Waxing Your Snowboard

Snowboarders who properly wax their boards on a regular basis will see several benefits. Properly waxed boards glide over the snow nicely as the wax reduces friction between the base of the board and the snow. It also helps prevent oxidation which can damage your gear.

The two types of snowboard waxes available at Sport Chek are temperature-specific waxes and all-temperature waxes. Waxes designed for a specific temperature will perform best within a certain temperature range. Universal wax or all-temperature wax is designed to perform in a variety of snow conditions and outdoor temperatures. All-temperature wax is a good option if you ride in a variety of conditions or if it’s difficult to predict what the weather conditions will be.

Riders who choose to wax their boards on their own typically apply the wax using an iron. You’ll need to use a waxing iron (or an iron and a wax sheet), the right wax for the conditions you’ll be riding in, and a wax scraper and a polishing pad.

Follow these steps to properly wax your snowboard:

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

2. Place the sheet of wax beneath the iron, touch the top sheet of your equipment to gauge the temperature. You will know you have reached the right temperature when a wet trail of wax follows your iron. The iron is too hot if the wax begins to smoke.

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

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

By using a Scotch-Brite brush to polish your board, the base should be reflective and shiny when you are done.

Snowboard Sharpening 

You can extend the life of your snowboard for many years and get it in top-performing condition by sharpening the edges regularly. You may only need to get your board sharpened once a year depending on how often you use it, but if you’re an avid skier or snowboarder who rides a lot, you will need to sharpen your gear more often. The two most important steps in snowboard sharpening are: getting the right angle, and tuning the edges.

Sport Chek Service Shops can give your snowboard a minor or major tune-up, depending on what your board needs. Check out all services and prices here.

GETTING THE RIGHT EDGE ANGLE

It’s a good idea to use a file guide or edge tool to preserve the bevel (the slope or slant) of the edges when sharpening your board. Typically designed with several edge options, an edge tool has a standard setting for a beginner or intermediate rider typically set at 90 degrees. However, you need to tune the side edge at 89 degrees and the base edge at 1 degree to achieve a working 90-degree angle.

SIDE EDGE

Give your board more grip on the snow with side-edge bevelling. If the angle is extremely high, chances are your board will ‘grab’ too much for your comfort if you’re a beginner. Higher angles are ideal for experienced boarders. Side edge angles are typically 1 to 3 degrees – less angle means less grip.

BASE EDGE

The amount of base bevel has a large effect on your board’s ability to pivot on the snow. Snowboard edges normally come with a 90-degree profile when they’re fresh from the manufacturer. A beginner rider with a new board may want to start with a 0.5 degree bevel. To resurface past this point, you may need to stone grind the base to make it flat again before you’re able to re-establish the base angle. Once set, it’s important to maintain the base edge angle on your board as long as possible with the use of diamond or gumi stones.

STEPS TO EDGING YOUR BOARD:

1. Begin working from the nose to the tail with a 6-inch file while the board is held on its side in a vise. Run the file smoothly down the board’s length and keep the file flat and level against the edge. Use your file brush to keep the grooves in the file clean.

2. Lay the board upside down once you have filed both of the board’s edges, preferably using a clamp to secure it. Next file the base side of the edge using an 8-inch or 10-inch file.

3. Hold the file flat on the board and sharpen the edges until they become square, working from the board’s nose to its tail. Remove any additional scratches or nicks using a whetstone.

TUNING THE EDGES

After you’ve determined the best edge angle for you, you can now start tuning the edges. Tuning is the finishing step in the edging process and can be divided into three parts: sharpening, polishing, and detuning.

1. SHARPENING

Your board will not perform as well as it was designed to if it’s not flat or has high spots or large concavities in the running surface. Either manually or by machine, the high spots should be ground down to make the running surface flat. However, using a machine always results in greater accuracy.

If you find that doing the sharpening by hand is tricky and time-consuming, you may choose to bring your skis or board into our Service Shop, and have one of our professionals do it for you.

2. POLISHING

Carefully scrub along each edge using your diamond file, removing any rust and evening out any imperfections caused by the file. This helps shine up your board edges.

3. DETUNING

Detuning helps your skis or board glide more smoothly on the snow and will help a less experienced rider avoid catching the tip or tail while entering or exiting a turn. To begin detuning the tip and tail of your equipment, place a regular sharpening stone against the 5- to 7.5-centimetre portion past the “tail” where your ski or board swoops upwards. Run the stone along this part of the edge vertically, dulling it until you can see a reflection of the light on the edge. Repeat this process for all the edge sections close to the tip and tail.

REPAIRING YOUR SNOWBOARD BASE

You can often fix small gouges in your board’s base surface at home using a P-Tex candle. If your board has larger gouges, it’s best to bring it into the Sport Chek Service Shop to have it professionally repaired.

Here’s how you can repair small dents and gouges on your own: 

1. Scrape off the wax and wipe clean the area around the gouge.

2. Light one end of the P-Tex candle, let a few drops fill the indent.

3. Allow the P-Tex and the board to sit and cool down – ideally for a few hours.

4. Use a scraper to remove the excess P-Tex, evening out the surface surrounding the treated area.

Although some damage to your board can’t be avoided, you can only repair the base and grind down the edges so many times before threatening its integrity. It’s best to be cautious about where you ride in order to avoid unnecessary damage, and also ensure you perform regular maintenance.

SHOP SNOWBOARD TOOLS

TRANSPORTING AND STORING YOUR SNOWBOARD GEAR

Maintain the integrity of your snowboarding gear and help prevent damage by transporting it properly. Storing your gear on a vehicle’s roof rack may expose it to harsh road chemicals that can cause additional rusting on your bindings and edges. Use a closed roof container if you can but if you don’t have one, be sure to rinse your board after transport to remove any built up dirt, salt and chemicals.

Try to avoid dragging your board or hitting the edges on the ground when getting it to the hill. This kind of wear and tear dulls the edges and can cause damage to the base.

When you’re done with your snowboard for the year, store it in a cool, dry place in the neutral position to avoid warping.

SHOP SNOWBOARD BAGS

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.