A practice-led visual research outlet.

Do Not Eat / Chew

My local surf spot is missing from most of the surf maps, and over the past 35 ish years I have a ‘love/hate’ relationship with it. One of the key factors behind this is not only the ever-shifting sand bars, but the thin layer of water film that renders your surf wax useless within your session. Over the years, we (the devoted locals) have tried all kinds of tricks and tips to enable a longer session and not to strip all the wax off after each surf trip.

However, wax has become the bottom line to blame for falling off your wave. Is it the wax or did you just fall off (due to ability etc), but it’s related back to the people that either saw your wave or you fall off (mostly re-told in the pub).

I know the industry has move on from Alfred Gallant stumbling discovery of his mothers waxed wooden floors in 1935. However, we (the surfing community) have explored all kinds of liquid wax, paraffins and even chemicals. Now there is a push to stop petrochemicals in all elements of surfing from wetsuits, boards and now wax.

I’m interested in surf wax as the layer of surfing commodification and how graphic design with the now playful use of language (mostly male dominated) has driven the wax industry into a hot commodity within the carpark surf culture.

The book is a showcase of packaging and labels gathered over the years and have been kindly donated by @sideshoredrift (Martin Rawlinson), @mikey__hurst (Mikey Hurst) and my own collection.