The Best Surf Wax: We Tested Them All!

by Nov 2, 20220 comments

8-10 Minute Read

Before diving into this test, we did a bit of reasearch on the web and couldn’t really find a definitive guide to the best surf wax anywhere – at least not an unbiased one. 

So, we saved up a few pennies and spent out on all of the major brands of surf wax we could get our hands on here in Portugal. We tested each bar over a series of weeks – thankfully the water temperature remains fairly constant so juggling different water tempertures was not much of an issue. 

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Best Surf Wax

How We Conducted The Test

We surfed a range of boards, with each board genreally have some form of basecoat already to ensure a level playing field. We will be marking each bar of wax using the following criteria.

  1. Value for money / Price
  2. Eco Credentials (Organic, Earth-Friendly, Packaging)
  3. Stickiness 
  4. Bumpability (how easy it is to get those nice bumps you want on a good wax job)  

We gave each criteria a rating out of 5 and then we totted up these to give a total score out of 20. Clear as mud right? 

 

Read our article on How to Wax a Surfboard here

 

FCS Surf Wax

Realtively late to the game, FCS have only recently developed their wax program, but it has been worth the wait. All temperature variants come packaged in a nice cardboard box and the shape of the wax is actually pretty nice too – kinda like a small bar of soap.

It doesn’t have the ridge which allows you to snap the bar into two (which I like to do) but I don’t feel that’s a gamechanger. 

At the time of the test this was for sale at €3 US$3.50 £2.50 a bar which we feel is a pretty dang good price! 

 

FCS Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Excellent value

Eco Credentials

Recycled cardboard packaging. Likely to contain petrochemicals but not stated on list of ingredients

Bumpability

Very good

Stickiness

Good

17 out of 20

 

Mrs Palmers (Original)

A household name in the surf industry, Mrs Palmers has a huge following probably due to their great marketing back in the day. More of a ‘traditional’ type of feel to this one compared to many of the modern wax recipes we see today. 

A pretty solid choice for any surfer, although not our favourite in the test. 

Interesting to note that these come in at 70g per bar – the lightest bar in our lineup. 

Mrs Palmers surf wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Good value

Eco Credentials

Likely to contain petrochemicals but not stated on list of ingredients

Bumpability

Not the best, but possible to get a nice wax job with time

Stickiness

Good

16 out of 20

 

Sex Wax Quick Humps

What’s not to like about Sex Wax – Iconic global brand, THE name in surf wax. The traditional ‘original’ wax that’s still in production today seems a little outdated now. However, the Quick Humps formula from Sex Wax is awesome. One of our favoutite bars of wax, available in almost all surf shops across the World.

A little more on the expensive side but tipping the scales at 85g per bar, it’s still good value. Contains parrafin refined from crude oil, so we can’t give it full scores on the eco credentials. 

One of the favourites in the test for sure.

Sex Wax Quick Humps Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Good value

Eco Credentials

Recycled cardboard box, but wax contains petrochemicals

Bumpability

Best in the business in our opinion

Stickiness

Very good

17.5 out of 20

 

Bubble Gum Surf Wax

Recently undergoing a little rebrand and freshen up, bubblegum surf wax has been around since the early 1980’s. We tested the original formula which smells great, and creates nice bumps.

Now with updated packaging (a box and not a wrapper) and at 85g per bar, it’s great value at €2.50.

Bubblegum Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Great value

Eco Credentials

Contains petrochemicals but not stated on list of ingredients

Bumpability

Very good

Stickiness

Good

16.5 out of 20

 

Terra Wax

We stumbled across this brand many years ago and were impressed with the eco credentials of Terra Wax. Soy based ink on recycled paper packaging and natural, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients is the brands USP. Having said that the wax is pretty good too – nice stickability and creates nice bumps. 

85g bars and a good price make this a solid choice, although can go on a little ‘slimy’ which prevents it from getting a top score. 

Terra Wax Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Good value

Eco Credentials

Super 'green' wax and packaging. 

Bumpability

Works well but can be a little 'slimy'

Stickiness

Good

16.5 out of 20

 

Toe Jam Surf Wax

Toe Jam seems to us to basically be a big version of Palmers and wrapped in a paper bag from a candy store!  Old school formula ‘a-la Palmers’

We’ve not seen this widely available but a solid option if you ride a log or perfer a big bar of wax – it tips the scales at 90g.  

Toe Jam Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Very good value

Eco Credentials

Likely to contain petrochemicals but not stated on list of ingredients

Bumpability

Not the best, but possible to get a nice wax job with time

Stickiness

Good

16 out of 20

 

Sticky Bumps Surf Wax

Another household name in the Surf World from the USA. Sticky Bumps is one of our favourites and should be one of yours too. Amazing bumpability, stickyness and we love the smell too (which apparently is blueberry). 

It’s actually difficult to go wrong with Sticky Bumps – the only thing we can find is the fact that the formula is not organic. 

85g and a great price, it’s hard to beat Sticky Bumps

Sticky Bumps Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Excellent value

Eco Credentials


Excellent, hard to fault

Bumpability

Best in the business in our opinion

Stickiness

Excellent

18 out of 20

 

Matunas Surf Wax

Still manufactured on a farm outside Santa Cruz, California, Matunas surf wax is one of our favourites! Unfortunately no cardboard box, just a paper wrapper, but a nice big 90g bar. Creates lovely bumps and good stickiness Matunas ended up with one of the top overall scores. 

All organic ingredients (which you wouldn’t know from the performance) of beeswax, jasmine, clay, and tree sap. 

Get a few bars and try some on your next trip to the beach.

Matunas Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Excellent value

Eco Credentials


Top marks on the eco front

Bumpability

Makes very nice bumps

Stickiness

Excellent

17.5 out of 20

 

FU Surf Wax

The formula we buy today was apparently a happy accident back in the factory some years ago where a formula of wax melted before it shouldn’t have, and altered the makeup of the recipe. Fu wax has only recently become available to the masses, because, as the old story goes, the Brazilains wanted to keep the good stuff for themselves – makes sense to us!

This is an expensive bar of wax – coming in at roughly double the price of most of the other bars of wax we tested. For that reason it’s hard to give it top marks, BUT… stickiness? Top marks! It’s a super sticky wax, maybe a little too tacky for most surfers, unless you’re an air guy/gal. 

80g of sticky goodness. 

Fu Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Too expensive for the everyday surfer

Eco Credentials

Likely to contain petrochemicals but not stated on list of ingredients

Bumpability

Makes bumps but not the best

Stickiness

Super sticky

16 out of 20

 

Dream Cream Surf Wax

Seems to me to be the mainstream competitor to Fu Wax, Sex Wax released their Dream Cream primarily as a super sticky top coat. Again, similar to Fu, this is an expensive bar of wax which probably makes it more of a novelty purchase and not your day-to-day bar of wax.

Stickyness – 10/10

Expensive, yes.

Dream Cream Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Too expensive for the everyday surfer

Eco Credentials

Contains petrochemicals and bars are shrink-wrapped in plastic

Bumpability

More of a top coat kinda wax to get the stickiness you want

Stickiness

Super sticky

16 out of 20

 

Rob Machado Organic Blend Surf Wax

We stumbled across this brand many years ago and were impressed with the eco credentials of Terra Wax. Soy based ink on recycled paper packaging and natural, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients is the brands USP. Having said that the wax is pretty good too – nice stickability and creates nice bumps. 

85g bars and a good price make this a solid choice. 

Rob Machado Bubblegum Organic Surf Wax

Criteria

Comments

Our Rating

Price

Good value

Eco Credentials

Great! Organic blend with recycled packaging

Bumpability

Makes pretty nice bumps over time

Stickiness

Good overall level of stickiness

17 out of 20

THE RESULTS

Sticky Bumps surf Wax

OUR PICK!

Sticky Bumps came out on top in our test. It’s a totally solid choice for the everyday surfer – Great sticky bumps (the clue is in the name) and a pretty good price depending on where you buy.

On a personal note, I LOVE the smell of sticky bumps which of course goes a long way too. 

Matunas Surf Wax

NEXT BEST

With an overall score of 17.5 out of 20, we felt that the wax from Matunas is the next best pick. A household name they may not be, but the wax is great, produced on a farm in Northern California with great eco credentials. 

And, best of all – super sticky, and makes great bumps!

 

Sex Wax Quick Humps

TOP CHOICE

The big players in the game didn’t get there by chance either – Sex Wax Quick Humps is probably the top selling wax globally. And for good reason! Great bumpability and stickyness! 

We felt the fact that they are still using non-renewable petrochemicals just takes the edge off the potential win. Still a solid choice for any surfer. 

 

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