Sticky Bumps Surf Wax

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Kristian Sabatino
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Although it is still unknown what the exact environmental impacts surf wax has when its used in the ocean. The production of surf wax has clearly changed and improved over the years. Sticky Bumps seems to be doing everything they can to make it as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.

what it's made of:


Since 1932 surfers have been using wax as their go to tool for grip and stickiness on surfboards. There are various types of surf wax made for specific water temperatures with different chemical formulas for that temperature range. Sticky Bumps surf wax in the “cool” range from 58-68 degrees Fahrenheit is the most commonly used year around in Southern California. The ingredients are clearly displaced on the packaging of the wax and contains the following: - calcite - natural mineral waxes - proprietary blend of tackifiers - meadow foam seed wax - blueberry fragrance It is known amongst the surf community that wax negatively impacts the environment because of its chemical makeup. The natural mineral waxes generally used in Sticky Bumps and all types of surf wax is paraffin wax. Paraffin is known to be highly unsustainable due to it being a non-renewable resource and has cause environmental degradation from its petroleum extraction and causing oil spills. However, Sticky Bumps has changed over the years and began to use more soy based wax in the blend which is renewable and highly more sustainable. Additionally, Sticky Bumps surf wax does claim to be “#no-waste” and includes a “Natural Plant Products” label on the packaging.

how it's made:


In a Sticky Bumps factory tour video, John Dahl founder and owner of Sticky Bumps explains how the wax is made. It’s derived from various types of waxes that are blended to adjust to a specific carbon molecule balance that fits the correct water temperature. A key to the process is to melt and heat the wax. Yet by doing so, without driving any of the burned hydrocarbons or fumes from the process to the atmosphere, Sticky Bumps proceeds heats at a very low temperature which does not burn the wax made up of hydrocarbons. Furthermore, the wax is frozen to remove mold or bacteria that may have developed in the process. Lastly, Sticky Bumps uses zero plastic waste in all processes. When the wax is finished it is hand packaged in recycled paper ready for shipment. Rather than using machines to package the wax, Founder John Dahl, claims to prefers to not follow the trend of machines substituting a perfectly and more efficient human workers job. (Factory tour video):

who makes it:


Wax Research is the company that owns and makes Sticky Bumps surf wax along with other types of wax for skiing and snowboarding. One worker can produce up to 18,000 bars of wax a day and package roughly 6,000 wax bars ready for shipment a day. The factory and warehouse for Wax Research is located off the I-5 freeway in Carlsbad in San Diego county. Since the warehouse and factory are located at the same location there is no transportation waste between production and packaging. Since the product is made 100% in the United States, the labor is under US laws and powered by the local San Diego community sourcing many jobs from intro to higher paid salaries.