two friends and a dream

How it started

Van der Waal was born in 2015 and its parents are Martim Dornellas and Afonso Silva, two old time friends who came up with the idea of creating a product to use on surfboards that would be as effective as wax but that wouldn’t stain the boards or mess with their design.


Martim Dornellas on how it started

A solution for my problem

"I broke my board in Carcavelos and ordered a new one. I was so excited with my new board, a yellow retro fish, that I started to explain Afonso an idea that I had some time ago: the wax would get the board all dirty and would hide the whole design, and how cool it would be to have an alternative to that...  


Afonso said that he had a material that was able to turn into a grip, and that it was transparent. At that point we started to try the material on my board,  just as a personal solution to solve my problem. With the enthusiasm of friends with my board and our solution led us to think that this could be a product. So we started to look at the product from a different side, collecting more professional feedback and making adjustments. One year later Van der Waal was born."


Our name

In physical chemistry, the van der Waals' forces (or van der Waals' interaction), named after Dutch scientist Johannes Diderik van der Waals, are the residual attractive or repulsive forces between molecules or atomic groups that do not arise from a covalent bond, or electrostatic interaction of ions or of ionic groups with one another or with neutral molecules. The resulting van der Waals forces can be attractive or repulsive."

So when we started our first tests, Van der Waal figured out as the perfect name for our product.

(Photo and text from Wikipedia)




we stand


A product that is as effective as the wax, at a fair price (how we calculated Van der Waal's price: cost of 1 year of wax + 1 or 2 beers for us).

A product that does not melt or turns sticky, and that is cleaner to the board and to the surfer than wax


By having a less intensive use and by not decomposing in the sea, it's more environmentally friendly than wax. In addition, our material is recyclable


We don't believe in giveaways or exchanging product for articles, positive reviews or whatever. We gave Van der Waal samples to those who believed in us and our idea but distrust the effectiveness of our product.
We do not want a 'bought' WSL pro, we want those who believe in us to help us build a better and more effective product through constructive, real and objective feedback.
We don't work with stores or distributors. We try to establish partnerships with people that are in front of stores or distribution markets that want to grow with us.


Van der Waal is not intended for professionals or for surfers who change boards every 3 months. It is intended for the surfer who changes surfboard at most once a year and who cares about the environment. Our product is for those who only want to have fun catching some waves.


ll those who make their own wax, or who disclose how to do (or sell) it in a more sustainable way, are our friends and not our competitors. Go for it!


We believe on a company that is not profit-oriented, but oriented for the satisfaction of both its customers and its employees (for now, just the co-founders Martim and Afonso, with the help of Joana)


Those who buy Van der Waal are part of a community that believes in us. And that wants to surf with a smile on their faces. If by any chance you came to Portugal and want to drink a beers and catch some waves with us, feel free to send an email.



Martim always worked with digital marketing, went through several agencies as a designer and later as a creative director. He surfs (badly) whenever he can and is responsible for all Van der Waal's image and communication. Besides that, Martim is the founder of Projecto Amelie and this gave him an extensive experience on how to annoy Afonso with cheap philosophies of how a company should behave in society.



Afonso work experience has been made in the field of advertising assemblies, space event decoration and the entire digital production of all materials needed to carry out the work. This gave Afonso an extensive experience on materials e their behavior, which made possible to materialize Martim initial idea. He is responsible for all the production and research of new materials.