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Surf wax is an essential product that every surfer needs! Surfboard wax will help you to stay on your board and prevent falls and injuries. Surfboards can be very slippery, making surfboard wax a must-have for all your surfing trips. Applying surf wax to your surfboard will create a sticky layer for you to grip on to, so that you can keep your balance and have a secure grip on your board.
Not sure what kind of surf wax you need? Here’s our World Surfers guide to choosing the best surf wax, plus our recommendations for the best surfboard wax around!
How to Choose the Best Surf Wax
There are a few things you need to know about surfboard wax before you buy. If you’ve got your base coat mixed up with your top coat and don’t know where to start, here’s everything you need to know about surf waxes!
Basecoat Vs. Top Coat Wax
The base coat is a layer of wax that goes on first on your board. Base coat wax is harder and less sticky than the wax you use for the top layer. It will also last longer – one application is enough for several surf trips.
It’s a good idea to apply a base coat wax first, as it will ensure that your top coat lasts longer. The base coat adheres to your board and helps your top layer to stick on, too. But the base coat is optional, so feel free to skip it if you prefer. Just be aware that you’ll be jumping out of the water more option to re-wax your board if you do!
Top coat wax is normally stickier and softer, so it’s easier to apply. You won’t have to work as hard as with your base coat, but it does need to be applied more often throughout the day.
The Right Wax for the Water Temperatures
You’ll need to choose the right type of wax for the water temperatures where you’ll be surfing. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up with a sticky mess that will melt away before your eyes.
You can get surf waxes for every water temperature. They range from cold water waxes right up to wax that’s suitable for warm, tropical water. Here’s how it’s broken down by temperature:
- Cold water is under 60 °F
- Cool water is between 58 – 68°F
- Warm water is between 64°F and 74°F
- Tropical water is above 75°F
Find out what the water temperature is in your chosen surfing location so you can be sure to get the right wax for the conditions. Different ingredients are used for each sort of wax, giving them different melting points.
You can use tropical wax in pretty much any temperature. But if you try to use wax designed for cold water in warmer temperatures, it will melt right off your board.
Traditional Vs. Sticky Wax
You’ll find that there are two types of wax widely available. Traditional wax is hard, and when you apply it, you will get small lumps of wax on your board which provide excellent grip.
In contrast, sticky wax keeps you on your board by being sticky! Sounds obvious, but it works. The only downside to sticky wax is that it ends up coating your feet.
Toxic Vs. Non-Toxic Wax
Some of the cheaper, less reputable brands of surf wax contain highly toxic, chemical ingredients. Not only are these chemicals not great for your board, but even worse, they get into the water and can harm the sea animals and damage the coral. You also don’t want harsh chemicals on your feet all day when you’re surfing.
So, you’ll be pleased to hear that some of the best surf wax brands have created eco-friendly surf wax formulas. By using natural, organic ingredients, they have created waxes that are both effective and gentle on the creatures in the sea.
Now more than ever, this is an crucial topic to talk about. We’ll state clearly in our reviews which products are environmentally friendly, so you can factor this in when you choose your favorite wax to buy.
Not sure how to wax your board? Check out our article that walks you through how to wax your board, step by step!
The Best Surf Wax: The Reviews
No matter where you’re surfing, you’ll find the right surf wax here in our list of the top :
Matuna’s Surf Wax
- 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.
- COOL WAX TEMPERATURE RANGE: 56º – 68º F (13º – 20º C)
Matuna’s Surf Wax is a popular brand that has environmentally friendly values at its core. Created by surfing experts for surfers, these guys don’t want to put anything harmful in the water. That’s why they’ve worked so hard to come up with their unique formula of clean, natural ingredients. Thought has gone into every detail – even the packaging is environmentally friendly.
The result is this incredible non-toxic wax that you’ll be sure to rave about. Matuna’s surf wax is smooth and easy to apply. The quality is superb, it lasts ages on your board, and it even biodegrades. You can’t get better than that!
- Clean and non-toxic for the environment
- Long-lasting wax
- Smooth application
- Wax is almost too soft
Outdoor Wax Works Surf & Paddle Wax
- 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.
If you’re looking for surf wax that works wonders and is environmentally friendly, Outdoor Wax Works ticks all the boxes. Because it’s made from all-natural ingredients, this wax is gentle on sea creatures and won’t upset the aquatic ecosystem.
Outdoor Wax Works have created a range of products for you to choose from, with something suitable for every climate. You can also use their wax on your other boards and even your kayak paddles (or anything else you can think of!) This wax is effective and applies easily to your surfboard.
Another bonus of this green, non-toxic wax is that it doesn’t have a strong, overpowering smell. Some waxes contain perfumes and scents which can be off-putting if you have a sensitive sense of smell.
- You can use this wax on anything that needs waxing
- Eco-friendly and non-toxic
- Doesn’t have a strong scent
- Small size
Bubble Gum Surf Wax
- The Bubble Gum Original formula has been keeping surfers stuck to their boards since 1984. Don't let the fun scent fool you, our original formula is used for serious grip in every condition by top surfers all over the world. Using only the finest ingredients and made in the USA.
Bubble Gum Surf Wax is a fun product that looks and smells amazing. It’s just like wax bubble gum – it’s even an enticing shade of pink! Even the packaging is awesome. This funky wax was the brain wave of Californian surfers in 1984, and they’ve been selling it ever since.
But more to the point, Bubble Gum surf wax does the job. You’ll have a great grip on your board with this, and the price is affordable even for surfers on a budget. The Bubble Gum wax doesn’t wash or run off quickly, so a pack lasts a long time.
With four different options available, you can choose the right wax for your climate. They even throw in a free wax comb, so you’ll have everything you need to get started.
- Attractive design
- Bubble gum scent
- Amazing grip
- A bit gimmicky
Sticky Bumps Original Board Surf Wax
- fresh from the factory
- original formula
- six 80 gram bars
- for use above 69 degrees Fahrenheit
Sticky Bumps is a unique kind of board wax that is ultra sticky and creates little bumps for extra grip and friction on the board. It’s never been easier to stay upright on your board, as you’ll get such a firm grip with this product. When you wax surfboards with Sticky Bumps, sticky little lumps of wax form all over your board for the perfect grip that lasts ages.
Sticky Bumps is another company that prides themselves on their green environmental status. During the manufacturing process, no waste products are created, and their packaging is environmentally friendly, too.
But the best thing is that Sticky Bumps Original wax biodegrades in the ocean, rather than polluting it. There’s nothing like riding the waves with a clear conscience.
With 3 different levels of ‘stickiness,’ you can select the wax that works best for you.
- Great for the environment
- Unique bumps of wax that give you an improved grip on your board
- Firm, long-lasting hold
- More expensive than it used to be
- Some people find that it irritates their skin
Mrs Palmers Tropical Surfboard Surf Wax
- fresh from the factory
- ultra sticky
- five 70 gram bars
- tropical formula for water temperature above 75 degrees
- made in Australia
Mrs Palmers Surf Wax is a firm favorite in Australia, so it must be worth a try! This board wax has been sold since 1988 and is ideal for surfing as it is super sticky. This is just what you need for a new, slippery board.
Mrs Palmers wax has been specially designed for use in warm, tropical waters. If you want to get even longer out on your board, you’ll love this wax. It lasts for ages and it doesn’t melt.
- Popular among Aussies!
- Lasts a long time
- You only need to use a little
- Ideal for tropical climates
- Some users find it hard to apply to their board
Mr. Zog’s Original Sex Wax Surf Wax
- Ideal for base or top coat
- Iconic American Brand
- Used for surfing, hockey, drums
- Manufactured in USA
Any surfer who’s not a total beginner will have heard of Mr. Zog’s Original Sex Wax Surf Wax. It’s a classic, and a favorite among everyone from amateurs right up to professionals.
This wax is manufactured right here in the US, and you can tell. The quality is excellent, and it gives you a firm hold for surfing all day on your board. Mr. Zog’s make waxes suitable for every temperature, so you can pick the one you need.
Buy this trusted wax, and you won’t regret it. It will take your surfing to the next level! Another bonus is that it smells divine – the warm tropical wax has a gorgeous coconut smell that you won’t be able to get enough of.
- Gives you a fantastic grip on your board
- High quality
- Versatile – use it on anything!
- Amazing coconut smell
- Not a lot…
Surf Wax FAQ
What wax do pro surfers use?
Pro surfers all have their own favorite brand of wax. But without a doubt, one of the most popular surf waxes among surfing professionals has got to be Mr Zog’s Sex Wax.
You should wax the top of your surfboard where you’ll be standing, to help you get a good grip on your board. You don’t need to wax the bottom of your surfboard or it will just slow you down in the water.
Is surf wax bad for the environment?
Some surfwax can be bad for the environment if it contains toxic chemicals. These chemicals get into the water and negatively affect marine life and coral reefs.
The good news is that there are some amazing, eco-friendly surf wax brands out there now, like Matuna’s Surf Wax and Outdoor Wax Works (both listed above).
How do I wax my surfboard?
If you’ve been wondering how to wax a surfboard, don’t worry! It’s pretty simple: Just get your surfboard wax and start rubbing it on your board in any way you like. Every surfer has their own way to apply wax – in circles, back and forth, vertically, horizontally. So long as you create a good layer of wax on your surfboard, you’ll be good to go!
If you want more details on how to wax your surfboard, check out our article right here!
How often should I wax my surfboard?
You should rewax your surfboard each time you head off on a surf trip. If you’re at the beach every weekend, waxing your board every 2-3 months should be often enough. If you notice heavy or uneven wax build-up, that’s another sign to rewax your board.
The Wrap Up
Now you know everything there is to know about surf wax! All of the products recommended above are from well-known, popular brands and will work wonders on your board. So stock up on some surf wax and get down to the beach for an epic surfing experience!
If you’ve got any questions, tips for our readers, or suggestions for our next article or review, let us know! We love hearing from you guys. Drop us an email or a comment below, and subscribe so that you can stay up to date on our latest articles.
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