Tuning and maintaining your snowboard can be a lot of fun, especially if you love snowboarding. Not only is it rewarding and to some even meditative, but keeping your board properly waxed and tuned will extend its life and enhance your riding experience. Basic tuning, like hot waxes and edge sharping/detuning can be done at home on the front porch, your garage, or even in your room if you don’t mind a little mess. For more serious repairs like core shots, edge damage, or anything that may be outside of basic maintenance, be sure to contact a professional to assess the damage and determine the best option for repair.
Before you wax your board, it’s recommended that you clean your base. To do so, all you need is a dry rag and some base cleaner. Use the dry rag to wipe down the board and remove any dirt or dust on the surface. Next, apply the base cleaner with a rag or spray directly on the base of the board. The base cleaner will help pull up any extra dirt and as well as remove old wax build up. Once the board dries, you are ready to wax.
Hot waxing your board will keep your base conditioned and increase your glide on the snow. Ultimately this will make you faster and extend the life of your base. Some riders will wax their bases between every ride, some every 3 rides (recommended), and some twice a year. Determine what type of base your board has. Extruded bases require very little attention. Sintered bases that are more porous need to be waxed more frequently. To hot wax your board you will need a snowboard or ski specific iron, wax, scraper, a Scotch Brite pad for buffing, and a brush. For starters, you can get by with just using an iron, wax and scraper.
It is important to get an iron that is specific for snowboard tuning. These Irons have heat regulated temperatures to help prevent damage from overheating your board. Plus, the wax will stick to your everyday iron making it useless for ironing clothes. Irons are most commonly made by brands like Dakine, One Ball Jay, Bakoda, and Wintersteiger.
When it comes to wax, you can keep it as technical or simple as you want. Whichever route you go, make sure you are using snow or ski specific waxes. Waxes that are not intended for snow sports will negatively affect the performance of your board. There are many different kinds of waxes that are designed for different conditions and types of riding. The most common is “All Temp Wax”. All Temp is a great all-around wax and perfect for the everyday rider. Rub on waxes are also available. Rub on waxes perform best on extruded bases. When choosing a wax, determine the conditions you will be riding in and pick a wax that matches it best.
After applying the wax, you will want to scrape any extra off and smooth out any rough patches. To do this, use a scraper for removal and Scotch Brite pad to buff the surface. After you scrape your board, use a nylon or horsehair brush to create a crosshatch pattern in the wax that will increase the efficiency in which the snow passes underneath your board. Brushing your board is optional. Scraping is not.
You can also tune your edges at home using a special handheld file. Most files will come with two angles designed for beveling your edge. The degree of the bevel should be determined by the conditions you most often ride in. Edges can also be detuned with a file. Detuning prevents the edges from being too sharp and catching in the snow. This also benefits park riders when riding boxes and rails.
Other minor repairs can be easily performed at home. Epoxy, can be used to fix chips on top sheets and minor damages to the nose and tail. P-tex can be used to fill in scratches on the bottom of the board.
When performing any sort of maintenance on your snowboard, be sure to follow all directions, reference tutorials, and speak with a professional to ensure proper use and the best results.