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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.
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.
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.
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.