Skate wax: a must-have accessory for grinds and slides | Photo: Incase/Creative Commons

Waxing a curb, rail, or ledge is a simple process that can make a big difference in your skateboarding experience.

It reduces friction and helps you slide more easily, making tricks like grinds and slides smoother and safer to execute on any surface.

Remember that it is wise to let other skaters know if you have waxed a particular surface, especially if it is a public space.

Waxing obstacles can make it more slippery and affect the way that other skaters ride, so it's important to communicate this information so that they can adjust their riding accordingly and avoid accidents or injuries.

When waxing a curb, ledge, or rail for skateboarding, it's important to wax the surface you really want to slide.

Typically, this will be the top or sides of the obstacle, as these are the areas where your skateboard trucks and deck will come into contact with the surface.

When applying wax, it's also important to cover any corners or edges of the surface, as these areas can be difficult to slide on and may require more wax.

Additionally, if the surface has any rough or uneven areas that may catch your wheels, it's also a good idea to apply some grip in those areas.

With a bit of practice and experimentation, you'll be able to find the right balance of wax for your preferred skating style and the specific surface you're riding on.

Grinds and slides: waxing up rideable surfaces makes riding easier | Photo: Red Bull

Waxing Curbs, Rails, and Ledges 101

Waxing is a simple process that doesn't take much time.

If you want to learn how to smoothen an obstacle before riding it, this tutorial will guide you through the process.

Here's what you've got to do:

  1. Gather the necessary supplies. You will need wax, a rag, and something to scrape the wax off with. You can buy wax at most skateboard shops, or you can make your own wax out of paraffin wax and petroleum jelly;
  2. Find your curb or rail. Look for a curb or rail that you want to wax. Make sure it's on public property, or ask for permission if it's on private property;
  3. Clean the surface. Use a rag or a brush to clean the surface of the curb or rail. You want to remove any dirt or debris to get a good coat of wax on the surface;
  4. Apply the wax. Rub the skateboard wax onto the surface of the curb or rail. You want to apply a thin layer of wax, making sure to cover the entire surface. If you're using a round wax bar, you can also rub the bar directly on the surface of the curb or rail;
  5. Spread the wax. Use a plastic card or an old credit card to spread the wax evenly over the surface. You want to cover the entire surface with a thin layer of wax;
  6. Scrape off the excess wax. Use the scraping tool to remove any excess wax that is not adhering to the rail or curb. This will help provide a smoother ride;
  7. Test it out. Once you've applied the wax, test it out with a few slides or grinds. You may need to add more wax if the surface is still too sticky;

Extra Tips and Suggestions

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when waxing rough surfaces for skateboarding purposes:

  • When applying the wax, make sure to cover the edges and corners of the curb or rail as well. These areas are often the most difficult to slide on and can benefit the most from a good coat of wax;
  • Waxing a curb or rail can be messy. You may want to use a rag or old towel to catch any excess wax as you apply it;
  • The amount of wax needed may vary depending on the surface you're waxing. For example, a rough concrete surface may require more wax than a smoother metal surface;
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different brands of skateboard wax. Some skaters prefer softer wax, while others prefer harder wax. You may need to try a few different types to find the one that works best for you;
  • Overwaxing a surface can be just as bad as underwaxing. If you apply too much wax, it can make the surface too slippery and difficult to control. Be mindful of how much wax you're using and adjust accordingly;
  • Be respectful of public property when waxing a curb or rail. Don't damage the surface or leave any debris behind;
  • If you're having trouble finding skateboard wax, you can use candles or other types of wax. However, keep in mind that these may not work as well as skateboard wax;
  • Always use caution when skating on a waxed surface. You'll slide more easily, so make sure you're in control of your board at all times;
  • When testing out the waxed surface, start with small and simple tricks before attempting more difficult maneuvers. This will give you a better feel for how the wax affects your skating and help you stay safe;
  • Always wear proper safety gear when skateboarding, including a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards;
  • Finally, make sure to keep your waxed surfaces clean and free of debris. Dirt, leaves, and other objects can get caught in the wax and affect your skating. Regular cleaning will help keep your waxed surfaces in good condition and ready for your next session;

Skate wax: there are over 30 brands in the market

Skate Wax Brands

There are several skateboard wax brands that are popular among riders.

Each one has its specific formula, but most of them feature a blend of beeswax and paraffin wax designed to work well on various surfaces.

Blocks come in a variety of scents, including watermelon, bubblegum, and strawberry, and in small, circular, rectangular, or custom shapes.

Ultimately, the one you choose may depend on personal preference, availability, cost, durability, and effectiveness.

The most popular skate wax manufacturers are:

  • Ace
  • Alien Workshop
  • Almost
  • BSD
  • Baker
  • Bones
  • CCS
  • Diamond
  • Dimebag Hardware
  • Eclat Session
  • Element
  • Enjoi
  • Federal Block
  • Grizzly
  • Independent
  • Lakai
  • Modus
  • Mosaic
  • Nuanchu
  • Odyssey Slugger
  • Santa Cruz
  • Shake Junt
  • Shorty's
  • Snot
  • Spitfire
  • Stuntstick
  • Theories of Atlantis
  • Toy Machine
  • WKND
  • World Industries

Top Stories

Why hasn't anyone thought about this yet?

Have you ever heard someone yelling, "Do a kickflip!" while passing by a skateboarder on the street? Here's absolutely everything you must know about the popular shout.

If there's one iconic heelflip that changed a skater's life forever, it's Rayssa's. Here's how a young girl's dream became more real than reality itself.

"Back to the Future" is a timeless masterpiece. Interestingly, the franchise features several famous skateboard-related appearances.