Every skateboarder knows that keeping your body in shape isn’t the only thing you should pay attention to while practicing this amazing sport. Needless to say, your board and the surface you’re using for tricks need to be handled with some additional care, too! Okay, so what’s there to be done?
To answer the question above: among other things, one needs to wax the surface they’re trying to work with (most notably: grinds & slides) to ensure friction between it and the board is safely kept at a minimum. If you’re a beginner skateboarder, this article’s (obviously) made for you. In it, you’ll find everything there’s to know about skateboard wax, its usage, and its contents. Also, we’ve included a neat make-your-own section for the DIY crowd!
Skateboard wax is a substance skateboarders use to reduce the friction between the surface they’re working with and their boards, made from a mixture of petroleum, beeswax, and paraffin. It also tends to be quite costly, so think about making your own using leftover crayons & candles. If you’re a beginner, go easy on the wax you use.
Of course, that ain’t the whole thing, not even close! We’ll meet you downstairs.
Table of Contents
What is skateboard wax?
Skateboard wax is a substance skaters use to prepare their skate surface for some good ol’ tricking, sliding, grinding, and boosting traction. So, unlike snowboard or surfboard wax, skateboard wax doesn’t go on the board itself. That’s only natural because you can’t really wax water or snow… Wow, what an insight!
Anyway, without skateboard wax, we wouldn’t get to enjoy many skateboarding stunts, since the friction would cause a lot of problems. Oh, and another thing: just so the terminology we’ll be using doesn’t confuse you, here are some synonyms for skateboarding wax: curb wax, skate wax, or ledge lube.
What is skateboard wax made of?
Okay, let’s get to know the contents of this miraculous substance. Skateboard wax is a combo mixture of petroleum, beeswax, and paraffin (which gives it its well-known elastic properties). Did we mention curb wax tends to be a bit pricey sometimes? That’s also why many folks make their own. More about it in a couple of paragraphs below.
What does skateboard wax do?
The main objective of skateboard wax is to enable skaters to skate difficult-to-skate surfaces. Most of them will greatly slow down the speed of your trajectory simply because of friction between the uneven surface and the board. That’s exactly where curb wax arrives at the scene. It fills all those tiny cracks and little imperfections, smoothing out the surface of the object you’re grinding on. Also, that’s why you’re able to pull off your 50-50s without stopping short and embarrassing yourself.
How to put wax on a skateboard?
Contrary to popular opinion, skateboard wax doesn’t go on the board. To be completely honest, there’s nothing wrong with putting a little curb wax on the skateboard too, but most of it goes on the surface you’re planning to use as your skateboarding grounds.
Also, it’s unbelievably easy to use. Just put some on your palms and rub it onto your trick surface. You can also rub some on the bottom of your board. If you’re a beginner (and here’s why you’ll want to become one), you’ll want to start with a smaller amount. Once you notice you can handle the surface with east, put a little more on. Believe us, you’d rather avoid putting too much wax on. By doing that, you put yourself at a very big risk of injury. All in all: start small!
How to get skateboard wax off concrete?
For safety reasons, it’s very important you clean after yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it properly:
- Run the sharp edge of the paint scraper parallelly along the surface. Use the tip of the scraper’s corner to clean small cracks in the concrete.
- Employ a wire brush with sturdy bristles. Run the bristles into the concrete in a tight circular motion, applying mid-sized pressure until the wax is no more.
- Use a power washer/steam cleaner to blow away any curb wax that has seeped into the porous surface. The thing is: hot moisture melts the wax deeply embedded into the concrete and makes it much easier to clean.
- Lastly, sweep up the leftover wax shavings in order to leave behind a wax-free surface. If left out there, small pieces of wax will melt in the sun and stain the surface once more.
How to make your own skateboard wax?
As we’ve already said, buying curb wax on a regular basis tends to be a bit expensive. That’s why it might be best you make your own. Today, we’ll show you two ways you can do this, by either using leftover candles & crayons or beeswax & paraffin combo.
Leftover candles & crayons solution
Here are the necessary steps you’ll need to take in order to make leftover candles & crayons skateboarding wax.
Step #1: Gather the supplies
You’ll want to use any leftover candles you can find. Or, you can use crayons for this. Find those old & broken barely usable ones. They’re your best bet. Of course, remove any paper and wicks you find.
Next up, scan your kitchen area and find some vegetable or olive oil. While you’re at it, see if you can find an oven-safe bowl.
Step #2: Preheat the oven to 150°
Let your oven do its thing for about 5-10 minutes. Most waxes don’t have a high melting point. That’s why you should try keeping the temperature at 150-180° max.
Step #3: Place your wax pieces in an oven-safe bowl
Hopefully, you’ve found an oven-safe bowl while browsing through the kitchen in search of the oil. Anyway, you’ll want to find a container big enough the withhold the soon-to-be-melted wax. For instance, glass bowls like the Pyrex brand, are a fantastic solution for all your wax-melting experiments.
Step #4: Oil to the rescue
Next up, you’ll want to add one teaspoon of vegetable/olive oil to the wax inside the bowl. Make sure you don’t add more than a full teaspoon, just so your wax doesn’t end up being too soft and crumbly.
Step #5: Put wax inside the preheated oven
Keep it inside for about 10 minutes. Be very careful and watch your wax as it melts just to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it became liquid, take it out of the oven and let it cool a bit. Afterward, put it in the fridge to harden.
After the wax becomes solid, you can remove it from the oven-safe container and use it on the surface you want to smoothen.
Beeswax & paraffin solution
And here are the necessary steps and ingredients one needs to consider when creating this type of curb wax.
Step #1: Gather the supplies
For this method, you’ll have to use beeswax and paraffin (well, of course), a metal pot, and a mold. Also, if you’re using wax bars or large pieces, make sure you crumble ’em into smaller chunks, as it will help the wax melt faster.
Step #2: Put the ingredients into a metal pot
Next up, you’ll put both beeswax and paraffin in the metal pot. You’ll want the ratio to be 60/40 paraffin to beeswax. That’s basically your best bet since more beeswax will make the mix too soft and unusable for your skating adventures. Also, set your burner to a low-medium setting and place the metal pot on the stove. Don’t forget to stir it frequently so it doesn’t burn.
Step #3: Finally, pour the wax into molds
Wait until the wax is totally melted, remove the pot from the stove and pour it into the mold. Of course, cool your wax in the fridge until it becomes solid. Once it becomes hard, it’ll be absolutely ready for usage.
Which solution’s better?
We’d recommend you use the second solution (paraffin & beeswax) because it tends to make a better wax that’s more similar to the one you can find in the skate shop. Regardless of which option you choose, you’re bound to save a lot of money using these simple DIY recipes.
Skateboard wax from A to Z – Everything you need to know (a summary)
Okay, so let’s do a quick summary of the things we’ve learned today:
- Skate wax is used to prepare a certain surface for tricks. It reduces the friction between it and the board.
- Skate wax is usually made from petroleum, beeswax, and paraffin. You can make your own using leftover candles & crayons, or a beeswax/paraffin combo.
- It’s very easy to put on the surface you’re planning to use for tricks. Just don’t forget to clean after yourself.
- If you’re a beginner skateboarder, make sure you go easy on the wax. Putting more wax equals a greater risk of injury.
That’s about it, dear folks! Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this one as much as the last one we did! For more skateboarding-related tips, click right here.