Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wax On Wax Off: New Enviro Surf Wax

The Surf at Sayulita.

As a surfer, it is your responsibility to be aware of your impact on the environment. It is every surfer’s obligation to protect and care for the place that gives us so much enjoyment. After all, without a healthy ocean ecosystem, surfing would be nonexistent.

Everything from driving in search of waves, wetsuit production (and disposal), surfboard foam and resins, and even wax, have an impact. Surf wax is the only product in surfing which is truly disposable, yet is required by every surfer, for every session. The goal of wax is to displace water, while remaining sticky, and petroleum-based products are extremely effective at accomplishing those goals.

Traditionally, surf wax has been produced using paraffin wax, microcrystalline wax, petroleum jelly, Vistanex (petroleum-based adhesive), and scents/dyes. Every time you paddle out, a small amount of wax is released into the marine ecosystem and absorbed by the local species. Although the amount of wax that falls off of your board may be small, the accumulation of the thousands of surfers does equate to a significant amount, not to mention the effects of bioaccumulation.

It was only a matter of time before better alternatives became available. Envirosurfer offers some outstanding surf waxes that are not only petroleum-free, but made of 100% natural, organic, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients. The surfing industry is highly dependent on oil to produce most mainstream products, and by using a natural surf wax, you are taking a step towards cutting that
umbilical cord. You are also avoiding the environmental damage which results from the slow release of wax into the ocean. To top it off, you are supporting the responsible wax companies through consumer sovereignty.

Besides using organic and biodegradable ingredients, here are some specifics on how the natural wax companies are using responsible sourcing and production methods: Matunas wax is made from organic products from a small, 25-acre farm in Santa Cruz, CA. Their product is entirely soy-free, and uses leftover strawberries, raspberries, and jasmine to scent their wax, instead of artificial or oil-based scents. Matunas, Sticky Bumps (soy), and Famous Green Label are all packaged in recycled paper and printed with soy ink (Matunas is printed with soy-free, recycled ink). Famous takes it a step further and donates a portion of every sale to the SIMA Environmental Fund, which works to keep breaks clean and accessible.

Go ahead and give it a try. The ocean has been good to you. It’s time you return the favor.

Corey Chin
Envirosurfer Team

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