Vintage Surf meet 2018 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2018 coming soon !
Free to take part
We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tiki mini gun with 70s wax

I picked this board up late last year. It had been in a garage in Cheshire for over 20-30 years , luckily only 15 miles away from where my Dad lives so I asked him to get it for me. It looks little used since the late 70s and still has the original coat of wax, which is a lot harder than modern wax and a bit like candle wax. It was made around 1975-76 and is 7'3 x 19 1/2, a gunny shape possibly by John Hall. Under the wax (which I will leave on for prosterity) the deck is near perfect . I love the warm grey tint, one of my favourite colours for boards, and the red pinline sets it off well. The board is very flat on the deck, with little volume at the tail. Designed to be ridden Terry Fitzgerald style - on good waves .

Tiki ad 1977

Surfboard Wax in the 60s by Tony Cope

Wax is rubbed onto the deck of a surfboard  to build up a sticky layer to  prevent the rider slipping off when the surface is wet.

The only available wax in the early 1960`s was a block of solid paraffin wax, purchased from a local chemist .  A typical   1 lb block  ( about 450 gm )  cost  1/6d  .............   today, about 8p.

You needed a block each of Hard  and Soft wax and a pan full of boiling water,  to treat the deck of a new board.You dipped the end of the Hard wax  (melting point 70 degree C, meant for candles)  into the hot water to soften it, then rubbed the bar hard across the surfboard deck until blobs built up on it.

The much stickier Soft wax  (45 degree C, meant for skin-care products)  was rubbed straight onto  the previous coating , making a good adhesive surface.

On really hot days the Soft wax could melt, leaving only the base of Hard wax below to prevent the rider slipping off a wet surfboard.

Today`s surfboard waxes are a mixture of candle wax, bee`s wax , colouring and scents (!) , and handle a wide range of temperatures.   And they don`t need softening in hot water.

A big improvement .

 An original block of Waxmate from the mid 70s ? , distributed by Tiki. It still smells nice !

 1979 ad showing the waxes Tiki distributed. 10 p per bar !
 and one from 1973.

Thanks to Tony for the info on 60s wax . It sounds a right hassle in those days , and surf wax without the smell just doesnt seem right.


  1. The advert says " TIKI - since 1968". Hope they count their money better, last year they made a big deal of their " 50th Anniversary"

  2. Great memories, used to buy paraffin wax in Colensos, St Ives, still there! One possibly apocryphal story was that the first malibu riders in this country didn't know about wax and in desperation to stay attached covered the deck with paint and sprinkled it with sand and waited for it to dry! Pre wetsuit days, couldn't have been pretty!

  3. thanks for your comments. Top comment - yes Tiki seem to be going back in time, originally since 1968 , now its since 1964 !
    2nd comment great to read that, they must have been desperate to try the sandy paint ! With no wax and no leash the first riders must have spent a lot of time swimming !

  4. Boat shops used to sell a deck covering which was a waterproof sandpaper, great grip for your deck shoes. We stuck this on our hollow plywood mals to get grip on them too, but ended up in outpatients with bleeding knees and feet.