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Surf wax is a mighty personal thing. We polled over 100 surfers from all around the world and had them vote on the best surf wax brands. While we thought there were going to be a handful of sticky icky companies that would stand out, our research revealed 52.2% of surfers loved Mr. Zogs Sex Wax with 44.3% preferring Sticky Bumps. No surprises there! Even among our writing team, we’re split down the middle when it comes which wax we’re most likely to reach for.
Or, truth be told, most of us use whatever wax our friend happened to bring because we forgot our own at home…
In this guide, we’ll cover the 10 best surf wax brands on the market, including eco-friendly options, and show you what to look for when choosing the right surf wax for you.
Table of Contents
The 10 Best Surf Wax Brands: At A Glance
Most of these top surf wax brands offer warm water and cold water waxes. Before you buy, make sure you’re picking the right wax for the water temperature you regularly surf in.
Overview: One of the largest surf wax brands and voted #1 among the surfers we polled.
Mr. Zogs Sex Wax is the most popular surf wax among the surfers we polled and a frequent feature on pro surfers’ boards. They make a variety of waxes; basecoats, topcoats, their original formula, temperature-specific, though their top pick is the ‘Quick Humps’ surf wax. And, it all smells great. So much so, Mr. Zogs has come out with an air freshener and candle.
Overview: One of the top two biggest surf wax brands; popular pick among everyday surfers.
Sticky Bumps is another popular pick when it comes to waxing that stick. This surf wax brand has a gamut of wax types; basecoats, topcoats, temperature-based waxes, and a few other special editions that pop up every now and then. Sticky Bumps fandom has even hit the fashion industry.
Overview: High quality eco-friendly surf wax with odd marketing.
Matunas Surf Wax claims to be the first and original eco-friendly surf wax with each bar made from organic, biodegradable, and nontoxic ingredients. But what does that actually mean? They say their wax is made from a blend of apricot, jasmine, and raspberry plant particles. It’s one of the most reached-for surf wax brands in Northern California, particularly. The marketing around the wax definitely needs some work (“No chemicals!” their official distributor claims. Uh, someone want to tell them that every substance is made from chemicals?) but it is a decent surf wax that works just as well as the bigger brands.
Overview: Brazilian surf wax that won Stab Mag’s surf wax competition in 2018.
Fu Wax is made and Brazil, made popular as Brazza surfers carried it around with them on WSL Championship Tours. When Stab Mag tested surf waxes of many types, this one rose to the top as their clear winner. Fu Wax offers basecoats, topcoats, and temperature-specific surf waxes.
Overview: Boutique eco-friendly surf wax handmade in Australia’s Gold Coast. Tough to get if you’re anywhere else.
The Australian surfers we chatted to raved about Green Grip, a bougie boutique surf wax brand made by passionate surfers. They offer a basecoat and a topcoat, as well as a beeswax wrap to keep the surf wax protected.
Overview: Surf wax brand that’s been around since the 1980s making traditional surf wax.
Mrs. Palmers offers temperature-specific surf waxes and has recently released a surfboard wax catered specifically to soft-top beginner-friendly surfboards. It’s a major brand in Australia, though widely available in the US as well.
One of the newer brands on the surf wax ‘scene’, Outdoor Wax Works mostly caters to standup paddleboarders, or surfers who don’t need as much grip that the traditional surf wax formulas offer. It has a high melting point, making it a prime pick if you’re in the tropics, traveling, or just want peace of mind that your wax isn’t going to melt at the bottom of your backpack while you’re out on the water. According to the company, it’s made from all-natural materials.
Overview: Decent surf wax we picked up randomly and were pleasantly surprised with.
Sticky Johnson is a new surf wax brand based in New Zealand. They offer a range of temperature-based waxes and the tropical temperature wax doubles as a basecoat. Their “Mega Johnson Deluxe” is ultra-sticky and a pick for high performance surfing.
Overview: A cheap surf wax made specifically for soft top surfboards; not a great fit for intermediate surfers or anyone with a hard board.
This surf wax is inexpensive and will do the trick if you’re a beginner surfer catching waves on a soft top surfboard. You might get this if you’re thinking your soft top is a little too slippery, and want a tiny bit of extra grip.
Surf Wax 101: Everything You Need to Know
While we were researching the ins and outs of surf waxes, we discovered the cringe and dramatic world of surf wax marketing. Seriously! Some surf wax companies claim to be *~so natural~* but rarely reveal their exact ingredients. They are also kings of hyperbole claiming that their waxes will glue your feet to the board and will be the number one thing to help you achieve a spot on the next tour.
It’s surf wax.
Anyways, here’s what you need to know about waxing your surfboard.
How to Choose the Right Surf Wax
The surf wax you choose depends on the water temperature you surf in. If you surf in the tropics, you’ll want a wax that has a higher melting point than if you surf in cold water. Cold water waxes will be softer than warm water waxes, though they offer relatively the same grip once they’re working in the conditions they’re made for.
When you get a new surfboard or re-wax your board, you’ll want to apply a basecoat of surf wax. As the name implies, the basecoat will provide the first layer of surf wax on your surfboard. It’s a bit firmer than the topcoat, which comes afterward.
The topcoat of surf wax is applied after the basecoat, and is a little softer. Here is where you want to pay special attention to the formula you use. Pick a topcoat based on the water temperature you’re most likely to surf in.
How to wax a surfboard
Step 1: Clean the surfboard deck so that it’s free from wax
If you have a new surfboard, the deck will already be free from wax. It’s good to rub the deck of the surfboard with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue from when the surfboard was shaped.
If you are re-waxing a surfboard, you’ll want to scrape the old wax off with a wax comb.
Step 2: Place the surfboard on a soft surface
Place the surfboard on a flat, soft surface. You can pad the surfboard with a yoga mat or place it on carpet. This will prevent the surfboard from getting any pressure dings or dents as you wax the board.
Step 3: Use a criss-cross pattern to apply the basecoat
Take the corner of the surf wax and start making a hashtag/criss-cross pattern across the surfboard, with each line being less than an inch apart. This will form a strategic base to wax your surfboard.
Step 4: Apply the topcoat in a circular motion
After the cross-cross pattern of the basecoat has been applied, take the flat edge of a topcoat bar of surf wax and apply it in a circular motion. You’ll want to form small bumps of wax on your board to help provide grip. It’s better to apply the wax lighter, but do more passes over the board rather than to really dig into the board with the wax. The wax will build up little by little with a bit of persistence (and a surf podcast on in the background).
Mr. Zogs Sex Wax vs. Sticky Bumps
Mr. Zogs Sex Wax was voted as a top pick slightly above Sticky Bumps. But, they’re very similar in terms of performance when it comes to the everyday surfer. Many surfers opt for fragrance over function, which is a highly personal choice.
Surf Wax FAQs
How far up should I put my surf wax?
Wax your surfboard a little past where your front foot will be. You can practice popping up next to your surfboard as a rough gauge. If you’re laying down on your board, wax up to around your chest area or just below. If you ride a longboard, you might want to wax almost the entire deck to have a prime platform for tricks like cross stepping and hanging 5!
What surf wax do pro surfers use?
Most pro surfers use Mr. Zogs Sex Wax or Sticky Bumps surf wax. However, this doesn’t mean these surf waxes are the best. Many surfers are sponsored by surf wax companies and will use whichever surf wax brand they’re affiliated with, at least in public.
How do surfers not slip off their surfboard?
Surfers keep from slipping of their surfboard by using surf wax. Surf wax is a sticky wax that creates bumps and texture on the top of a surfboard to prevent surfers from slipping off. If a surfboard does not have wax on it, it will be incredibly hard to ride.
Is it bad to leave wax on your surfboard?
It is not bad to leave wax on your surfboard if your surfboard is indoors or in a cool climate. However, if your surfboard has been left out in the sun and the wax melts completely, you will want to remove the wax and replace it with fresh wax. Surf wax does get old, and you’ll notice if it starts flaking off of feeling dried out.
You should replace your surf wax every few months if you’re riding your board regularly. You’ll notice your surf wax needs to be replaced when it starts turning dark grey, flattens into hard bumps, or starts to flake off.
Can you put too much wax on a surfboard?
It is possible to put too much wax on a surfboard. The right amount of surf wax should show small bumps with tiny gaps of bare surfboard in between. If you use too much surf wax, your board might get too sticky or the surf wax will start to peel off in large chunks.
How can I remove surf wax?
Surf wax is easily dissolved by leaving your surfboard in the sun and waiting for the wax to melt, then removing the wax with a wax comb. If you’re in a cool climate, use a hair dryer on a low setting to warm up the wax. Once you’ve scraped off the wax, you can use a small amount of gasoline or oil to dissolve the rest of the wax leftover on top of the board deck.
Can you surf without wax?
It’s not a good idea to surf without wax on your surfboard, especially if you’re using a hard surfboard. Surf wax provides traction and without it, boards are super slippery. There’s no reason to surf without wax unless you want a real challenge.