How To Clean A Surfboard | 5 Effective Ways (2022 Update)

Last Updated November 25, 2022

Choosing the best surfboard is an integral part of what makes you a good surfer – maintaining it will have an equally significant impact on how you ride. Plus, given that surfboards are expensive, it is certainly crucial to thoroughly clean them to extend their lifespan.

Many are quick to complain that their surfboards don’t last long. They miss one of the fundamental issues to be able to use it at its best because they are busy blaming the manufacturer. Cleaning the surfboard is one of the easiest ways to keep your surfboard in great shape and lengthen its life.

Clean your surfboard as regularly as you can. This article tells you about better practices on how to clean a surfboard. And, if you follow them religiously, who knows just how long you and your surfboard can last together.

What You Need To Know About Cleaning Your Surfboard

Ideally, it would help if you were at least rinsing and wiping down your surfboard after every use. Saltwater would leave quite a toll on the integrity of your surfboard, especially if it suffered a few bumps and dings. You wouldn’t want the saltwater to penetrate and damage it from within.

It can be as simple as giving it a freshwater rinse after every surf. This best practice is easy to do and won’t make much of your time.

Aside from rinsing, your surfboard also needs a deep cleaning, at least after every few sessions. Where you surf and how often you stay in the waters make a big difference. But, a good rule of thumb is to keep it tidy after every session.

Supplies You’ll Need for Cleaning Your Surfboard

cleaning a surfboard

Effective cleaning starts with the right tools. The basic supplies you should have for this task include:

  • Hairdryer
  • Wax comb with a sharp end
  • Warm water
  • Cloth
  • Surfboard cleaning spray
  • Coconut oil
  • Towel

Steps How To Clean A Surfboard

One of the reasons why some put off cleaning a surfboard is its size. It can be pretty intimidating to clean something taller than you. But, cleaning a surfboard is pretty straightforward. Start with the prep work first, and the rest will be easy.

  1. Prep the board
  2. Make Diagonal Cuts with Wax Comb
  3. Apply Warm Water
  4. Apply Surfboard Cleaning Spray
  5. Finish off with Coconut Oil

Step 1. Prep the board

The first step is always the most challenging. While that may be true, there are a few ways you can beat that. Our first step is to ensure no old, sandy, and dirty wax on the board, as some might have accumulated over time.

Doing this is simple. It will help if you put your surfboard somewhere with sunlight. The warmth of the sun will help soften the wax. Then, it would be easier for you to melt the hardened wax.

You can still help melt the wax if the sun decides to shy away. Use a hairdryer until the wax is malleable. Be sure to apply just the proper heat and evenly across the board. Do not use too much heat, whether it’s from sunlight or a hairdryer. You don’t want to damage your surfboard.

Step 2. Make Diagonal Cuts with Wax Comb

wax comb cleaning surfboard

Diagonal cuts in the wax done with serrated edged wax comb make it easier to remove wax instead of a straight line of scraping. Once you have enough cuts made through the wax, flip the wax comb and use the sharp end to scrape.

The number of coats you may have used is a significant factor in how many attempts you have to make to get most of the wax removed.

Step 3. Apply Warm Water

You wouldn’t want to overdo the scraping of wax on your surfboard’s surface. After what you feel is enough attempts with your wax comb and you still see some light spots of waxing, the next best step is to apply warm water.

Pour some warm water over the remaining wax. This warm water should be enough to soften the remnants to the point where they can be wiped away with a warm damp cloth.

Step 4. Apply Surfboard Cleaning Spray

Some residual amounts may be unnoticeable at this point, but they’re still there. You want to make sure to remove all noticeable wax, whether visually or if you feel them with your hands. Applying surfboard cleaning spray like SOLAREZ Wax Remover & Cleaner for Surfboards can help.

Smear an even coating across the surfboard. Instructions may depend on the spray. Be sure to follow what is said for how long it must sit. Wipe it away when the duration indicated is done.

Step 5. Finish off with Coconut Oil

The last step is to wipe the whole surfboard thoroughly. You can apply a thin coat of coconut oil to give some additional conditioning and a glossy coat. Let it dry before applying a fresh coat of wax or finishing spray.


It can’t be stressed enough just how important cleaning your surfboard is. No matter how expensive or promising your surfboard can be, its longevity can be significantly decreased if it is not cared for properly.

Like a house or any big purchase, it is necessary to take care of your surfboard. And, taking care means cleaning it as regularly as possible. Your surfboard and your surfing skills will thank you later.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Should I clean a damaged surfboard?

A: If the damage is as bad as having the core exposed, you may want to repair the board first before cleaning. Some surfboard cleaners contain solvents that may be harmful and cause permanent damage to the foam core.

But, if there are a few minor bumps or moderate dings, you may proceed with the cleaning process.

Q: Why do surfboards turn yellow?

A: Too much sun exposure makes surfboards yellow. We may not notice, but we’re overexposing our surfboards – in the ocean as we ride, while letting it dry after a ride, or leaving it on top of the car for long periods. While it doesn’t cause any change in a surfboard’s functionality, the biggest concern for some surfboard owners is how unattractive it becomes.

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