pods for primates : a catalogue of surfboards in australia since 1900
home catalogue history references appendix

surfresearch.com.au 
 surf culture : surf wax 


Surfboard Wax, Board Wax, Wax.
Essentially paraffin wax usually mixed with colour dye, perfumes and softening agents.
The wax is applied to the deck to repel water and assist grip.
Water repellence is only effective when the molecule bonds have been stretched and broken, thus wax has to be regularly applied, roughed up with sand or striated with a wax comb.

Some commentators have noted certain contemplative and/or ritualistic components to the process of waxing a surfboard.
Others have also noted that waxing a surfboard becomes more contemplative and/or ritualistic when surf conditions are extreme.

Early board riders do not appear to have universally applied gripping agents, although they were not unaware of the problems.
Some riders carved ridges, added timber batons or fixed rubber panels to the deck in attempts to improve traction.
Most common was the use of paint, varnish or resin impregnated with a abrasive grit, for example sand, sugar or foam dust.
This was commonly referred to as a Textured Deck.
The most technical difficult method is a texture imprinted in the filler/finish coat of fibreglass craft.
This is accomplished by applying a fine wire screen to the resined deck and then cleanly it removing at the gel point leaving a fine pattern of exposed ridges.
Sailboards, from their introduction in 1977, have applied some method of texture deck.

A claim for the first use was by Alfred E Gallant (Letters, Longboard Magazine, USA, 1999).
Post 1935, he noticed the grip of his damp feet while his mother applied floor wax.
She then advised use of household paraffin sealing wax.

Australian surfers initially purchased raw paraffin wax from chemist or hardware shops.
The salesman would break a section off a large block with a hammer.

First marketed waxes in Australia were by petrol companies, for example Ampol, Golden Fleece, ESSO and B.P.
Ampol were the sponsors for the 1964 World Contest at Manly.
Usually a rectangular 150 gram block in a plastic bag with printed label.

Circa 1966 the wax market was dominated by Bower Boy from Manly,
At first a large round 250 gram block with a small adhesive sticker on the side.
Later marketed in summer and winter formulae.
By the 1970's the wax was in a plastic cup with a printed label on the side.

Circa 1966 the spray on Slipcheck and Grip Feet became available in Australia.
Slipcheck was an aerosol spray wax alternative developed by Morey-Pope Co. (USA) in 1966.
Available in a range of colours, the most popular use was a white nose patch (tip to sweet spot).
Popularized by Tom Morey’s Noseriding contest circa 1965.
See Phil Edwards : Nose rider Specifications, 1965

Grip Feet was a (possible) Australian variation.
Noted in a Surfing World - Surfabout magazine advertisement, circa 1965...
Nose ride graphic and address 53 Bay Road, Taren Point, Phone 525-0795.
Also the address for Peter Clarke Surfboards.

Colour and scents introduced by USA import Waxmate by Surf Research, circa 1970.
The company was financed by Bob Hansen of Hansen Surfboards, Encinitas, California and managed by team riders Mike Doyle and Rusty Miller. (Howard, page 60)
A heavily scented and coloured square 3.2 oz block, it was wrapped in cellophane.
Available as Warm or Cool formulae
The label was on paper inserted inside the cellophane, and a series of "messages" was printed on the reverse.

With the demise of Surfresearch and Waxmate in 1972, several manufacturers attempted to supply the growing market.
Two brands that started in 1972 became dominant in the US and a significant market presence in Australia.
Wax Research was started in Encinitas by a Waxmate employee, John Dahl.
Rik 'Zog' Herzog started Sex Wax in Santa Barbara. (Howard, page 61).

Mr. Zog's Sex Wax was distributed world wide in their distinct 75 gram round block, wrapped in cellophane with an adhesive label. Different formula were designated by their colour coded labels.

Wax Research took an alternative approach and produced a plethora of brands, effectively competing against itself.
Packaging was usually a printed paper sleeve on a rectangular block, about 80 grams.
As well as the Wax Research label, the company also produced Super Sticky, Bubble Gum, Slime and in 1992, the market defining Sticky Bumps.
Sticky Bumps presented an thick, pliable and opaque block that most companies have attempted to copy. (Howard, page 61-62)

In the mid 1970's The Original Honey Surf Wax from Gerringong, NSW had a significant market presence.
Initially it was a tall circular block of 175 grams, with an adhesive sticker on the side.
It featured the claim "Sanctified by World Champions".
The notation "Ananda" is obscure.
Available in different formulae, Honey also produced a Nat Young endorsed edition.
Circa 1986, Honey Surf was acquired by Ocean and Earth, a large Australian surf accessory supplier, who also marketed its own house brand..
Initially the original formulae and the cylinder block were retained, but by 2000 the packaging, formulae and shape had been significantly changed.

Other surf waxes available in Australia  during the 1980's included Balance, Green Slime, and Balin.

The wax industry had its first serious competition 1978 with the introduction of Herbie Fletcher's AstroDeck - initially a selection of thin synthetic rubber non-slip squares glued to the deck.
By 1980 this was improved with the release of a thicker synthetic rubber non-slip mat  glued to the deck, usually at the tail.
Gorilla Grip, Australia introduced their popular Dial Pad circa 1982, and would become the dominant Australian producer.

Circa 1994, Mrs. Palmers  adopted both the family identification and the sexual innuendo of Mr. Zog's Sex Wax, combined with the pliable opaque formula pioneered by Sticky Bumps.
Their initial product, Five Daughters, was successful and offensive.
The company developed as the market leader in Australia, with a variety of formula and packaging.
These included Ultra Sticky, Longboard and Bali Brew.
The sexual innuendo was more explicit with the release of Mighty Mounds, 2003.

Circa 1996, some companies such as Toe Jam and Venom briefly experimented with a simple printed paper bag, apparently a sign of an increasing environmental awareness.
Perversely, the latter also introduced the environmentally questionable Venom Spray Wax in an aerosol can.

Since 2000 the highly competitive Australian market saw the development of a variety of shapes and alternatives in packaging.
Packaging alternatives included Stick It - Special Edition in a calico bag, Barking Dog Wax in a reusable  plastic container and Sixty Six Feet in a metal container.
Variation in shape included Shore Foot (a foot print shape), Sticky Deck (a triangle), Sticky Willies Star Wax (star shaped), Sixty Six Feet (six sided) and Mother's Milk, see below.

Sticky Deck and Stick It, both circa 2003, continued the use of sexual metaphor in their packaging, but in 2004 Mother's Milk took the concept to a new low.
The block was moulded in the shape of a female breast and flesh coloured with a pink nipple.
In 2005 the theme was again followed by Vyagra Wax.


The House of Wax  : Images.
Parowax, circa 1958.
Cardboard box
Sohio Laboratories
Midland Building, Cleveland 15, Ohio.
Weight 12 oz. Three cakes.

ESSO Surfboard Wax, circa 1963. 
Size 3 Cardboard Cup 
by Hygienic Containers Pty Ltd, Australia.

Pipeline Surf Wax , circa 1965.
Image contributed by George, September 2008.
Bower Boy Surf Wax logo, 
circa 1966.
Image scanned from unknown magazine/book.
Slipcheck by Morey-Pope, circa 1966.
Image scanned from unknown magazine/book.

Advertisment: Slipcheck by Morey-Pope, 1967.
Surfing World Volume 8 Number 4 page 36
January 1967.
Advertisment: Grip Feet, 1967.
Surfing World Volume 8 Number 4 page 36
January 1967.

Waxmate by Surf Research, circa 1968.
Paper Insert.

Mr. Zogs Sex Wax, circa 1972.
Adhesive Sticker.
Wax Research Summer Wax. circa 1975.
PO Box 2336 Leucadia CA 92024.
Paper Sleeve.
Above images : Stephen Ryan Collection.
Printed in  ... Devon Howard :
On the Board : There is More to Surf Wax Than Just Keeping Your Feet Glued to the Deck.
Longboard Magazine, October 2003. Volume 11 Number 5. Page 59.

The Original Honey Surf Wax, 
circa 1976.
Adhesive Sticker.

 Nat Young Surfwax from Honey Surf, 
circa 1979.
Adhesive Sticker.

Gorrilla Grip Dial Pad, circa 1982.
#33 Aloha, bottom

Nat's Wax, circa 1985.
Adhesive Sticker.
Honey Surf Wax, circa 1986.
By Ocean and Earth.
Adhesive Sticker.

Green Slime Surf Wax, circa 1985.
Adhesive Sticker.

Sticky by Ocean and Earth, circa 1986.
Adhesive Sticker.
Balance Surf Wax, circa 1990.
Adhesive Sticker.

Mr. Zogs Sex Wax : Tropic, circa 1990.
Adhesive Sticker.
Mr. Zogs Sex Wax : Cool, circa 1990.
Adhesive Sticker.

Sticky Bumps : Cool, circa 1992.
Wax Research
PO Box 232336 Leucadia CA 92023.
Paper Sleeve.

Stephen Ryan Collection
Printed in  ... Devon Howard : 
On the Board : There is More to Surf Wax Than Just Keeping Your Feet Glued to the Deck.
Longboard Magazine, October 2003. Volume 11 Number 5. Page 59. 


Duke Traditional Longboard Wax, circa 1994.
Paper Sleeve.
Sticky Bumps Warm, circa 1994
Wax Research
PO Box 232336 Leucadia CA 92023.
Paper Sleeve.

Sticky Bumps Cool, circa 1994.
Wax Research
PO Box 232336 Leucadia CA 92023.
Paper Sleeve.
Sticky Bumps Warm, 1997.
25th Anniversary Edition
Wax Research
PO Box 232336 Leucadia CA 92023.
Paper Sleeve.

Mr. Zogs Sex Wax
Base Coat Series : Hard 5X, circa 1995.
Adhesive Sticker.
Mr. Zogs Sex Wax 
Warm Top Coat  : Soft 3X - Cold, circa 1995.
Adhesive Sticker.

Five Daughters Extra Sticky, circa 1995.
A Mrs. Palmers Product.
Paper Sleeve.
Five Daughters Extra Sticky, circa 1997.
A Mrs. Palmers Product.
Paper Sleeve.

Venom Wax, circa 1996.
Paper Bag.
Venom Spray on Surf Wax, circa 1998.
Aerosol Can.

Toe Jam Ultra Sticky Surf Wax, circa 1996.
Paper Bag.
Toe Jam Ultra Sticky Surf Wax, circa 1997.
Paper Bag.

Mrs. Palmers Longboard Wax, circa 1999.
Warm Water
Paper Sleeve.
Mrs. Palmers Ultra Sticky Wax, circa 1999.
Cool Water
Paper Sleeve.

 Shore Foot Surf Essentials
Warm, circa 2000.
Shaped block, Paper Insert.

Honey Wax, circa 2000.
Warm By Ocean and Earth.
Paper Sleeve.
Powerkeg Rapid Wax, circa 2000.
Warm
Paper Sleeve.

Max Wax, circa 2002.
Paper Sleeve.
Quicksilver Super Sticky, circa 2002.
Paper Insert.

Sticky Willies Star Wax, circa 2003.
Star shaped block, Adhesive Sticker.
Sticky Deck Wax, circa 2003.
Cardboard Sleeve.

Stick It Board Wax - Special Edition, circa 2003.
Screen printed calico bag.
Barking Dog Wax, circa 2003.
Adhesive Sticker on Plastic Container.

Mrs. Palmers Ultra Sticky Wax, circa 2003.
Warm Water
Cardboard Box.
Mrs. Palmers Bali Brew, circa 2003.
Tropical Water
Cardboard Box.

Mrs. Palmers Longboard Wax, circa 2003.
Warm Water
Cardboard Box.
Mrs. Palmers Mighty Mounds, circa 2003.
Warm Water
Cardboard Box.

Mother's Milk Surfboard Wax, circa 2004.
Paper Insert.
Sixty Six Feet Board Wax, circa 2005.
Six sided block.
Adhesive Sticker on Metal Container.

\
Reef Wax Comb with
Fin Key Insert, circa 2005.
Plastic and Steel.

Left:
Stick It  Board wax, circa 2005.
Paper Insert.

Right:
Wave Warfare: 
NoBoundaries Performance Wax, 
circa 2007.
Plastic re-useable
box with adhesive sticker.


Big Wave Surf Wax, 2007. (Face)
Laminated cardboard box.
Big Wave Surf Wax, 2007. (Rear)
Laminated cardboard box.

Sea of Galileee Surf Wax, 2007. (Face)
Laminated cardboard box.
Sea of Galileee Surf Wax, 2007. (Rear)
Laminated cardboard box.

Balance Surf Wax, circa 2007.
Paper bag.

Tour Series by Sticky Bumps, 2008. (Face)
Cardboard box.
Tour Series by Sticky Bumps, 2008. (Back)
Cardboard box.


SIQ Combo Box, circa 2008.
Plastic Box.

SIQ Warm Water Wax, circa 2008.
Paper Bag.

Palmers Duo Wax Comb, circa 2008.
Plastic.

Classic Wax by Sticky Bumps, 2009. (Face)
Paper Sleeve.


Stomp Surfwax, 2009. (Face)
Cardboard box.

Far King Surf Wax, 2009. (Face)
Cardboard box.

REFERENCE
Devon Howard :
On the Board : There is More to Surf Wax Than Just Keeping Your Feet Glued to the Deck.
Longboard Magazine, October 2003. Volume 11 Number 5. Pages 58 to 63.
The House of Wax page was prepared in December 2005 in response to an enquiy from Kath:

Hello
I am from Noosa Australia. I enjoy surfing and surf wax collecting.

From the website  www.surfresearch.com.au   I was wondering if you knew where I could purchase any old surf wax from ? Like the Old Bubble gum wax etc..

Thanks ever so much for your time,
Warm regards
Kath

My reply was...
 Kath ,
Sorry, can not be of much assistance.
Can only suggest...
1. check surfshops for old stock
2. Mick Mock at Little Dragon, Palm Beach NSW 02 9974 4417
3. wax sometimes comes up on ebay.com.au, but usually current brands.
Geoff.

The images were taken from my own modest collection by droping the blocks onto the scanner and covering with a tee shirt. Images not from my collection should be credited - the two uncredited images are an unfortunate oversight, circa 1999.


Highly recommended ... Casey's huge wax collection, online at ...
www.surfwaxmuseum.com

home catalogue history references appendix

The House of Wax: Limited Editions, 2007.
Big Wave Sea of Galilee Collector
00 00 Nick Dejong, Shoalhaven Heads (Oversize Test)
1/40 1/40 surfresearch.com.au
2/40 2/40 James Cater, Shoalhaven Heads.
3/40 3/40 Bruce White, Mosman.
4/40 4/40 Ken Grieves, Manly
5/40 5/40 John McInnes, Era Beach.
6/40 6/40 Paul Flack, Shoalhaven Heads.
7/40 7/40 David Cater, Repton.
8/40 8/40 Andy Mark, Werri Beach.
9/40 Howard Lewis, Berry
9/40 Richard Fox, West Nowra.
10/40 10/40 Seven Mile Beach Malibu Club, Gerroa.
11/40 11/40 Scott Andrews, Gerringong.
12/40 12/40 Steve Deros, Crescent Head.
13/40 Terry Gallagher, Kiama.
13/40 Mick Morgan, Aquatic Core Store, Nowra.
14/40 14/40 Mick Mock, Manly
15/40 15/40 Bennett's Surfboards, Brookvale.
16/40 16/40 Heritage Surfshop, 24 Darley Road, Manly.
17/40 17/40 Eric Hollinger, Sanctuary Point.
18/40 18/40 Scott Dillion's Legends Surfing Museum, Coffs Harbour.
19/40 19/40 Casey Mills, Oregon, USA
Wally Wallace, North Narrabeen..

British Library: British Newspapers 1800-1900
http://newspapers.bl.uk/

A CEYLON SURF BOAT The Graphic (London, England), Saturday, August 6, 1887; Issue 923.

Cartoon: IN THE SURF AT BOULOGNE-SUR-MER
1890_08_30_PIP_p134_Bourlogne.jpg
The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times (London, England),
Saturday, August 30, 1890; pg. 134.
Sourced from the British Library
Gale Document Number: ?????????

Cartoon: SO UNUSUAL
1891_08_15_PIP_p101_So_Unusual.jpg
The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times (London, England),
Saturday, August 15, 1891; pg. 101; Issue 1576.
Sourced from the British Library
Gale Document Number: BA3207777601

Illustration: THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA—LANDING IN A SURF BOAT AT ACCRA.
1891_08_15_Graphic_Accra.jpg
The Graphic (London, England),
Saturday, August 15, 1891; Issue 1133.
Sourced from the British Library
Gale Document Number: BA3201451546

Illustration: 2ND WEST INDIA REGIMENT EMBARKING FOR SIERRA LEONE
1894_01_13_Graphic_West_Africa.jpg
FRENCH AND ENGLISH IN WEST AFRICA: SKETCHES BY AN ENGLISH OFFICER
The Graphic (London, England),
Saturday, January 13, 1894; Issue 1259.
Sourced from the British Library
Gale Document Number: BA3201457313

Text: Life on the West Coast of Africa
The Graphic (London, England),
Saturday, January 13, 1894; Issue 1259.
Sourced from the British Library
Document Number: BA3201457318

At Accra ...
The Castle must have been strongly fortified for those times, and fully capable of resisting the invasion of pirates, as the old guns have a good command of the only practical landing place; heavy surfs are frequent all down the coast, and make the landing very dangerous.
The native crews are very skilful with their paddles, and manage to get through somehow; but many lives have been lost by the capsising of the boats.

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/diannemurray/west_africa_07/1173285120/6.jpg/tpod.html