About

Life is Surfing

“Life is surfing,” reflects Wax Research founder John Dahl. For over 45 years, Dahl and his family have been on the crest of wax science. A pioneer in the purest sense, he began experimenting with wax formulas in the late 60’s and started Wax Research in 1971.

At that time, the sport of surfing was in the midst of the radical Shortboard Revolution and the demands on boards and wax was progressing at an accelerated rate. His goal was to make wax that would help elevate surfing to the next level.

Wax Research’s offerings have been in a perpetual state of evolution.  From the emergence of the thruster through the New School generation and into the 21st Century, John has been on an endless mission to improve the worlds surf experiences by enhancing wax performance.  Today Wax Research ships over four million Sticky Bumps wax bars annually.  This fact alone translates to hundreds of millions of waves ridden with our signature wax every year.

"Every time you see a dramatic shift in the performance paradigm you see the need for better traction, and as such, Wax Research’s offerings have been in a perpetual state of evolution."
- John Dahl.

Hardly just a wax company, Sticky Bumps has helped pioneer traction pads, board bags, leashes, and even surf wax-scented candles.  We maintain a full line of products aimed at giving the best possible surf experience every time you head to the beach.

Mike Doyle in the 60’s rides a short board in Haleiwa. As the short board emerged, performance and speed maximized.
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Mike Doyle in the 60’s rides a short board in Haleiwa. As the short board emerged, performance and speed maximized.
Sunny Garcia, a Sticky Bumps team rider in the 90’s dropping in at Back Door demonstrates the heavy shift of surfing through the era to larger waves and powerful turns.
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Sunny Garcia, a Sticky Bumps team rider in the 90’s dropping in at Back Door demonstrates the heavy shift of surfing through the era to larger waves and powerful turns.
Bruce Irons, Sticky Bumps rider in 2000, comes out of the green room at Teahupoo.
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Bruce Irons, Sticky Bumps rider in 2000, comes out of the green room at Teahupoo.
Team rider Dave Rastovich in 2011 riding with grip and style. The more radical turns become, the more demands for stickier wax.
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Team rider Dave Rastovich in 2011 riding with grip and style. The more radical turns become, the more demands for stickier wax.
Dylan Goodale at Trestles demonstrating progressive surfing today. Land that without wax!
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Dylan Goodale at Trestles demonstrating progressive surfing today. Land that without wax!

The Wax Man

When he’s not inventing the latest formulas for surf, snow or skate wax, you might find John shooting the breeze in the Beacon’s parking lot, out in the desert riding trails on his dirt bike, or perhaps up in the mountains skiing.

It’s been a 45-year adventure which mirrors surfing in that there have been great rides, some spectacular wipeouts, but no matter what, you always paddle back out and keep at it. “Serendipity’s played a large part in how all of this has worked itself out over the years.” - John Dahl

sb-factory Wax Research headquarters main office set up for a special event.
sticky-bumps-john-and-chris-dahl-Bsticky Sticky Bumps Founders, John and Cris Dahl holding up a batch of fresh wax.

When asked what he’s most proud of, John’s answer is simple—exemplary of his selfless personality.  “When Cris and I come to work and everybody’s smiling, we know we’re successful.  We sell a lot of wax but there’s something to be said for staying true to who you are.  A lot of love and care goes into all of our products because of this.”