Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Wax-Off! - Wax Melts

Some of you may have noticed that this weekend, I was away in Cornwall; mainly to see my grandparents and go out and do some shopping. As I was going to Cornwall, I thought I should take my board just in case the weather's nice; it was relatively overcast but the main thing is that I got to do some training at none other than where I first fell in love with the sport, Holywell Bay.

I intended to go Sandboarding on Sunday as the forecast looked good, so on Saturday I went to the market; my girlfriend and I bought some stuff for our families and I thought about using more waxes on my board to see if I could do any better; loyal readers to this blog may recall that I made a post regarding Beeswax on a Sandboard, and I thought I would follow up this series by using more waxes and documenting my findings.

In the market, there was a stall that sold essential oils, incense sticks, soaps, wax melts, and homemade creams, oils; basically, it sold anything oily and waxy and it was all homemade! For 20 pence, you could purchase a single wax melt that was 5 grams, I bought a bag of 10 for my mum and bought two for my "experiment"; the scents I used for my board were Vanilla and Spiced Apple & Cranberry.

"Candle Wax Melts in hand" by Jack Soley is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

It felt a lot more oily than Beeswax and because of the nature of wax melts (i.e. it's meant to melt), it's easier to spread at a higher temperature and in direct sunlight; the nice smell is an added bonus when it comes to application, and you don't have to apply much pressure when you're applying the candle wax as opposed to a Beeswax block; but when I got to the second step of rubbing the wax in the board with my fingers, it was much harder to rub the wax than applying it.

The performance on the first run was bad, but that was also because it had been raining 5 hours prior to my test, however this hadn't been an issue with a plain board and also because I saw other people board down there; but the second run felt like as if I had Beeswax on the board, or if the rain hadn't been for at least a week! I noticed that I would go a little slower run by run but I was still able to board with no problems; despite the speed decreasing, the board didn't need waxing even after 4 runs, whereas if I used Beeswax, I'd need to apply it after 2 runs so in terms of durability, it's twice as efficient as Beeswax.

The cost was much better, however it might be because I was able to buy individual pieces instead of being only limited to buying by 100 grams or a kilogram as you would online, but in pretty much all retail stores you'll find that by the kilo, you're better off buying Beeswax as Wax Melts is a product that people would rather have in small portions.

The sand at Holywell Bay isn't as fine as Merthyr Mawr so the environment is harsher for sandboarding; but after my hour's run, I found that my heart and star shaped melts still looked like their respective shapes so it could be used to your hearts content.

"Walking with Sandboard at Holywell Bay" by Jack Soley is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
*notice how small the wax melts are in my left hand.

Pros of Wax Melts

  • It's much cheaper and easier to buy wax melts in smaller doses
  • It's smaller and lighter so it's easier to store in a small pocket
  • It lasts twice as long as Beeswax
  • You don't need to apply a great amount to get a good result

Cons of Wax Melts

  • You must buff it off a lot more and the first run might even be a total failure
  • It's harder to rub in the board because of its oily nature
  • The wax melts at a lower temperature and could melt under sunlight
  • The wide range of shapes might make it awkward to hold

Overall Opinion

In conclusion, your loved one would buy it for the smells but if you wanted to buy it for the potential performance, you could... with a catch; the performance at first is shameful but once your board has the scent and wax from a vanilla heart or a spiced apple & cranberry star applied, you'll see that your first 2 runs are exceptional and that after that, it'll still slide well but the friction from the sand against the wax will kick in causing a noticeable drop in speed.

I'd think wax melts would be a more economically better solution as you get them in smaller sizes but because you're getting what you pay for, expect worse performance than Beeswax but in my experience, it's a lot better than a bare board, it makes wet sand dunes easier to ride on, and the wax melts are good for your bank balance. I give wax melts a 5 out of 10.

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