What is ECO wax?
Opening a fresh box of surf wax is one of life’s simple pleasures. The smooth texture of a block’s unblemished surface, the way it glides across the board… you know what we’re talking about. And you also know how it feels to slip off a board when you’re running out of wax- no thanks!
Despite its size, a block of surf wax forms an essential part of any surfer’s arsenal. Since it was first introduced in 1935, countless brands have tried their hand at selling surf wax for a range of water temperatures and with a range of different bells and whistles. At its core, surf wax is a reliable coating on surfboards because it stays sticky, and repels water. After all these decades, nothing does the job quite as well as surf wax.
The Problem With Surf Wax.
Despite the many benefits of surf wax, there is a dark side to surf wax that many surfers are unaware of, and that is the environmental impact of most conventional surf wax products on the market.
Many of today’s surf waxes rely on paraffin as the main ingredient. The problem with this is that paraffin is a by-product of petroleum, meaning that in order to make paraffin, manufacturers have to first process a whole lot of petroleum.
Worse still, a cocktail of toxic chemicals are necessary to produce paraffin for the consumer market. The substance starts out as a grayish sludge, and undergoes an intense bleaching process that can cause reproductive and developmental damage to those exposed to the resulting chemical waste. Following this, further substances are added to solidify the substance into solid, usable paraffin.
By the time a bar of surf wax hits the shelves, it’s environmental footprint is alarming at best. And that’s before the wax rubs off a board and enters the marine ecosystem.
The Solution for Wax.
Thankfully, there is a growing movement within surf culture for more responsible surfing practices, and this includes the production of environmentally friendly surf wax. Thanks to the efforts of a number of companies determined to change out the environmentally-harmful ingredients of conventional surf waxes, surfers now have a range of eco waxes to choose from.
Best ECO wax companies below.
Rob Machado’s Bubble Gum Surfboard Wax.
Surfing legend Rob Machado partnered with Bubble Gum Surf Wax to create this environmentally friendly and high-performance surf wax. The majority of the materials in this surf wax are natural and vegetable based, along with high quality tackifiers. Plus, this surf wax comes wrapped in recycled paper packaging and carries a subtle coconut scent- yum!
This Southern Californian company has been family-owned and operated since the 1970s, when founder John Dahl (AKA “The Wax Man”) first launched Wax Research. Today, the company is one of the largest wax manufacturers in the world, and has led the “organic” surf wax charge away from petroleum-based ingredients. Even the packaging is environmentally friendly, made from recycled paper and printed on with soy ink.
Linked to Matunas Farm, Santa Cruz, and supported by Patagonia, Matunas has staked a claim to offering the first and original eco surf wax to ever enter the market. Every bar of Matunas Surf Wax is organic, biodegradable, and uses only local California-grown products.
Good Surf Wax.
Good Surf Wax is a small, socially-minded business in Noosa Heads, Australia. Their wax is free of petrochemicals, and is made only from organic coconut oil and beeswax. As an added bonus, Good Surf Wax works to support local bee farmers, so it’s a win-win-win for everybody!
Wave Tribe’s stated mission is to create a “symbiotic mission between sport and planet,” and this extends to the brand’s surf wax. Replacing petroleum-based ingredients with beeswax, Wave Tribe’s eco wax is gentle on the planet- and your wallet.
With more than 95% of all surf wax on the market still being made from petrochemicals, it’s high time that surfers all over the world began making the switch to more environmentally-friendly alternatives.