Types of Snowboard Wax

The two basic types of wax each serve their own purpose. Designed to keep the base of your snowboard hydrated, universal wax is the first kind. A dry piece of equipment is a boarder’s worst nightmare even if they don’t realize it. As the base of your board dries out, the fibres of the board begin to stand up instead of lying flat and slick against the base. As the fibres stand upright, they create friction against the snow which slows you down.

Applying universal wax on a regular basis will help prevent this.

Meant to be applied the day before you hit the slopes, gliding wax is the second kind of wax you can use. Gliding wax helps you cruise over the snow quickly and smoothly. It’s OK to use an all-temperature wax but it’s preferable to use a temperature-specific wax which allows you to match your wax to the expected conditions. It’s important to apply temperature-specific wax at the same temperature as the snow, not the air around you. A temperature-specific wax pays off big time in the quality of performance on the hill although it does require slightly more planning and effort.


There’s more than one way to wax a board. Read below to get a summary of the common approaches.

  • Liquid Wax – Also known as rub-on wax, liquid wax is quick and easy to apply but it doesn’t tend to last for very long.
  • Waxjet – A great way to do some quick touch-ups, waxjet should not be used as a primary maintenance approach. It’s a good, fast option for boards that are maintained on a regular basis.

  • Wax Paper – Typically requiring a fast pass using an iron, using wax paper to wax your board is simple and quick. But it needs to be reapplied fairly often in order to keep your equipment performing properly. 
  • Ironing – The most popular method for waxing snowboards, applying wax with an iron results in long-lasting, high-quality results. It can be messy and a bit more time consuming than some of the other options. Waxing with an iron takes about 10 to 15 minutes once you get the hang of it.
  • Hot Box – This method of waxing requires placing the skis or board into a machine that applies a hot wax treatment to the bases. As it is costly and requires special equipment, this technique is usually only used by professionals and avid riders.

How to Hand Wax With an Iron

1. Turn your waxing iron on, allowing it to heat up so it’s just hot enough to melt the wax. Holding the wax against the iron, allow the melted wax to drip evenly onto the bottom surface of the board.

2. Placing the sheet of wax beneath the iron, touch the top sheet of your equipment to gauge the temperature. When a wet trail of wax follows your iron, you will know you have reached the right temperature. Don’t allow the wax to smoke, this means your iron is too hot. 

3. Set your board aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes after you have applied an even layer of wax to the base. But the longer you can leave it to cool the better.

4. Use a sharp scraper to remove any excess wax once your equipment is cool.

5. Polish the base using a Scotch-Brite brush until the bottom of the board is reflective and shiny. 

One final reminder: Waxing is an important part of caring for your board. To get the most out of your equipment and your time on the mountain, be sure to wax your board frequently throughout the season.


This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.