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What Is a Wax Comb?

A wax comb is an essential tool for surfers, designed to maintain the grip on their board by texturing the wax layer. It scrapes off old wax and roughens the surface for better traction. With its simple yet crucial role, a wax comb ensures a surfer's connection to the wave. Ever wondered how this small tool can impact your surfing experience?
Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards

A wax comb is a type of surfing equipment that is used to either texture or remove a wax coating on a surfboard. It will usually resemble a comb on one edge, and have a straight surface on another edge. Some wax combs also come with other tools built right on to them. These are rather inexpensive and generally very easy to obtain. Although this tool is not necessary, it can make surfboard maintenance much easier.

Most wax combs are square. One edge of a wax comb has teeth that resemble a regular comb. Another edge is usually flat, and it may feature a plastic scraper device.

Wax combs are used in surfboard maintenance.
Wax combs are used in surfboard maintenance.

Surfers apply wax coatings to their surfboards to keep themselves from sliding off. The wax should be textured, however, for best results. To texture the wax surface, the wax comb can be used to scrape long lines in the wax. Most surfers accomplish this by dragging the comb edge of this tool along the top of the board, creating a diagonal criss-cross pattern.

Surfboards can be rubbed with sand to roughen the wax coating if a wax comb is not available.
Surfboards can be rubbed with sand to roughen the wax coating if a wax comb is not available.

There are times when the wax coating of a surfboard may need to be removed. This is typically necessary when applying a fresh coat of wax, or when the old coating of wax gets grimy. To remove the wax using a wax comb, surfers will usually drag the flat side of the tool across the surface of the board. This action will scrape the majority of the wax off, leaving a clean board.

Kiteboards may also need maintenance with a wax comb.
Kiteboards may also need maintenance with a wax comb.

Multifunctional wax combs feature one or more additional tools. These may have fin keys built in to them, for instance. This key is very similar to a screwdriver, and can be used to remove the fins attached to a surfboard. A bottle opener is another common tool found on these devices.

A surfer can obtain a wax comb quite easily. Most surf shops sell these tools, and basic versions will usually cost no more than a couple dollars. They are also commonly given away with shorts.

Without a wax comb, surfboard maintenance may be a little more difficult or time consuming, but it is not impossible. To roughen the texture of the wax coating on a surfboard without a wax comb, the board can be rubbed with sand. This is generally done after the board has been left in the sun for a short time. To remove the wax layers, any hard, straight edge will usually do. A credit card or driver's license is commonly used for this purpose.

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Discussion Comments


I find the wax comb a godsend for surfers simply because many are too lazy to care and maintain their own boards.

By providing a simple tool that allows all the steps of the process to be accomplished the surfer does not have to go very far in maintaining their board and and in reality does not need to put that much effort into it.

Although it is not necessary to have a wax comb it is necessary to maintain the board in some way and the wax comb serves as a reminder to surfers that they need to maintain their board and that there is absolutely no reason for them not to care for their board with the easy and simple tool available to accomplish the task.


@Izzy78 - I find the wax comb to be a tool that has a simple purpose, but makes things a lot easier.

I have never surfed, but am a golfer and I have a tool that allows me to maintain my clubs and clean them in an appropriate manner.

It has a brush on one end, a pick like thing to clean, and magnet to mark my golf ball. The wax comb I see as being a similar type of device that can be used for several different things involving the wax on a surf board.

It is sometimes the simplest types of designs that are absolutely the best and a wax comb is one of these. Like my golf club cleaning tool, with its multiple purposes the wax comb allows the user the luxury of having one tool that can do several of the steps necessary in order to properly maintain their equipment and in reality it comes down to the simple design of the tool.


@matthewc23 - I completely and totally agree. I have only surfed on a couple occasions, but I can see the usefulness of the wax comb and the purpose it serves is something that all surfers need to take notice of.

For people that are lazy and do not wish to care for their boards they lose the quality of their board and it makes it harder and less enjoyable for them to surf.

However, with a wax comb they are able to have a tool available, with a single purpose, or in some cases multiple purposes, to care and maintain their board in a timely manner.

If it was not for a wax comb, there are many surfers that would simply not maintain their board in the appropriate manner and they would simply become lazy and not care for it. This tool allows them an easy way to care for their board and maintain the wax on it.


I find a wax comb for a surf board to be a a tool that is not entirely necessary, but something that is a convenient thing to have available in order to serve a purpose.

Without a wax comb it means that someone will have to care and maintain their surf board and continually look for tools and things to use in order to maintain the quality of their board.

However, with a wax comb it allows the owner of the surf board the opportunity to have a tool available for a single purpose and for them to have one single tool in order to care an maintain their surf board so they get the optimal amount of usage and quality out of their board.

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    • Wax combs are used in surfboard maintenance.
      By: maxoidos
      Wax combs are used in surfboard maintenance.
    • Surfboards can be rubbed with sand to roughen the wax coating if a wax comb is not available.
      By: ohrim
      Surfboards can be rubbed with sand to roughen the wax coating if a wax comb is not available.
    • Kiteboards may also need maintenance with a wax comb.
      By: Ints
      Kiteboards may also need maintenance with a wax comb.