Local is always lekker. And not much could be more lekker than locally made surf wax. Introducing Zen surf wax, made right here in PE by father-son duo John and Josh Enslin. Caught up with Josh and fired him some questions:
Where did the idea to make your own surf wax come from?
My Dad, John Enslin, is the scientist and inventor behind Zen Surf Board Wax. I simply created the name and authentic look and feel and brought the wax to life. John Enslin is the master behind the formula. Dad surfs and introduced me to the world of surfing at an early age. Back then we lived on a farm in Green Bushes and surfed on weekends, days of onshore were spent playing with sheep/running after chickens and riding horses.
Dad owns a factory that makes dental wax. Back in the early days he used to make the dental wax and candles on the farm, and being a surfer he started playing around with formulas and using different wax formulas on his boards. Mainly because traditional surf was expensive and being out on a farm it wasn’t easy to come by. So that’s how it started … long before I even knew what wax was.
Is it something that’s been a long while in development?
Dad and I have been working on it for the last 3 years. He’s the brains behind it and I have been testing it in different conditions. Overall I reckon Dad has officially been experimenting with surf wax formulas for about 20 years and made over 250 different samples that I know off! So yah, it’s not an overnight thing!
Must have been a real trial and error process?
One day I would slip and get over it, and then tell my dad how “not good that batch was!” I would get a call at 6am the next morning with him telling me that new samples were in the post box. He would have worked all night burning the proverbial midnight candle!
Kitchen get trashed in the process or did you boil it up in the garage!?
My dad started on the farm in a garage with chickens running around, but now works in his factory he has built up with state of the art machinery.
So are you allowed to tell us what’s in it or is a secret recipe like Coke & Kentucky Fried?
It will be a well-kept Enslin secrete for a long time. Let’s just say you would be amazed!
Love the holder it comes in, specially the lil removable wax comb inside. Is that a first for the wax market?
Dad and I had a common goal - to make a very sticky wax. At one stage too sticky! But it was still an incomplete product. I knew to make it more marketable in the surf industry, with all the established brands out there, we had to make it more than just a wax. It had to become a “lifestyle product with more than one official use.”
It was Shelz, my fiancé, that come up with the “wax comb” idea and then my scientist of a father put it all together - developing a mould and making it from scratch and housing it in the wax container as a “all in one product.”
Will we be able to buy refills for the box?
Yip, that the catch, you can only have so many containers. Re-Fill packaging is designed and we just waiting to hit print. We want to get the containers, which are the “core of the product” into the market place and gradually start filtering the re-fills in.
I’ve seen it in a coupla stores in PE, Jbay and St Francis – is it local only or available countrywide?
Billabong South Africa are stocking it, my dad and myself are really humble about this as the surf industry has so many ‘products and brands”. Billabong has given us a break into the market, and will stock it in their Billabong retail shops for now.
What makes your wax different from other blocks on the market? Tell us why we should buy Zen!
I could tell you we did tests between Zen and 4 of the best waxes in the world. Over and over again Zen and Wax brand “X” topped the charts, but that’s our tests and was proof for us that it was a great product.
Zen really is right up there and is the only wax that comes with a “complete package.” The Wax container with wax will not melt and mess in surf bag or car sets or dash board or on the ground. The wax comb is also a detachable device perfect for water use, as it’s small and can be kept in your wetsuit.
We’re planning to add a fin key to the unit as well. So why buy 3 different products when Zen is heaps cheaper and comes with the full package? Maths 101!
Zen are also offering a percentage of sales to development surfing in the country so we have a rad little initiative forming which we’ll keep you posted on.
I’m not going to come out and say Zen is “the best”, cos that’s just not “Zen!” Every surfer prefers a certain feel of wax, but try it - cos you might like it!
Zen meaning “a state of coolness only attained through a totally laid-back type of attitude”.
Both empty and full
Beginning and end
Nothing and yet everything
Zen is a lifestyle not a brand. Authentic natural functional product for surfers.
Have you got some positive feedback from guys who have ridden it?
Heaps of oaks are raving about it! Coupla guys have won contests on it. At the Vic Bay Quad we had it in a little white container and oaks would come past and give it a “rub”, half a day later we had random oaks coming up to us asking in a quiet voice “Got any of the white magic left?” It created a buzz and some really top names surfed it and were impressed with it.
So will the Zen label be sticking to wax? Or any other product lines that might be hitting the market?
My dad has a couple of tricks up his sleeve.....!
Note that at the moment Zen wax is COOL water surf wax - which means it rocks in water temps of 14-19C. Cold and warm water blocks will be hitting the shelves soon.
Wanna order some? Tune John on firstname.lastname@example.org