Surf wax (or surfboard wax) is the synthetic or natural wax that surfers apply to the deck of their surfboards to prevent slipping off. It is an extremely versatile product that can also be used with skimboards and bodyboards to increase traction. Surfboard wax is typically made up of a mixture of components such as beeswax, coconut oil, and paraffin and each brand of surf wax will typically have a different formula. Surfboard waxing is an essential process that surfers of all abilities carry out all over the world.
It is extremely important to get the right wax for the kind of temperature you are going to be surfing in. Many commercial brands will offer several grades of wax that are each designed for a specific type of climate. Generally, harder wax will be more effective in the warmer temperatures as it has a higher melting point, whereas tackier and softer wax will work better in colder waters. It is important to spend time learning about the different grades of wax to ensure that your surfing experience is both as enjoyable and safe as it can be.
Buying and applying surf wax can be a somewhat confusing experience for those who are new to the surfing world. There are so many types and brands to choose from that it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. We have compiled a list of the top 5 best surf waxes available on the market today to help you narrow your choices. We have also listed a few things you should consider before buying your surf wax and answered a few questions that we think you might like the answers to. We hope that with the help of this detailed guide, you will be able to confidently pick the right surf wax for your surfboard.
Best Surf Wax
OUR TOP PICK
From one of the world’s most famous surf wax brands, comes the Mr. Zogs Original Sexwax. First produced in 1972 by Frederick Charles Herzog and the chemist, Nate Skinner, Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax has since become one of the most respected, best-selling surf wax brands in the industry.
The Original Sexwax is not only loved by surfers all over the world, but by snowboarders, skimboarders, and even ice hockey players. Its name is one that has caused much controversy in the surfing world over the years, but Herzog and Skinner chose it because it sounded phonetically cool and they knew it would grab attention.
This surf wax is one of the smoothest waxes available on the market, which is why it can be used as either a basecoat or topcoat. This particular version of the original sex wax is coconut scented and was designed for cold temperatures and waters under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also available in four different formulas to suit a wide range of climates. Mr. Zog’s Original Sexwax is known for being particularly easy to apply and remove making it a wonderful no-fuss option for any surf-waxing beginners. Considering its legacy and very reasonable price, Mr. Zog’s Original Sexwax is one that you should think about trying.
- A no-fuss wax that is both apply and remove.
- From one of the most recognized and respected surf wax brands in the world
- Reasonably priced
- Available in a range of temperature grades
- Can be used as either a basecoat or a topcoat
- Will need to reapply after a few hours
Matuna’s Surf Wax is one of the most environmentally friendly surf wax brands in the industry. The brand originated in 1998 from a 25-acre farm in Santa Cruz, California. The ingredients were sourced from the farm are still 100% natural. The wax is non-soy based and its fragrances come from jasmine flowers, real strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The founder of Matuna has said that the idea for the wax scents was derived from walking around the farm in the windy evenings amongst the fruit trees and bushes.
Not only is their surf wax composed of biodegradable, non-toxic components, but their paper packaging is 100% recyclable and even printed with recyclable ink. It is no wonder that this product has won the ‘Green Product Accessory of the Year Award’ from the Surfers Path magazine and has been highly commended for its eco-awareness in Surfer Magazine.
This particular version of the wax is best used as a base coat and as it comes in a pack of 6, you do not have to worry about re-purchasing for a while. This wax is incredibly soft and will be sure to provide your board with the perfect balance of traction and stickiness. I
If you want to support a brand that has progressive ethics and is constantly striving for environmental quality, then the Matuna’s Surf Wax would be a wonderful option for you.
- Long-lasting (up to 4 hours of wear)
- Environmentally friendly (petroleum-free and non-toxic)
- Great value for money
- Available in various temperature categories
- Extremely soft-feel
- Can be quite difficult to apply
- MADE WITH THE EARTH IN MIND: 100% Natural Biodegradable-Nontoxic. Made with Organic ingredients. Matunas organic surf wax is the only non-toxic, biodegradable, petroleum free, no synthetic chemicals, eco-friendly surf wax, made using local ingredients from their farm in California. They strive for environmental quality and ethics in their business by making ecologically friendly surf products that do not have negative effects on our environment. The surf wax is 100% Natural.
- MADE OF RECYCLED MATERIALS: The package is even made on recycled paper with soy ink. Mother earth says thank you!
- HIGH QUALITY: This wax is the real deal. It's easy to apply to any board surface which means less time prepping and more time in the water.
- COMES WITH: (1) Surf and Skate Warehouse Sponsor Sticker
Sticky Bumps were the first brand to break away from the paraffin-based waxes that used to dominate the market. Founded in 1971, Sticky Bumps is now one of the largest surf wax manufacturers in the world. They are a company that is very aware of its environmental impacts and is constantly trying to adapt their formulas and production process to be better.
The Sticky Bumps original waxes come in a variety of temperature ratings. This product in particular is designed to work best in cool-cold water conditions below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. It would be the perfect wax to use in the winter months as in warmer temperatures, it won’t be anywhere near as effective. The Sticky Bumps Original Surfboard Wax consists of 14 various surfing waxes that are each specifically designed to work well in different water temperatures and climates. All of the Original Surfboard Waxes are known to be incredibly long-lasting so you won’t have to worry about re-applying your wax throughout the day.
This wax has a putty-like texture that is highly-tractive and will be sure to keep you balanced and standing firmly on your board. When you apply this wax, you will see several textured beads forming on the board's deck. Although they will feel soft under your feet, these beads work to create an incredibly tractive layer which will make your surfing experience a lot easier. If you are looking for a high-performing wax for the colder days in the water, the Sticky Bumps Cool/Cold Water Surfboard Wax would be perfect for you.
- Works amazingly in cool and cold-water environments
- Versatile product that can also be used with skimboards and bodyboards
- Fairly inexpensive
- Composed of non-toxic, biodegradable materials
- Very tacky and adheres well to surfboard
- Will melt and become completely ineffective in warm temperatures
Outdoor Waxworks is an extremely versatile wax brand that works just as well for surfers as it does for snowboarders, bodyboarders, and skimboarders. This wax comes in a puck-like shape for easy-application and is sold in packs of 3 which is great for stocking up. Unlike many waxes on the market, this wax does not use paraffin but is composed entirely of natural ingredients. Outdoor Wax Works are a brand that has been perfecting their wax formula for years and now only uses 2 ingredients!
This wax is superbly sticky that adheres perfectly to your board and repels water. Unlike many of its competitors, it has a huge temperature range, meaning it is fine to use in environments between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a wonderful choice for anyone who will be surfing in a variety of locations, where you will be experiencing a range of climatic conditions. Because of its shape, it is extremely easy to apply and with a wax comb, it will be just as easy to remove.
This wax is renowned for its versatile use and ability to provide extreme traction. It is known to stay put in even the warmest of temperatures, which sets it apart from some of its competitors. The Outdoor Wax Works Surf Wax is a wonderful option for both beginner and veteran surfers.
- Made up of just two natural constituents and is 100% environmentally friendly
- Works well in a wide range of temperatures
- Brilliant traction
- Can be used on all sorts of sporting equipment
- The easy-to-hold shape makes for a simple, effortless application
- Each bar is quite small in size
- 3 Pack of the best waxes for surfing, skimboard and paddle gripping in a puck shape
- 100% All natural formula is environmentally friendly (unlike our competitors) which makes our product last longer and helps you feel good about your purchase.
- Wide temperature range wax to avoid melting all over your backseat and gear. 50-90 degree Fahrenheit
- No additives including scents so you don’t have to feel bad about using it. Ever. PLUS you still get that sticky grip from your wax bumps.
- Designed and operated by a small business. We appreciate every single sale. Seriously, thank you.
The story behind Maria’s Vegan Eco Surf Wax is one that you won’t forget. The brand was founded by 9-year-old (yes, you heard that right) surfer and skateboarder, Brooklyn from Rincon in Puerto Rico. In 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by the category 5 hurricane, which was later titled ‘Hurricane Maria’. The horrific event caused catastrophic effects on the island, destroying homes, roads, and bridges in addition to triggering heavy flooding. Brooklyn decided that he wanted to help the community in some way, so with the help of his parents, he created a vegan, organic surf wax called Maria’s Surf Wax and donated some of the proceeds to various hurricane relief charities.
After researching the surf-wax industry, Brooklyn was disheartened to learn about the many surf wax brands that had negative effects on the environment. He endeavored to create a wax that would not inflict any damage on the natural world.
Maria’s Surf Wax is composed of vegan, organic, bio-degradable materials and is fragranced with organic blueberries. In addition to the eco-friendly, innovative formula of the wax, all the paper and ink used in their packaging is 100% recyclable.
If you are looking for a long-lasting, highly-tractive wax and would like to support a wonderful cause, then you should consider purchasing Maria’s Vegan Eco Surf Wax.
- Produced and sold all for a worthy cause
- 100% biodegradable and natural- does not impose any negative effects on the environment
- Lovely fragrance that is created with organic fruits
- Recyclable packaging
- Very reasonably priced
- Not suitable for all climates
- VEGAN - ORGANIC - BIODEGRADABLE - REEF SAFE - SUSTAINABLE SURF WAX
- 1 LARGE (90 gram) BAR OF SURF WAX GROWN, MANUFACTURED & PACKAGED ENTIRELY ON A ORGANIC FARM.
- PACKAGING IS MADE OF 100% RECYCLED PAPER, PACKAGING INK IS MADE FROM 100% NATURAL DYES.
- ALL SPECIAL EDITION TROPICAL WAX SALES ARE DONATED TO HURRICANE MARIA RELIEF EFFORTS IN PUERTO RICO TO HELP REBUILD AFTER HURRICANE MARIA
- POLLUTION FREE OFFERING ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGAINST OUR FRAGILE ECO SYSTEMS CREATED BY 9 YR OLD CONSERVATIONISTS & ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Best Surf Wax Buying Guide
Buying surf wax can be a much trickier process than you may have anticipated. Luckily for you, we have tried to make that process slightly easier by outlining some of the things you should be thinking about before adding surf wax to your basket.
Basecoat and Topcoat
Before you run off into the water, you will need to ensure that your board is sufficiently waxed. There are two different layers of wax that you should apply to ensure that your board is optimally tractive. These two layers are the basecoat and topcoat, and they each serve different purposes. The basecoat is the layer of wax that you will first apply to your board. It will typically be a harder wax that is designed for warm and tropical temperatures. The basecoat acts as the foundation for your topcoat which you will apply just after. The basecoat generally lasts a lot longer than the top coat but it tends to be much more difficult to apply and remove. The topcoat is the layer of wax that you will apply on top of the basecoat. After gently applying this wax for a few minutes, you will start to see several beads forming on your surfboard deck. This means that your board is perfectly waxed and is ready to go!
Like candles, surf waxes melt when exposed to heat. It is important to choose the right surf wax for the climate you will be surfing in as when surf wax reaches its peak temperature, it will lose its effectiveness. In terms of temperature tolerance, there are four main categories that surf wax tends to fall into. Cold Wax works best in temperatures less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, Cool surf wax tends to work best at temperatures between 58 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, Warm surf wax is designed for temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and finally, tropical surf wax is best used in temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is extremely important to check the temperature rating of any product before purchasing to ensure you won’t be wasting your money.
The main function of your surf wax is to provide enough traction to keep your feet gripped on the board. That being said, you want to ensure that your wax isn’t too sticky so that it becomes difficult to move your feet during your surf. To find the right medium between traction and stickiness, you will need to evaluate the kinds of waters you are going to be surfing in order to pick a suitable wax.
Different brands of surf wax are made from different ingredients that will determine its smell, appearance, and adhesion to your surfboard. Many surf waxes are scented, with flavors such as bubble gum, coconut, and raspberry. The scent of your surf wax will not have a direct effect on its performance, but it can simply make the waxing process a lot more pleasant. You should choose a surf wax that is as natural as possible, non-allergenic, and skin-friendly.
Ingredients and their Environmental Impact
As your surfboard wax will inevitably be washed into the water, it is important to ensure that the wax you choose is as environmentally friendly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many brands of surf wax that have a high-chemical makeup. Some are not biodegradable, such as those made with petrochemicals, and can be fatal to wildlife if digested. To keep our ocean happy and preserve our natural resources, it is crucial to choose a surf wax that is as natural as possible.
How do I apply surf wax to my board?
Applying wax to your surfboard is necessary for providing you with the grip you need to balance on your board. You will need to make sure you apply it correctly to achieve the results you want. Firstly, you should ensure that your board is completely free of old wax. You can do this by washing the board with freshwater and drying it with a towel. Your board should then look smooth and glossy. Next, you should apply a basecoat of wax all over the board until you start to see small bumps forming. You will then want to apply the topcoat by dragging the wax across the deck in long, thick lines before changing to small circular motions. Once you see lots of wax beads forming, your board is ready to go.
How often should I remove surf wax from my board?
It is a popular misconception that you need to re-wax your surfboard between every use. Whilst it is recommended that you apply a thin layer of wax to your board before every session, there is no need to constantly keep cleaning and re-waxing your board. You will simply need to do this when you feel that your board is losing traction.