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Ampol surfboard wax

Date: 1960s-1970s
Overall: 216 x 127 x 20 mm, 20 g
Medium: Wax, plastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Wax
Object No: 00033588
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This bag of Australian made Ampol wax is in its original packaging, which features a printed image of a surfer, the text 'Surfboard Wax' and the Ampol logo.
    SignificanceThis is a rare example of Ampol surfboard wax in its original packaging.
    HistorySurf wax is generally made from paraffin wax mixed with colour dye, perfumes and softening agents. The wax is applied to the deck of a surfboard to repel water and assist with the surfer's grip. The wax's water resistance is only effective when its molecule bonds have been stretched and broken. This means that wax must be regularly applied, roughed up with sand or striated with a wax comb.

    Early board riders were aware of issues related to grip and stability, so they carved ridges and fixed rubber panels onto the deck or added timber batons to improve traction. Paint, varnish or resin impregnated with abrasive particles such as sand or sugar was also used to create a textured deck. The use of standard household paraffin wax dates from the late 1930s in America, and became more common in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Australian surfers initially purchased raw paraffin wax from chemists or hardware shops to create traction on their surfboards. The first purpose made surf wax was manufactured by petrol companies Ampol, BP, ESSO and Shell, and in 1964 the World Titles at Manly were sponsored by Ampol wax.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: SURFBOARD WAX

    Web title: Ampol surfboard wax

    Related People
    Maker: AMPOL

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