SURF WAX! Chances are you’ve heard of it if you’re in the surf community.
It’s a layer of wax that surfers put on their boards to help them not slip off their boards while catching waves.
Unfortunately, surf wax can also be pretty bad for the environment. It’s made using paraffin which is derived from petroleum and then goes through a bleaching process that emits dioxins. These dioxins are super toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems and cancer. The most common and popular surf waxes use paraffin (95% of surf waxes!). This means that a lot of paraffin is entering our marine ecosystems. Surf wax comes off the boards and sheds all these chemicals into the water, which is bad for both the health of surfers and the marine environment.
CATCH The NEW WAVE of sustainable SURF WAX!
Surfers looking for alternatives to the usual mainstream brands of wax now have many options to choose from that do not include paraffin or other toxic chemicals. These new sustainable surf waxes stay away from the typical chemicals used and instead use more natural ingredients.
The new companies focus on eco-friendly ingredients that still deliver the grip surfers need in their wax. Brands like YEW, Wave Tribe, TheGoodWaxCo, CannabaX, Matunas, and the Famous Green Label Surf Wax are creating new options for surfers. Many of these brands also have sustainable basecoat options as well. The good news is that there are more surf wax options becoming available especially from small-batch artisanal makers.
One thing that most of these brands note is that you should not mix these with normal wax (wax with paraffin) because as Wave Tribe states, “it will be funky”.
If you’re more into the do-it-yourself method there are recipes to make your own paraffin-free surf wax. One easy at-home surf wax recipe includes only three ingredients of beeswax, coconut oil, and tree resin/sap and can be found at Surfer Today. There are tons of options to help make surfing more eco-friendly and changing the surf wax you use is just one of the many ways that surfers can help!
The vintage surf wax photos and the wax designs were found on Pinterest without tags to the original post, or information about who took the photos or who made the designs. If you have any information please contact us and we will update the photo credits.
Additional resources and reading:
Surf Wax-ing Nostalgic by Alfred “Al” Gallant Jr.
Book: Surf Wax A History
How to Make re-usable Wax from your old wax: Video
Information from the Dr. Zoggs "Sex Wax" Brand click here
Other notable Brands we found:
Honey Bear Surf Wax (By Beekeepers)
Harper Smith is a college student at the University of Oregon studying education and a writer and contributor at withitgirl. She loves surfing, hiking, and making art!
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