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The Best Surf Wax Ranked for 2024

Besides a board, fins, trunks, wetsuit, or leash, wax is one of the most important things for surfboards.

If you want to hit a couple of air sections, knife down the line, or do a powerful wrapping cutback, wax is essential to all surfers.

If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be around, as surf culture tends to be more minimalistic aside from the equipment needed.

Don’t be that guy who blows your dream barrel just because you slip off your board.

The 10 Best Surf Wax Ranked for 2024

Option 1: Fu Wax

Made in Brazil, this is the best surf wax you can buy.

It is extremely sticky and lasts two to three times longer than every other surf wax while maintaining the same stickiness.

It's used by CT surfers such as Kanoa Igarashi and Leonardo Fioravanti.

Option 2: Sex Wax

Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax, created in 1972 in Carpinteria, California, is a staple in the surf industry. Packaging is simple and easy to reuse, plus it keeps your wax clean. Works best with base or topcoat.

Option 3: Sticky Bumps

Also, a long-time standard in the surf industry, Sticky Bumps has been around since 1971.

The performance series offers the best stickiness, with Punt claiming to be the stickiest surf wax in the world. It also has a grape scent.

Option 4: Mrs. Palmers 

Made in Burleigh Heads, Australia, with a patented blend of paraffin and adhesives. Great stickiness and traction and lasts long. 

This non-toxic organic blend is biodegradable and made with all-natural ingredients.

It uses steam bonding to minimize environmental impact, is produced in a no-waste facility, and follows a zero-plastic policy.

All profits are donated to the Surf Rider Foundation.

It provides good traction and stickiness but doesn’t last very long.

Option 6: Matunas Surf Wax 

Created in 1998, Matunas was the first eco-friendly surf wax. Made in Santa Cruz, California, with all-natural products grown in California, it offers decent stickiness and lasts quite a bit. It is also biodegradable and non-toxic.

Option 7: Fcs Surf Wax 

FCS Surf Wax has high tackiness and a high-quality bead texture. It maintains great grip in all water temperatures. It doesn’t last the longest but is very reliable.

Option 8: Famous Surf 

Famous has been making surf wax since 2002 and claims to have done over 20 years of research into surf wax.

It provides very high tackiness and a beady texture while also acting as a UV inhibitor.

Option 9: Bubble Gum Wax 

Hand-poured in California since 1984, it uses ocean-safe ingredients and recycled packaging.

It offers good traction and tackiness. It is also sold under other brands such as Neff, Volcolm, and ZAP.

Palo Santo is a tree burned by shamans and medicine people for its energy-cleansing and healing properties. This scent is infused into the surf wax.

It has a great design as it is cut up into triangles, so you can just break off a corner and use the rest for later, rather than having a single long piece as in other surf wax designs.

What Should You Look For in Surf Wax? 

The ideal surf wax is meant to be sticky, providing good traction and reducing slipping while also lasting long.

You don’t want a wax that has to be applied over old wax every session.

Besides longevity and traction, it is crucial that wax is non-toxic and made with natural ingredients, as you do not want it to harm the aquatic ecosystems you surf in.

Surf Wax FAQs

Q. Why do people use surf wax?

Surfers use surf wax because it is nearly impossible to catch waves and execute those John John-esque turns without it.

It provides traction and prevents you from slipping off your board, ensuring you don't miss out on catching your dream wave.

Q. Do you really need base coat surf wax?

A base coat isn’t necessary, as some pro surfers and surfers, in general, don’t use a base coat, but it does allow for easier waxing and more traction.

Applying a base coat prior to regular wax makes it easier to create little bumps that, in turn, create traction.

Q. Is Surf wax the same as candle wax?

Surf wax is very different from candle wax.

The main difference is that the consistency of surf wax is designed to be sticky in both cold and warm temperatures, while candle wax is quite slick.

Surf wax is also formulated for specific water temperatures.

Don't go putting candle wax on your board; it won't do anything for you.

Q. What does wax do for surfers? 

Wax provides traction and the ability to stay on your board; nobody is landing an air reverse without wax unless you use a mid-traction pad, which, in theory, replaces the need for wax as it is a stomp pad but in the middle of the board.

The Bottom Line: Surf Wax

All surf-formulated wax can do the job, but certain brands provide better traction, feel, and longevity compared to others.

Be sure to check the water temperature if you are surfing breaks that you have never surfed before or are going on a surf trip, as surf wax reacts differently in various water temperatures.

Each temperature has its own surf wax, but the temperature ranges may vary from brand to brand.


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