With enough wax anything can be grinded.
This stone wall attitude will lead you to great places. But for beginners, they might not know what skateboard wax even is or how to apply it.
There’s a lot of skate wax information to learn out there so I did some research to make as complete of a guide as I could.
Let’s get started.
What is Skateboard Wax?
There are many waxes out there such as beeswax, earwax, candle wax…
But what is skateboard wax?
Skateboard wax refers to a wax that is applied to a surface, such as a handrail or a ledge, so that the surface can be more easily skated. In some cases, wax is necessary to grind a surface as the surface friction of the ledge will stop the board from grinding. Most generic waxes will work just fine, but most skate brands make their own wax.
You will only need skateboard wax if you are doing grind or slide tricks with your board. In this way, most beginners don’t really need wax unless maybe they are doing slappies or learning their first grinds.
What is Skating Wax Made of?
Technically wax is a string of hydrocarbons, but that’s too technical for this article.
Skateboarding wax is typically made of paraffin wax or beeswax which is also commonly found in candles. This is what brand name skate wax is made of. Paraffin wax is a soft colorless solid derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale. Beeswax is a natural wax compound produced by bees. You can make your own skate was by melting together paraffin wax candles or crayons.
Crayons are also typically made of paraffin wax so they will work surprisingly well as skate wax. Paraffin wax is desirable because it is the right mix of soft, spreadable, and lubricating.
Skating Wax Recipe
Making skating wax at home is actually very simple to do. You only need a couple of ingredients.
- Paraffin wax candles and/or crayons
- 1 Tablespoon of Cooking Oil
From here you simply need to cut the wax candles or crayons into smaller pieces, melt the wax in the oven or on the stovetop, and then add a small amount of cooking oil. Then pour the wax into the container of your own choice and let it harden.
Use low heat while you melt the wax, but otherwise, this is a very straightforward recipe. So get cooking wax makers!
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How to Apply Skate Wax
Have you ever applied stick deodorant before?
Applying wax to a surface is the same as applying deodorant to your armpit. Simply rub the wax onto the surface you want to grind or slide. Start by going over the surface once and then trying to do a trick on it. If the surface is still difficult to grind, add another layer of wax.
Generally, you want to try and do a trick on the ledge before even starting to wax it. If you stick, then give the ledge its first layer of wax and then try to land a trick again.
Try not to apply way too much wax because removing it can be difficult to do and other skaters might get upset at you for turning a ledge into a slip and slide.
How to Remove Skate Wax
Sometimes a ledge or handrail gets waxed to the point where it is unskatable and potentially dangerous. You can be as mad as you want at the skater who waxed it, but that won’t remove the wax. Unfortunately, removing skate wax completely is not always easy.
Follow these steps to remove skate wax from a ledge or surface:
- Scrape off the top layers of wax with a credit card, razor, or paint scraper
- Use either a hard bristle bursh, steel wool, or scour pads (scrub pads) to scrap of the remaing layers of wax
- Alternatively, you can take a torch to the ledge and watch the wax melt and bubble off of the surface.
Most skaters don’t have a spare torch though. A lighter will not do the trick. Scrub pads are the best and most affordable options here and will mostly clean a ledge if you work at it for a bit.
Does Waxing Damage a Surface?
There is a common idea that skating damages property, but is this because of wax?
Waxing a surface or handrail will not damage the surface, but skating might. For example, grinding handrails can easily remove paint and scratch up the handrail. Generally speaking, it is good etiquette to remove skate wax from the surface you applied it to after you’re finished skating. This is especially true for street spots.
Unfortunately completely removing skateboard wax is extremely difficult. So the least you can do is wipe it down so that the surface isn’t incredibly slippery. Also know that you wax up public places that the city might get mad and install no skating signs.
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Best Skateboard Waxes
Skateboard waxes are all made of the same materials and while the composition of the materials might vary, there aren’t large differences between waxes of different companies. So with that in mind, you should really just buy the wax of a company that you like and want to support.
Here are my favorite companies that sell wax.
Bones Skate Wax
Shorty’s Skate Wax
Skate Junt Skate Wax
How Much Does Skate Wax Cost?
Skate wax shouldn’t be expensive. You can even make it home out of old crayons.
Typically, the price for skate company brand skate wax is around $8-$15 per unit of wax. The actual amount of wax given differs by the company and some companies don’t disclose weight on their product at all. Unlike food, there are no regulations that require companies to do so.
So wax is clearly very cheap, but you can make it even cheaper by making your own or buying Gulf Wax which goes for about $10 for a pound of wax.
Can You Use Surf Wax for Skateboarding?
Are you a surfer who is learning to skate? Do you have spare surf wax lying around?
Maybe you think that you should try to use surf wax to wax up a ledge you want to grind. Unfortunately, you should think again.
Just like skate wax, surfing wax is made from a combination of paraffin wax and beeswax. However, the composition of the different materials differ and surf wax should not be used as skate wax. The functions are completely different. Surf wax helps grip the surfboard while skate wax helps lubricate a surface to slide across it.
I suspect there is more to this answer though and I will order some surf wax to do some experiments, but for now, this is the consensus answer.
Can I Use Deodorant for Skate Wax?
There are actually a few people who have made videos specifically about this you can refer to, but let’s get straight to the results first.
Deodorant can be used in a similar way to skate wax, but it will not lubricate the ledge as well as normal skate wax. You will also essentially be paying much more money for deodorant than for the equivalent amount of skateboard wax. So unless you have no other options, there are no good reasons to use deodorant to wax a ledge instead of skate wax.
So that’s the short version. If you want to watch some skaters struggle with applying wax to different surfaces and grinding them then head to YouTube. But I’ll embed one video here for good measure.
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So that’s it.
Skate wax is needed to even try and grind some surfaces, but you should always try to skate the object first before applying wax. It is easy to apply skate wax, but it is difficult to remove skate wax.
Skate wax is a composite of paraffin wax and beeswax and this is what skate brand waxes are made of. You can also make your own skate wax at home with some paraffin candles and/or crayons. Try it out!
Generally, the difference between different brand skate waxes aren’t significant so just buy skate wax from the company you like and support.
Anyway, hope that helped. Thanks for reading and look out for more content from Board and Wheels.
I am not a complete encyclopedia of skateboarding knowledge. I’m learning new things all the time and so use some resources for my posts. The resources I used in this post are listed below.