Being a skater slightly differs from an image our mind builds, doesn’t it?
Riding a skateboard and doing tricks is more complicated than we think.
Along with that, a skateboard is not just wheeled deck skaters love to break and abuse. It is an instrument that requires much care and attention.
Today, we are going to talk about a process you’ve probably had never heard about – skate waxing.
Why is it so important? What to do if you do not have money and still would like to use and protect your skateboard? You’ll find the answers to these questions and even more below.
Why Do I Need Skateboard Wax?
I’ve got a brand new skateboard. It has got a cool cover and seems to be well protected. That’s what a novice skateboarder would probably think. On the other hand, professionals know how wax can be essential for a skateboard.
From first sight, it is such a simple and not necessary cosmetic remedy. Though it has got a broad range of purposes:
- Obviously, wax helps to reduce friction. Friction between the skateboard deck and surfaces appears when you do such tricks as sliding, 50 50, power-sliding, etc. At least, you’ll probably get the friction trying to learn all these tricks. Friction leads to two consequences you would like to avoid: it makes your skateboard slide slower and run shorter space. Also, it damages your deck. Little scratches left by tension will cause wood deformation and affect the appearance of your skateboard.
- Wax grants additional protection from moisture. As you know, wood can absorb water. It gets more fragile. Do not forget that a skateboard deck is not a whole piece of wood. It is formed from a number of thin boards glued with each other. Though floors are covered varnish supposed to protect the wood from moisture, you would not want it to dissolve the glue and make your skate less durable. Plus, the wax will protect metal parts and joints of corrosion caused by water. Recall how automobile owners cover their vehicles with wax. Why shouldn’t you do the same thing?
- Wax is a good protector from dirt and other pollutants. It is not a big deal, but you would not like to see your deck covered by tracks and lines left by your cool skateboard shoes.
So, you’ll need to wax your skate if you would like to prolong its durability and make it remain clean and beautiful for long. It will help you to do the tricks as well.
If you prefer private skating parks, where all the surfaces are polished every day, wax can do a lousy trick for you. If a skatepark owner already makes all the surfaces polished, new wax will reduce tension to a minimum. It will be harder to control your skateboard.
Skateboard Wax: DIY vs. Purchased
Before we start making our wax, some questions must be clarified. Is it worth it at all? Is homemade skateboard wax better than professionally manufactured analogies? Let’s find out the pros and cons of each variant.
Manufactured Wax Pros
- You do not waste your time. A few clicks and a day of waiting for the Amazon shipment, and you’ve got as much wax as you want. You do not bother with recipes, looking for components, cleaning the kitchen, etc.
- Professional wax is designed straightly for skateboarding. Some items have got additional features like a pleasant scent, fancy forms, bright colors. In most, they are irrelevant except for the type of wax brick: well-shaped wax is more natural to use.
- Professional wax is usually of higher quality. It is not likely to crumble.
Manufactured Wax Cons
- First, it’s all about price. Do some accounting and see that it is cheaper to buy a pack of candles that can be turned into some pieces of skateboard wax than purchasing a single professionally designed piece. Include shipping into the final price. And do not forget that Amazon does not ship into some countries. If you do not have a skating shop nearby, DIY wax is, probably, your only way out.
- Some manufactured waxes have got an unpleasant scent or color.
- Active skateboard riders have to buy more wax pieces, as they are small and are likely to expire. In other words, the price/effectiveness ratio of manufactured wax leaves much to be desired.
DIY Wax Pros
- Though there are many recipes, DIY wax is pretty natural to make. The materials are available, and the steps are not complicated. Even a child can do it without problems.
- If you live in an isolated location without any specialized shops and even Amazon cannot reach you, DIY skateboarding wax is what you need.
- If you need your skateboard waxed right here now, it is quicker to make your own wax. The recipes take from on the hour to a day to get a ready-to-use wax brick.
DIY Wax Cons
- The quality of a self-made wax brick can hardly reach a satisfactory level, especially if you are not experienced.
- The recipes are easy, but they still require attention. If you spoil one crucial step, the final product will not be usable.
- Some wax recipes we are discussing below require specific ingredients that are difficult to get.
In this issue, the final decision is up to you. If you do not feel like boiling candles, it is better to buy some wax.
Popular Skateboard Wax Recipes
Making skateboard wax is not a big deal, as even manufactured bricks do not have many ingredients inside. There are at least three well-spread recipes. You’ll need the following gear:
- An oven or a burner of a heating surface. It would be nice if you have got a source of heat that allows you to regulate the temperature.
- A bowl to prepare a mixture inside. It must stand high temperatures. Better use glass or ceramic baking bowls.
- A mold for the final product. It can be a container made of glass or thick plastic, a metal can, or another bowl. It must be handy enough to get out cooled wax without damaging it.
- A pair of heat protection gloves. You are going to touch a bowl right out from an oven, so make sure you do not do it with bare hands.
- Something flat and firm to pick out a wax brick from a mold. A knife or a kitchen shovel with a sharp edge will do well.
Skating Wax Made of Candles or Crayons
If you’ve got a set of old candles or wax crayons you’ll never use again, you can give them another life in the form of skateboarding wax.
Cut the candles or crayons into small pieces. If a candle has got a plastic cover and a wick, do not forget to remove them. The size of pieces does not matter in general, but smaller pieces will melt faster.
Put the pieces into a bowl. Do not overload it. It is better to do re attempts than cutting a big chunk of wax.
Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Take into account that you need about one tablespoon for each ten candle pieces. Olive or canola olive will do the best.
Heat a mold. Put it into a preheated oven. It is crucial to watch the temperature and not overheat a furnace. The optimal temperature is between 150-180 °F (66-82 °C).
The too low temperature will not make paraffin melt properly, and also high temperature will make it fragile. If you do not have a regulated oven but a burner, it is good to use a water bath along with the smallest burner temperature.
Heat the candle pieces for about 10 minutes. They must melt completely, without burning.
As soon as the wax melt, get it from an oven and pour it into a mold. Do not forget to use protection. Leave a shape to cool or put it into a refrigerator. When a wax piece is hard enough, pick it out carefully using a knife or a shovel.
It is better to keep a wax piece in a plastic vacuum bag to protect it from dust.
Beeswax Skating Wax
You’ll need some beeswax and an equal amount of paraffin from candles or crayons.
The algorithm of preparation is the same as in the previous recipe. WikiHow insists on using a metal bowl put on a burner.
Start melting a mixture, and do not forget to stir it. Otherwise, it can burn to the metal surface. As soon as the mixture is ready, pour it into a mold and leave it in the refrigerator for the whole night.
Use a knife to pick it out and put it into a plastic bag as well. Some websites allow pouring candle dye into the final mixture.
Numerous sources claim that if you manage to make everything correctly, you’ll get perfect wax that is very similar to manufactured items.
Paraffin Skateboard Wax
If you are familiar with self-made candles, you can use the same paraffin to make a wax brick. The recipe is simple as well: you’ll need to melt paraffin, add some oil, and cool it in a mold.
It will not be the best variant among all the represented, but it is still wax you can use. Mind that lots of paraffin variants are scented. If you care about the smell of your skateboard, it might not be a good option.
In general, with all the materials by hand, you’ll be able to substitute manufactured wax with yours.if you are an active skater, you’ll save money with the slightly same quality of sliding.
Bonus: Things to Substitute Wax Right Now
Though you have to get the equipment for skating in your backpack every time you race in the street (instruments, wax, spare street skateboard wheels), there can be a situation when you have no wax.
In this case, here is a small list of things that can substitute wax for some time. Mind that it is a one-time remedy, and you shouldn’t turn it into a habit.
- Bananas. They are slippery and oily. Get one, squish it, and rub your skateboard or surface. You slide one with a banana. Soon it will dry out, but you’ll have your half an hour to do some tricks.
- Soap. A simple piece of soap or a bottle of liquid soap will do the trick. It is not the best variant, as it makes the surface too slippery.
- Washing liquid. If you happen to ride by a household shop, you can buy a bottle of washing liquid. It gives the same effect as a soap but dries out a bit faster.
- Condoms and lubricants. It is quite expensive, but still an effective way to reduce tension. Condoms that are not expired have oils inside, so you can use a couple to rub a deck.
- WD-40. It might be a good alternative for wax. It will protect your deck from moisture effectively. With its slippery properties, it will do the trick of wax as well. Still, it is quite an expensive way.
As you can see, making your own wax is not that scary as you might imagine. When you get experience, you will protect your deck and improve the sliding properties of your skateboard for cheap.
If you are still not sure, there are plenty of options in stores. Follow the recipes carefully to get the proper result. Feel free to comment if you have got something to add or to improve our methods.
And remember: waxing your skateboard is essential. Do not neglect it if you want your skateboard to live.