According to SurferToday, there are more or less, 23 million active surfers in the world. I know that we cannot predict from this number how many wax their boards, and what kind of wax they use (biodegradable surf wax, homemade wax), but let’s do the math rounded down and assume that only 10% of this number wax their boards. So, we get a number of 2.3 million surfers.

Now let’s assume that all these surfers only go for a surf session once a week, which lets us guess the magical number of 1 bar of wax every two months.

So, 2.3 million x 1 bar x 6 (months) equals to:

13800000 BARS OF WAX / YEAR

Again, according to Boardshop, most wax bars weigh 80 grams. And that means 1104 tonnes per year.

Please note that I’m considering only 10% of actual surfers, and they only go for a surf session once a week.

I will say this again, 1104 tonnes of surf wax every year. That is a 1979 Volkswagen Beetle made of wax. And as you may know, paraffin it’s the main ingredient. 70 to 80% of the wax composition is paraffin. Again, that means - rounded down - 772.8 tonnes of paraffin. Per year.

Putting aside that a surfer needs to remove and replace wax from time to time, the question here is that no matter how well surfers apply their wax, we all know that a part of it will melt into the ocean (well… maybe that won’t happen to Chris Burkard*).

It’s impossible to know how many of that wax will melt into the ocean.

And remember that this is just an amateur exercise (We are amateurs ;)), with no other fact (besides the mentioned above) than common sense. And also remember that on our core values we truly support the ones who use biodegradable wax, make their own wax, etc (you can read more here).

Besides that, we can’t deny that all this wax/paraffin will end up somewhere. A portion in our oceans, another in our beaches, in our cars and clothes… But all of it on this little blue planet we call home.  



Do we really want to continue to do that? As surf continues to grow as a sport, with more and more crowded spots, shouldn’t we start to think about these things?


Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash

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