Profiles And Interviews

Inside Matunas Organic Wax

I love wax.  There, I said it.  If I get a good wave, the last thing I need is my foot sliding off my board. Not only is wax the savior to surfers worldwide, but it’s also the best bargain in the universe.  I can get a bar of wax in California for one US dollar, and not only is it easy on the wallet, but it smells good too.   What could be more perfect?  What if it was Organic?  That would make it even better.  The only thing that could top that would be locally grown ingredients, recycled packaging, etc……..enter Matunas surf wax

Matt Mattoon brought his organic wax to market over 10 years ago from his farm in Santa Cruz.  And guess what?  It’s still only a dollar at my favorite surf shop.  I’m pretty frugal, but I splurge on my Matunas “Cool” surf wax in the Green wrapper.  Sometimes I’ll even buy four bars at once.  Look at me saving money and buying organic at the same time!  But most importantly; does it work?  If it doesn’t keep our feet stuck to our board, it’s not going to sell.  Well I’m happy to report that I’ve used Matunas for a couple years now and it works as good or better than the any other surf wax I have tried.

Still I didn’t know much about Matunas.  The big wax companies have been around a long time and are well known, but I wanted to know Matt’s story and find out how he got started.  Matt was happy to take a little time from his farm in Santa Cruz and answer a few questions:

Matt Mattoon down on the farm

How is it possible that I can buy organic wax for a buck?  I can’t even get an organic Avocado for a buck.

Our Matunas organic wax is priced from $1.00-$1.50 at various surf shops. We are a vertical operation that sometimes takes a hit on our margins to get our product on the shelves. Overall, we own the ingredients that we grow on our organic 25 acre farm that we put into our wax so it makes it easier for us to control the pricing.

There are quite a few places with organic avocados for a buck, you just have to look.  Trader Joe’s is a great example or the farmers markets.

Do you guys plan on increasing your exposure like the two big wax companies, or is it more word of mouth?

Internationally and domestically we do advertisements, and get involved by sponsoring local surf events and charities. The two big wax companies have a 40 year jump on us, so we believe that in time we will get there. We hope that the consumer and the surf shop buyers start to take a more conscious effort into purchasing organic products like Matunas.

It seems all the small surf companies want to grow their business by getting into clothing or accessories; do you plan on expanding the product line?

We have been in business for over 10 years, and we will leverage our organic wax into other new products in the future.

From what I’ve read, Matunas wax is like a mini version of the Great American Success Story.  An American farm supplying all the ingredients and creating local jobs.  Are you also using locally made labels and packaging?

Yes, the labels and boxes are all made locally from recycled materials. More importantly our wax is certified organic and we do not use petro-chemicals to make it. We are the only company in the industry that uses ingredients from our own farm to produce an organic surf wax.

I read that the ingredients are apricot tree sap, jasmine and clay.  Is that mixed with beeswax?

We do not use beeswax in our formula.

How did you come up with the recipe?

In college I majored in Environmental Chemistry and after I completed that degree, I went on to do graduate courses in Organic Chemistry as well. The years of research and trial & error help out a lot.

Why surf wax?

Why not? It is a small product that every surfer has to use.   We wanted to start with something that is essential for surfing, so people understand what they are putting on their boards and into our oceans. More importantly we hope that consumers understand why it is important to buy organic and support a company that uses sustainable practices in the United States, and not to rely on petroleum surf wax.

Is the company run by surfers?

Yes, the company is run by people who surf.

How many bars do you guys sell and where do you sell them?

We are distributed throughout the coastal accessible countries in the world. In some years we have produced nearly a million bars.

Thanks Matt.  You have kept my feet stuck to my board without polluting my beloved Ocean.  Anything else you would like to add?

Try a bar of our Matunas organic surf wax, and request your local surf shops to carry our product line. Most surfers once they try our product can’t believe that an organic product with no petroleum will have the performance like the traditional waxes out there, but we far exceed those expectations.

Supporting local companies that use local organic ingredients in California or the United States are important so the best possible products are available to the consumers. Take a look at our website, www.matunasco.com, and support your local farmer.

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Dave Christensen

Dave Christensen is a surfer/musician/artist based out of Laguna Beach, California.

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4 thoughts on “Inside Matunas Organic Wax”

  1. Got to visit the Matunas farm with Matt last year, amazing operations up there. Keep up the good work, and I am a proud supporter of Matunas products.

  2. Awesome interview Dave! I am definitely going to try this out next time I buy wax. It’s funny how unfriendly to the environment a lot of surf gear is, and how much is petroleum based (boards, wetsuits, wax). It’s cool to see companies that try to steer away from that, and it’s even more fun to support the smaller, homegrown businesses.

  3. We are so proud of you Matt…each time I see another article or interview about you it makes me so glad that I have a nephew as creative and forward thinking as you. From the time you were young we knew there was an entrepreneurial person in you that was not to be reckoned with. Glad you also have an environmental consciousness to go along with your marketing abilities. Talk about blending passion with profession! You have certainly done that!

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