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Wave Tribe Organic Wax and OAM

I use a lot of wax, I surf as much as I can and it seems like I am always ‘de-waxing’ this or that board in the battle to keep my sleds in tune. Several brands have launched green formulas in the last 3 years, including ‘us’ at Wave Tribe. We partnered with a USA company that was already making green wax and then we commissioned an artist to make up some beautiful wax packaging. A percentage of each sale goes to help support:

1) the surf artist Olivier Longuest
2) the small wax company in the USA that makes our wax on wood stoves

This is my vision for all of Wave Tribe’s products, I would like it to help support creativity and ecology at a more human level and make it the core of the surf industry. Ok, so back to the wax story. The alternatives to classical or petrochemical waxes claim to be organic, natural, or green—mainly free from petrochemical ingredients.

A chemical screening of the most notorious green waxes was done by Rescoll, a French laboratory based in Bordeaux, France. The following brands were analyzed: MATUNAS, GREENFIX, TERRAWAX, RAMSON, FAMOUS GREEN LABEL, STICKY BUMP SOY WAX. Half of the tested waxes were found to contain ingredients from petrochemical origin. I am not going to list who they were but let’s say they were some of the more popular brands.

I am a bit skeptical of the research because it was funded by a french wax company, perhaps they were simply trying to reveal the ‘truth’ in the eco wax wars but in a way it’s like a pharmaceutical company funding research on erections for a new Viagra alternative. I’d like to see us (the surf industry) work together towards better accountability, not just call each other out and put down a competitor’s brand. I look up to companies like FCS and Prolite with awe, I admire what they have built and I am impressed by their product ranges and quite often I get inspiration from these companies.

Many companies try to surf on the green stream and its promises of growth by offering new products with environmentally friendly features. Unfortunately, these green claims are often based on a ‘so-called environmental quality’ that remains unverified. Nonetheless, I applaud any movement in the green direction. Let’s just be careful not to trash each other. When OAM came out with a cork traction pad (we released ours over a year before they did) I felt disappointed that other companies were seemingly copying our ideas (they ordered two pads from us five months before they released their version).

But the more I thought about it the better I felt because I realized that Wave Tribe is not only making an impact on the industry but that other bigger companies are following our innovations—that is a damn good feeling. We contacted OAM to congratulate them and to offer supported and to propose collaboration. Chris Hodgman from OAM wrote us a few days later and said in an email, “We will work on throwing something up on the site saying that Wave Tribe and OAM pushing for earth friendly products” but unfortunately that was the last we heard from them after several attempts to follow up. I’d like to see more companies work together, but maybe that is my illusion, I’m not giving up on it damn it!

I’d like to think Wave Tribe has helped push the industry with its eco heart and integrity, with its innovation and stewardship. Yea, we need to make some money too, but that isn’t the impetus for what we are doing—but we do like new surfboards and surf trips.

I wanted to say thank you today, on Easter Sunday.

Thank you for joining us and for being part of our journey.

Derek Dodds, Founder Wave Tribe

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