Sticky Bumps Surf Wax Stomp Pad

“I picked this little tric­­k up from some Aussies,” my friend, or rather, me mate, Jono Young turned and said to me. We were standing in the car lot of Jono’s home mountain of Mt. Hutt, New Zealand. I was drinking a Speight’s Lager, and Jono was rubbing Sticky Bumps surf wax on the top sheet of his board in lieu of a stomp pad. A curious little kea bird looked quizzically onto the act—apparently Jono had piqued this particular parrot’s interest. I probably looked just as puzzled as the parrot. But as the foreigner down south, I decided to apply a “when in Rome” mentality to the situation, and in turn apply some surf wax to my own top sheet. Like my boot to the board, I can see how the idea stuck.

ABOVE Ben waxes on a fresh stomp pad before a day of riding.

Surf wax as a stomp pad alternative is nice for a few reasons: it’s cheap (roughly $1.50 per block), and it doesn’t really cover your board’s graphics (if that’s something you care about—no shame). The smell stirs memories of fast times at the beach and above all, it really works. I was equal parts surprised and impressed with the traction that surf wax provided underfoot as we skated our way towards the lift line. Although using a stomp pad is never entirely necessary, the extra bit of control really helped in speeding up our one-footed pursuits.

The only major drawback I’ve noticed in using surf wax as a stomp pad comes with its sticky love affair with loose, and especially wetter snow. Loose, wet snow already has a tendency to build up on your board which adds extra, unwanted weight to your setup. Surf wax definitely doesn’t help in this regard—sometimes it’ll grab wet snow even better than it’ll grab your boot. Because of this I don’t put surf wax on my pow sticks, especially if I plan on using it in an area with a moist snowpack (PNW powder hounds beware). But if it’s a board intended for groomers, park or cold and dry snow, then I’m all for kooking out and surf waxin’ ‘er up. And if you happen to have a bar kicking around and need some extra traction, it’s a good quick fix until you get a proper glue-on pad.

Laggy Shanks

ABOVE Ben puts the final touches onto his surf wax stomp pad.

Disclaimer: Sometimes it’s good to follow the lead of surf savvy Australians. Other times, well, just be safe out there…


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