the same for your board… even if it’s accumulated more wax than the floor of a candle factory. So with that said, no more chit chat, let’s get right into it.

Step 1: The DIY Pickle Wax Remover

Now, in order to get every last bit of wax removed we’ll need to call in reinforcements, AKA a wax remover. Don’t have a wax remover or never heard of one? Neither did we. But just like us, you’ll learn fast.

Sure, you could go spend $12 and wait a few days if you decide to order the Pickle Wax Remover on Amazon however, we’ve proved there’s a better way.

There’s an old saying that goes “if you want something done right, do it yourself”, well it turns out you can make your own pickle wax remover that works just as good and it only takes a few minutes! But don’t sweat it, you only need two things and you probably have them already.

First things first, it’s time to grab yourself a pair of pantyhose. You heard me right, pantyhose.

Now I understand how asking your wife or girlfriend for permission to use a pair of their pantyhose for your little art project may be problematic. If you’re scratching your head with how to make the request, I’ll leave you with another old saying, “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to beg for permission“… Proceed with caution.

If you were caught with your hands in the panty drawer and now you’re sleeping on the couch tonight don’t worry, you can still buy your own pair for under $5 on Amazon or any large store like Walmart. Just make sure you get the right size 😉

Once you’ve got the goods you’re going to need to cut the foot off the pantyhose right at the ankle. Make your cut anywhere between 5 to 8 inches from the end of the toe and you’ll be fine.

Next, you’re going to take 1-2 cups of flour and fill the piece of pantyhose that you’ve cut into a sock.

Now simply tie a tight knot to secure the flour in place and boom, your DIY wax remover is ready for duty.

PRO TIP: Don’t leave any space for air in your wax remover when filling with flour and tying the knot. It should look like the photo below making it easy to grip and most effective.

Once you’ve completed that, you’re ready for the next step… This is where things get interesting.

Step 2: Work Smart Not Hard

Now it’s time for us to get to work. We’ll need to get the wax on your board warm so it can easily be scraped off. If it’s a warm sunny day set your board outside with the wax facing the sun and give it a few minutes depending on the temperature for the solar power to work its magic. If you don’t have the luxury of warm sunny skies you can use a blow dryer or hot water (but not too hot).

After your wax has been softened by the heat take surfboard wax scraper / wax comb (Available for free when purchasing any of our thruster, quad, or twin fins) and begin scraping the wax into a pile. If you don’t have a wax scraper, any expired and/or maxed-out credit card will do the trick… Wax on, wax off.

You should be able to get 90% of it off with relatively little effort but that last little bit that refuses to budge is where your pantyhose wax remover comes in.

PRO TIP: You’ll find liquid wax removers on amazon and surf shops but we suggest against using these because they leave an oily residue on your surfboard. If you’re planning on placing a traction pad over the surface this oily residue will prevent the adhesive from the traction pad from being able to properly adhere to the surface of your surfboard. No bueno 🙁

After the wax on your board has been scraped off to the best of your ability, it’s time to grab your pantyhose wax remover and proceed to the final step… We’re almost there.

Step 3: Every Last Bit of Wax

With a little bit of pressure, you’re going to rub your flour-filled wax remover across the surface of your board where wax residue still remains.

Similar to an argument, you’ll want to go back and forth or in circles with the wax remover until the surface is squeaky clean and smooth to the touch.

Once the wax remover has lived up to its name, take a damp rag and wipe the surfboard clean of any wax, dust, or flour.

Voilà, you now have a board that’s wax free and ready for whatever you have in store. Go ahead, take it in. Be proud of yourself for a job well done.

Some Parting Thoughts

So now you know how to use the “Pantyhose Technique” to turn any waxed-infused surfboard into a clean, wax-free piece of art.

If this article was helpful, leave us a message or send this to a friend who’s got some boards that need a little TLC… After all, friends don’t let friends ride crusty surfboards.

And if you’re wondering how to remove a traction pad next, check out this video.

Justin Gregory is an old-fashioned redneck hillbilly from Washington State who tripped over his shoelaces and found himself carrying a surfboard. For a dude in his twenties, he's seen it all. He lived among natives in Alaska, worked as a commercial fisherman in the Bering Sea, commonly paid off bribes to the Mexican police, and sold luxury real estate to foreign millionaires in Southern California. Somewhere along the line, he learned how to read and write (barely) which lead him to write surf content to keep all of you ungrateful kooks entertained. Of course, when he's not blowing off emails to catch waves in Baja or track Mule Deer in the mountains. You can read his stuff here on our blog and follow him on Instagram @Justin5Gregory.


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