In 1987, iconic Aussie surf brand Quiksilver released a film that would capture the zeitgeist of an entire generation of boardriders. Titled Mad Wax, the style of the era was unique, as boards got shorter and tricks got more and more complex, surf culture became ingrained in parts of the world that hadn’t before seen such laidback vibes, and the scene surrounding beaches where the swell was big started to burgeon.
Premiering at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre, champion surfer Ross Clarke Jones starred in the lead role, alongside Tom Carroll and Gary Elkerton, while the whole production was directed by Michael Hohensee. With a soundtrack from GANGgajang, the short film epitomised an entire era of surfing life, which Australia largely helped to create. It was also the first time surf started to become as much a fashion statement as it was a sport, or hobby.
In Mad Wax, a young Ross Clarke Jones plays a grommet who finds a book with instructions on how to make your own surfboard wax, which can magically transport the surfer to any surf spot they desire. The outfits throughout are colourful and distinctive, and styles like this have largely been long-lost. Until now.
Most of us probably weren’t lucky enough to nab something from dad’s wardrobe before he wore it through, but the outfits from this decade were just as iconic as the film itself. Quiksilver have brought the era back to life, with their ultra-retro Mad Wax capsule. Re-visiting their archives, their design team has curated an entire look, based on the outfits both in the film, and that were featured in the Quiksilver catalogue at the time of its release. Thisnk flannels, oversized sweatshirts, retro-infused prints and cord-shorts.
And plenty of purple.
We’ve featured our favourites from the lookbook below (featuring Quiksilver-sponsored pro-surfer Mikey February and his girlfriend, model Zelti Brynard), but head to the website or in store to see more, and to sort yourself a couple of iconic pieces of rare surfwear, before it’s all wiped out.