Surfing an Alaia: To Wax or Not to Wax?



Not that this is s big point of debate, but deciding whether or not to wax your alaia can have it’s benefits and pitfalls either way. I’ve heard it said that Americans tend to wax while Australians prefer not to. However, living in Hawai’i, I prefer the later.

Waxing your alaia does make it a little more comfy by eliminating some degree of wood rub resulting in a slightly less painful nipple/stomach rash. When your board is freshly oiled wax also helps you stay on the board without slipping off as it’s intended to do.

However, and this is the big downer for me, if you wax your board and then decide to re-sand/shape it down the road you’ll need a whole pack of sandpaper just to get the wax off your board. Even if you don’t have much on there a sheet of sandpaper only needs a few little patches of wax to ruin the whole sheet.

On the other hand, not waxing your board can be a bit slippery the first time or two out after an oiling. Also, you’ll be fully exposed to the wood rub that can cause some pretty mean rashes. Seeing as this is my preferred method, here are my solutions to the above dilemmas. First, suck it up and slip here and there for a session or two. After a couple of sessions the excess oil is gone and the wood has plenty of grip to hold you without having to add wax. Two, wear a shirt. You still may get a little rash, but it’ll be way less intense.

You can decide for yourself but hopefully this points out some of the bonuses and pitfalls of each method.


Source by J Moncur