home catalogue history references appendix 
 surf culture : surf wax 

Surfboard Wax, Board Wax, Paraffin 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

Advertisement, Surfing World? 1966:
Slipcheck is here!
Slipcheck is a fine textured coating for the nose and tail of your board.

It is so firm when wet that it eliminates slippage.
Sunlight, extremely warm, cold or slimy water which make repeated re-waxing necessary have absolutely no effect on dependable Sllpcheck.
Gone are the days of unenjoyable surfing because you left your wax at home and no one on the beach had any.
The days when the sun melted the wax clean off your board.
And how about the time, miles from any shop on a weekend away, you find your best friend has used up the last peice of wax.
Slipcheck has made those days a thing of the past.
With one spraying of dependable Slipcheck yon can relax for 3-6 months.

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 initially 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, along with the paper label, featuring a series of messages printed on the reverse, wrapped in cellophane.
Available as Warm or Cool formulae.
Surf Research was Californian company producing a range of products from the mid-1960s, including their coloured and scented surf wax, Waxmate.
Later, the principals were Garth Murphy, Mike Doyle, and Rusty Miller.
Doyle and Miller were outstanding surfers,with substantial competitive careers and regularly appearing in magazines.
At the end of 1960s the Californian company was sold and Mike Doyle relocated to Mexico, Rusty to Kauai, and Garth Murphy emigrated to Australia where he marketed Waxmate from a post box in Byron Bay, circa 1970.
In the early 1970s, Rusty Miller and his wife Tricia Shantz also relocated to Australia and they currently reside in Byron Bay.
Rusty contributed to John Witzig's ground breaking Tracks and featured in the Bali sequences of Albert Falzon's The Morning of the Earth.


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., see below.
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 1976-1978 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.

Ampol Surfboard Wax
Surfing World, December, 1965, page 8.
The price is given in shillings and pence, and the new decimal currency to be introduced in 1966.

Ampol Surfboard Wax, 1966.

Board Wax, 1964.
Ray Richards Surfing Centre
755 Hunter St West Newcastle.
Agents for Gordon Woods Surfboards.

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.

Slipcheck by Morey-Pope, 1967.
Surfing World Volume 8 Number 4 page 36
January 1967.
Grip Feet, 1967.
Surfing World Volume 8 Number 4 page 36
January 1967.
Bower Boy Surf Wax, 1968.
Surfing World Volume 11 Number 3 page 36
August-September 1968.

Surfing World
Slipcheck is here!

The Magnificent Seven.

Surfing World
Volume 13 Number 1,

Waxmate by Surf Research,
circa 1968.
Paper Insert.

Advertising: Waxmate by Surf Research, circa 1971.
Tracks 1971, page 26.

Distributors Wholesale

NOOSA HEADS: phone Surf Research Tewantin 47 1461
BRISBANE: phone Hohensee Surfboards 91 1494

QLD. GOLD COAST: Hohensee Surfboards 2158 Gold Coast Highway, Miami 4220.
N.S.W. NORTH COAST: Surf Research PO Box 44 Bangalow 2479.
SYDNEY: Surf Research phone 919 4580
MELBOURNE: Surf Research phone 98 7325
TORQUAY: Surf Research c/o Post Office Torquay 3228
W.A.: Sommot PO Box 101 Subiaco 6008. Phone 25 6676.

Send 25c for climatised purple square bar to Surf Research,
P.O. Box 44
Bangalow. N.S.W. 2479

, Number 37, October 1973, page 2.
Tracks Number 54 February 1975, page 
Man, dis new green formula WAXMATE, it's da softest!
10 years of surfresearch has gone into the development of the Waxmate formula.
Proven superior to any other wax.
Used by the best surfers throughout the world.

Phone Sydney 997 65222 - 918-3148 Contact Box 138 Byron Bay 2481

In 2014, Bob Newland recalled:
Around 1969, "Wilderness Surfboards was started  on a farm that McTavish had outside of Yamba, along with Chris Brock and the Key's brothers," and Surf Research's WaxMate was brought over from the U.S. by Garth Murphy.

The wax was produced on Garth's farm at Brooklet, just out side of Byron Bay, the farm and business later sold to Paul Hutchinson (Surfboards).
Paul was previously a part owner of Pete's Stor-a-Board at Manly.

In March 2021, Rusty Miller's wife Tricia Shantz emailed:
Hi Geoff
I had occasion to visit your site as I was trying to find something out about a Malibu surfer from the ‘60s, Bob “Porkchops” Baron and somehow came across your Surf Research site.
I’m Rusty Miller’s wife and I just wanted to correct something I read there. You have Rusty’s old business Surf Research (the original) mentioned. One of his partners was Garth Murphy (not Powell). I don’t think Garth did Surf International with John Witzig. Garth did contribute to Tracks magazine.
Surf Research was started by Rusty, Garth Murphy and Doyle in the early ‘60s but sold in California when Garth came to Australia, Rusty to Kauai, and Doyle to Mexico, somewhere around 1967 or 68. Garth did bring the label to Byron Bay, Australia circa 1970. The label shown was from the early 1960s but they kept it throughout the business’s life

Keep up the work on the  site. It is helpful for people researching.

Following Tricia's comments, I have adjusted several entries.

Image courtesy of Jason Connell, March 2017.

Greg MacGillivray, and Jim Freeman:
Five Summer Stories
, 1972.

Mr. Zogs Sex Wax, circa 1972.
Adhesive Sticker.
Surfwax by Wavecraft, 1973.
, November 1973, page 35.
Wax Research Summer Wax. circa 1975.
PO Box 2336 Leucadia CA 92024.
Paper Sleeve.
Above images : Stephen Ryan Collection.
Devon Howard : On the Board : There is More to Surf Wax Than Just Keeping Your Feet Glued to the Deck.
Longboard, October 2003. Volume 11 Number 5, page 59.

Bower Boy Surfwax: Colours available, Manufactured by Adremco Chemicals Pty. Ltd., 759-7958
Tracks #35 August 1973, page 30?

Nat Young's Fall Line
Surf and Ski
129 Pittwater Road Mona Vale
Cnr, Burwood and Punchbowl Roads, Belfield

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

Honey Surf Wax, 
circa 1978.
Oval adhesive Sticker.

Nat Young Surfwax from Honey Surf, 

circa 1979.
Adhesive Sticker.

See below.

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.
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.

Stick It  Board wax, circa 2005.
Paper Insert.

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.
Also note:
Grant me Lord ... just a closer walk with thee ...
Illustration by Rick Griffin
Surfer, Volume 12 Number 2, May 1971.


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.

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

Stomp Surfwax, 2009. (Face)
Cardboard box.

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

Adhesive Deck Grip:
Gorrilla Dial Pad, 1986

Adhesive Deck Grip:
Gorrilla Razor Back, 1988

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

I am from Noosa Australia. I enjoy surfing and surf wax collecting.
From the website   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

The images were taken from my own modest collection by dropping 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.

Selleys Fibreglass Repair Kit, circa 1966.

 Selleys Fibreglass Repair Kit - For Surfboards, Boats, Cars, Caravans, Etc.
10058 D - Net x Ozs

ellys Chemical Company 1 Gow Street Bankstown, NSW.

Selleys Fibreglass Repair Kit, circa 1975.

Contributed by Llew Stephens, November 2016, with thanks.
Llew noted:
It has been some years since I contacted you but I think I have found some more photos for your on line museum.
I am cataloguing a collection of packaging material and I came across this box in the collection that brought back the joys of doing your own repairs.
Thankfully the contents were still intact.

Honey Surf Wax
Previously to the opening of the shop in Fern Street, Gerringong, on the south coast of NSW, Australia, Brad and Kent Kent brewed and distributed the highly popular Honey Wax.

Image and text from
Kent Ladkin:  Natural Necessity Surf Shop, 2019.

In the early Seventies, many surfers still use big blocks of brittle paraffin wax from the petrol station to wax their boards.
One day, Kent recognises there must be a better product and starts experimenting with a new formula while living in the (Angourie) tree house.
He discovers that adding beeswax, along with a few other key ingredients, makes for a far more effective product.
It's easier to apply and doesn't flake off and become slippery.
One of the world's first surf specific waxes is born.
Kent names it Honey Surf Wax.
Kent's brother, Brad, calls to say he's moved to an old farm near the beachside town of Gerringong on the NSW South Coast.
Kent had been dreaming about finding a small town with good surf that wasn't too far from Sydney for him to launch his business.
Kent makes the move south and soon falls in love with Gerringong's rolling green hills and beautiful coastline.
Furthermore, the farm's old dairy and barn will make the perfect wax factory.

Brad leaves his regular job to manage three beautiful kids, a veggie patch and the thriving wax factory on the farm.
Surfers were tired of using the old paraffin wax and started to discover the new product.
Kent and Brad knew they must be onto something.
Production in the old dairy started heating up.

Kent had the idea to convert two buses into mobile home / warehouses.
This would enable him to personally visit and supply every surf shop from Gerringong to Noosa 10 times per year, while Brad would visit the surf shops in Victoria once a year.
Stores appreciated the personal service and soon fell in love with the product.
Honey Surf Wax took off.

To save on litter, the only packaging we used were recycled boxes and newspapers, while the wax itself had nothing except for a sticker on it.
As it turned out, when people peeled it off, it was generally easier to slap it on something than find a bin, so we ended up with hundreds of thousands of stickers representing the brand on cars, signs, fridges, you name it.
It was amazing.
- Kent.

The frequent road trips of the Seventies from Noosa to Bells Beach were anything but gruelling sales trips.
These journeys represented adventure and freedom to Kent.

Before too long, Kent is also making regular bus trips to the rail head and port in Sydney, to shi] out wax to reps in other states, NZ and the USA.

Ten years on, in 1982, the brothers will have sold 2.5 million bars of wax, dominating an estimated 90% of the surf wax market over the 10 year period.
However, a long road still lies between them and this milestone.
A few years have passed since the birth of Honey Surf Wax in the early Seventies, wax sales are rapidly growing and opportunities soon arise to expand the product range.
At the time, there are no board covers on the market in Australia.

A friend's Aunty owned a knitting-mill.
She made me a cool custom board cover.
All my friends wanted one.
Suddenly, alongside the wax. we were selling thousands of board covers every year. - Kent

Then came surfboard leashes.
Ian and John from Balin in Victoria invented the modern moulded leg rope with a swivel and asked Kent to distribute the new product in NSW and Queensland.
Business moved on to an exciting new level.

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

home catalogue history references appendix

Geoff Cater (2005-2022) : Appendix : The House of Wax