SUPers waxing up their shaft isn’t a new idea. We recall the first Indoor SUP Sprint Champs organised as part of the London Boat Show when Elliot Dudley used a similar approach. It stands to reason that with water in the mix any smooth surface will ultimately lose out to the dreaded slip at some point. We ourselves have had this release occur frequently – resulting in unceremonious dunkings and even slaps to the face.
It was with intrigue that we came across Ocean Specific’s paddle wax product. Designed specifically with increasing grip we felt investigation was needed. Test team member Rich Heathcote used the wax during a number of recent sessions. Here are his thoughts.
‘Ocean Minded’s paddle shaft wax is an interesting concept. I’ve never seen wax specifically developed for your paddle and increasing grip. It does differ slightly to normal surf wax and is black so fits in well with the look of a carbon paddle.
It’s nicely scented, has moisture locking properties to protect hands as well as antibacterial attributes. These are the main differences from regular surf wax. The substance is easy to apply and made a big difference to the grip of the paddle.
I can see it finding best use in higher performance areas of SUP. Downwind and surfing disciplines, where a lot of force is exerted on the shaft, would be the best fit. Some paddlers may not like the feel of a waxy surface, however. The extra grip might also be a pain when racing with quick paddle transitions are needed. Some SUPers like to slide their hands during transitions and wax may prohibit this from happening. In surf, being able to keep hold of your paddle is vital and I’m sure a little extra grip would give more confidence. Swimming after your paddle too often is also a pain so anything keeping you in contact with your ‘engine’ would be welcome.
At first we couldn’t quite see where Ocean Specific’s paddle shaft wax would fit into our everyday SUPing. After a few sessions, however, it became clear that downwind and stand up paddle surfing would benefit the most from extra grip provided. For normal recreation SUP or racing we probably wouldn’t need it. For a perceived simple product there’s been a lot of thought put in. Pleasantly scented with Monoi Tiare and featuring antibacterial and moisture locking properties we’d be happy to have this in our kit box for when conditions turn on.