“Mad Wax” Redux: Your Morning Teleportation To 1987
Remaking a classic with Ross Clarke Jones, Kanoa Igarashi, Leo Fioravanti and Caroline Marks.
The year was 1987. The VCR, MTV and day-glo boardshorts with a minuscule inseam were all rage. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it was the year of change. The Unabomber was firing off letter bombs. Ronald Reagan was in office. U2 released Joshua Tree. The first episode of The Simpsons premiered on a funky start-up TV network called Fox. And Quik dropped Mad Wax—an instant surf cult classic, maybe not totally unlike skateboarding’s Search For Animal Chin, but with a quirky sci-fi vibe and an Australian accent.
Since it’s been 30 years, and a lot of you in the “target demographic” weren’t even an itch in your daddy’s trunks when Mad Wax was released—yes, that includes you Leo Fioravanti, Kanoa Igarashi and Caroline Marks—a quick history lesson. Directed by Michael Hohensee with beats by Gang Gajang, the film stars Ross Clarke-Jones as a blue-collar surfer (window washer to be specific) who dreams of escaping the drudgery of work and charging spots like Pipeline and “Summercloud.”
After finding a book about how to make his own surfboard wax he creates magic wax that transports you to any spot in the world with one good rub. The film is over the 30-minute mark and features Bryce Andrews, Tom Carroll, Gary Elkerton, Richard Cram, Marvin Foster and Aaron Napolean in their prime.
With their latest video drop, Red Bull Surfing’s reprised the film with a remake of the Mad Wax campaign in hopes of recapturing the magic. Again, Ross Clarke-Jones is front and center—and while he lacks the unibrow he sported in the OG Mad Wax, he’s by far the most interesting thing in the 2:47 minute edit. Although, given his age, the weird tow-suit he’s wearing and all the water he spews out, it’s got a little of a creepy, awkward, old guy, Ron Jeremy thing going on. No disrespect to Ross, the kids aren’t half the beast he is on the rocks at Nazare.
“Go Mad is a really fun way of giving everyone a unique look at surfing and giving us the chance show off our acting skills too,” jokes Caroline Marks in an accompanying article on the energy drink company’s website.
Young, hip surf grommets wore through their VHS and Beta copies. The original is a cult classic.
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