It's not widely known that traditional surf wax is created with petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are not biodegradable and are actually toxic when ingested, particularly for marine life.
Hang on, hang on, what is surf wax?
If you're not a surfer, surf wax was first introduced around 1935 and was made to be sticky enough so surfers wouldn't slip off their boards when riding the waves. (Cos no one wants to be that guy or girl) They rub it on the board, and as it softens, it coats their boards.
Most people assume because it's used by surfers, and surfers are thought to be "earth friendly", and the fact it goes in our ocean, it must be "friendly" and biodegradable, right?
Not so much.
Those petrochemicals we just mentioned, tend to be the main ingredient in most surf waxes and are hugely toxic to the environment. Paraffin is often the main chemical used, and is the final byproduct of creating petroleum.
There has been a whole heap of research put into developing surf wax over the years, yet for the most part, paraffin remains the main ingredient for the majority of them.
To go from petroleum to paraffin to surf wax, you need to first bleach it. (because it starts off a sticky black mess) and this process in itself releases dioxins (cause reproductive and developmental damages and cancer to those exposed to it)
There is a whole process wax goes through before you take it off the shelves, and we won't go into the full process, although you can learn more about it here
, however, just consider this: Paraffin is toxic to our marine life, and while a little bit of wax on your one surfboard doesn't seem like much, tell that to the other 25+ million surfers around the world, most of whom ALSO use surf wax. It starts to add up.
Are there natural, sustainable and marine friendly alternatives, and do they work as well?
Glad you asked. Yes, there are!
Locally made in the Byron Bay hinterland, Salt Gypsy premium non-toxic surf wax comes in two types: Tropical and All Water. Best results when used together as a base & top coat.
- long lasting
- free from petroleum jelly (vaseline), plastics and soy
Take a look at Salt Gypsy inside our store by clicking here.
It doesn't fix all the ways that the ocean is being polluted, but if just some of the 25 million surfers out there make the change, it all adds up to big changes, and that's where it really counts.