Make Your Own Eco Surf Wax

I wrote a more recent post with a great video on how to make organic surf wax here.

Sourcing your own surf wax is without a doubt the most ecologically friendly way to wax your surfboard. When you make surf wax yourself you cut down the need to truck it around (how Patagonia accounts for the ecological effect of making things.)  Shipping of materials and products is without a doubt the most ecologically taxing aspect of our economy. If you make your surf wax at home, you do the earth a favor.

I recommend starting with a small batch and developing your process.  Once you get a great recipe for the best surf wax, then expand into greater production.  If you could cut the delivery of petroleum based surf wax from being trucked down to your little surf town, you would be doing mother ocean a favor.

Essential ingredients for your Eco Wax:

  • 4 parts bees wax
  • 1 part fragrant oil
  • 1 part sap

6 parts all together.  It could be 6 oz., 6 gallons or 6 tons.  Depends on how big you want to go!

First you need to harvest some sap from a local sappy tree.  Pine trees work great from my experience.  If you want to get cutting edge, you can develop your own sap based waxes.  You might have the next best thing oozing out one of the trees in your backyard.


To harvest sap from pine trees you can use a strategy utilized by Chico Mendez and the rubber tappers of the Amazonian rainforest.  These are the guys that harvested rubber from trees before it was synthesized and made into a petroleum product (read about it here and learn about the destruction in the Amazon Rain Forest.)

Now to make the best surf wax you need to go about getting the best sap.  To harvest sap you want to carve a small sap drainage ditch into the bark of the best sap tree you can find.  You want this little ditch to be about .5-1 inch deep.  Make this cut in a loop around the tree as if a lasso was hanging on the trunk.  Start the ditch high and work your way lower and lower as you go.  Have the ditches meet at the opposite side of the tree from the high point.  The whole sap drainage ditch should flow down to a single point.  At this point you want to set up a container to collect the sap at a single source.  It will take somewhere between 1 and 4 days to collect a good amount of sap to make your surf wax.  It really depends on how big a batch your going for.

Second, you want to source some bees wax.  This can be a difficult mission on your own so I really recommend you get a bee keeper around to help you get the stuff.  You will hopefully be getting some really good organic wax.  This stuff will have lots of old dead bee parts in it.  You will want to heat the wax up to a liquid state and then run it through a cheese cloth to get all of these materials out.  Your hippie friends might think it’s a cool thing to have your surf wax be littered with dead bee parts, but most people will be put off by it.  To heat the bees wax, you will want to use the same system as explained below for mixing the ingredients together.


Your third ingredient will be a fragrant oil of some sort.  This could range from the ever popular coconut oil to some more exotic oils like macadamia nut oil.  You can explore the different options yourself and develop your own greatest surf wax in the world.  It would be really interesting to see some surfboard wax made of lavender oil or teatree oil.

Now that you have your four ingredients for your surfboard wax you want to measure  out the correct parts (4 parts wax, 1 part oil, 1 part sap.)  Break these ingredients down into the smallest physical parts possible and place them in a cook top safe container.

Place the container with your ingredients in another stove top safe container with water in it.  Make sure the water in the outer container won’t be able to easily enter your interior wax container.  Heat the surfboard wax mixture until it is completely liquid.

After you liquify your ingredients  you will want to stir them really well.  All you need to do at this point is pour the liquid into some disposable containers.  You want your containers to represent the final product shape that you desire.  The wax must be able to exit the containers like water is able to exit ice trays.  The liquid wax will solidify and be difficult to remove from the containers if they aren’t shaped well for molds.  Plus, good molding will be part of good branding.

With the liquid wax in the containers you only have to wait about an hour and the wax will solidify beautifully.  Remove the wax and label it.  It’s important to label all your early waxes so that you can test what makes the best wax.  With proper labeling, you can further develop your recipe to perfection.

All your attempts are worth documenting.  Keep diligent notes about each batch.  Keep expanding on the strengths of each wax and phase out unneeded parts.  If you can make a really great long lasting wax, you could change the industry forever!

If you do make the best wax yet, make sure to send us a bar at best surf wax dot com.  We can tell you what we think.

Go ahead and write a post below, tweet this page, or give us the thumbs up with facebook.  We really appreciate the fact that you came here and studied with us.

Thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “Make Your Own Eco Surf Wax”

  1. Hey guys.
    I live in India and its sometimes impossible to find a bar of wax when you really need one.
    I realized this the day I ordered a board from abroad and asked for 3 bars of wax and was sent cold water bars !

    I made a few batches earlier when i just started surfing. I found it really sticky and worked well, but I realized that within 45mins to an hour of surfing, the wax would start to loose its hold. I never really wrote down what I made and thus, have no clue what the proportions where, but I do know I tried to follow the 4:1 rule (didn’t add any sap as the water here is warm to tropical.) The wax was 100% beeswax

    I just acquired a large batch of beeswax but on opening the pack, I learned that the beeswax is pharma grade (Some bullshit – It’s beeswax mixed with paraffin wax – Claims to be anywhere from 70-80% beeswax and the rest paraffin.) and decided to do it right this time by correctly weighing and writing down everything !

    I made one batch, with 5:1 ratio. The bar seemed to look good, but when I tried it on my board, it only made a thin film sorta coat and as much as I rubbed, there weren’t any bumps (No pun intended!)
    I just made a second batch with the existing batch that i had and just added some more oil to make it a 4:1 ratio.
    The wax turned out slightly stickier, but I feel there is no difference in the traction. There are still no bumps and I can’t seem to get a thick layer. It just smudges off and flattens out (but, there’s still a thin visibly layer.)

    Is this happening because of the paraffin? Do I need to use 100% beeswax?
    I’m absolutely new at this and the surf culture is just about growing in India. There’s no one here that I can talk to who might know a thing or two about this…
    I found your site and was really excited after reading the last few paragraphs and thus, decided to write to you.
    Any help would be great !

    Thanks,

    Spandan.

  2. Hi Spandan,
    I am not an expert on this. But we ride horses and use bees wax products to treat the leather. It needs paraffin/turps in it to make is softer.
    I suspect that the paraffin prevents the wax from actually adhering to itself. It is just too soft.
    I would have thought getting real beeswax in India would be doable. A lot of wild honey harvesting there. Here beekeepers recycle beeswax and are always looking for more.
    Cheers
    Paul

  3. Hello…

    I did it.. I made the best surfwax ever…., has been tried to some big surf brand riders, local surfers and surf legends… the said they never found like this before.

    Its two part of surfwax… Base coat (must apply at the first layer) when you have old wax on your board.. removed that first, base coat its hard to apply but create a very good bumpy and strong base, once its applied correctly.. then go for the second layer (Top coat), this is more soft, easy to apply and make your stick so sticky, lots of durable grip. and all was made from natural and organic stuff. its echo friendly surfwax.. and the smell also good.

    I want to send to you a bar and let see what do you think?
    Now… could you please send me your address??
    Iam based in Bali Indonesia

    Thank You

    1. Hey Hendra,

      I’m currently living in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua so the chances of us getting a bar of wax from Bali to here are pretty much 0.

      🙂

      I really appreciate it. Hoping to move to Bali this October so if I can make it out there I’ll drop you a line and we can meet up. Sound cool?

      Thanks Mate,
      Billy

    2. Dear Pak Hendra,

      I’ve the candle production in Denpasar, and I would like to produce the surfwax.
      Can I get the sample for you ?
      Thanks

      Regards,

      Gemilang

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