What Is Surf Wax?

What is surf wax?

Surf wax is applied to the top of a surfboard, and it’s sole purpose is to keep you from slipping off your board. It’s for traction, grip, and NEVER on the bottom for speed (as with snow ski’s). Surf wax has been the go-to surfboard grip product since the 1950’s, though it has evolved a bit; New surf wax is stickier, bumpy, and easier to apply.

The problem is, wax is still a big mess. Surf wax gets all over clothes, car seats, and the bottom of any board that stacks on top of it. Wax melts in the sun, and chips off in the cold. It picks up sand, dirt and grime. It has to be scraped off and replaced every few months. When re-applying wax, the temperature has to be just right or it becomes a gooey mess that won’t stick to the board. Surf wax is also temperature specific, so the first thing you have to do when you arrive in Tahiti is scrape off and replace your cold water wax.

Wax is only about a buck-fifty a bar, and it’s usually applied before each session, adding to your list of chores while you’re anxiously trying to get in the water.
So the expense of surf wax is minimal, unless you add in the scrapers, trashed shorts, tops, car seats, and the $30 board sock to try to prevent all that.
For those of us who’ve discovered TikiGrip, wax is dead. It’s obsolete.

We’re not the first…
Almost everyone uses a rubber tailpad traction, because the back foot doesn’t move much, and it’s so critical to performance surfing. In the 80’s, full deck traction surfboard products were attempted, but most were too expensive and too thick. The early deck grip also caused chest/nipple rash when you laid on the board to paddle. (TikiGrip doesn’t cause rash) Thing is, most all surfers wear either wetsuits or rashguards in the water, so the rash argument is almost null.

TikiGrip is a simple and versatile full-deck traction. It takes about 4-6 rolls to cover the average 6ft board. It can be laid out in any variety of patterns (and we’ve seen some very creative ones:). It can also replace the tail-pad traction on your surfboard (saving $20-$40). TikiGrip doesn’t melt, or attract dirt, or need to be re-applied every time you pull up at the beach. TikiGrip actually protects the board from deck pressure dings and scratches, AND it’s lighter than wax.

TikiGrip is comfortably THIN traction; About 1-2mm thick. It has good 3M adhesive, and a light “snake skin” texture. It comes packaged as five foot rolls, one inch wide. It mostly comes in white; Since most boards are white, that seems to be the least obtrusive color, and it won’t attract heat if the board is left in the sun.

Kiss your wax good-bye.

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