How To Wax
Riding hard and fast on the slopes is all fun and games for you, but it can have a detrimental effect on your snowboard. Soon enough, people will start passing you by without much effort, and you’ll start seeing some white spots on the underside of the snowboard. So in order to prevent this from happening, you’ll need to maintain your snowboard in good condition by waxing it.
Now, waxing is one of those things that you can do at home if you are willing to learn and spend a few bucks on the equipment you’ll need for it. Or you can have a seasoned professional do it for you. If you decide to do it on your own but don’t know how, don’t worry – keep reading, and you can learn all about why you should wax your snowboard and how to do it.
Why You Should Wax Your Snowboard
Having a smooth and waxed snowboard is crucial for peak performance on the slopes. A waxed snowboard will slide better and you’ll be able to reach higher speeds, but it will also keep the surface fresh, meaning your snowboard will last much longer.
Wax will hydrate the surface of your snowboard and prevent scratched and white spots from appearing and affecting your performance. For best results, you should do it once a week when in season, this way you can counter the damaging effect of the snow and your riding style have on the snowboard.
How To Wax Your Snowboard
Before you start, you’ll need these three things:
- A Waxing Iron
- Snowboard Wax
- A Scraper
- Base Cleaner
- Structuring Brush
- Waxing Iron
Spend some money on an iron that is made specifically for waxing snowboards and skis, and don’t use a regular iron as some DIY sites or blogs suggest. Why?
Well, after using a regular iron on a snowboard, you should never use it for clothes again, otherwise, you’ll destroy them. Also, snowboard waxing irons are made to be completely flat, in order to help spread the wax more evenly on the snowboard’s surface. Use a regular one with some curves (even small ones), and you’ll be making bumps on your snowboard, which can severely affect snowboarding experience.
There are different types of wax, mostly divided into groups that fit certain weather conditions and temperature ratings. But these can be unsuitable as you will have to buy a new one if the weather gets warmer or colder than what is normal for the area where you snowboard – or you’ll need to keep reapplying every few days.
Instead, go for an all-temperature wax, which is suitable for all weather conditions and will always do a good job.
There are also waxes that can improve the sliding of your snowboard, and with that, increase the top speed you can achieve while riding, but these are generally much more expensive and don’t last as long as other ones do.
You can choose a plastic or a metal scraper, but if you’re a novice at waxing snowboards, go for a plastic one. Metal ones are much more abrasive and you need to be quite skilled in order to properly use one and not damage your snowboard. Plastic ones are much more gentle but still do a very good job.
How To Perform The Waxing
Step 1: Clean Your Snowboard
First, you start off with a base cleaner. With it, you can remove all the dirt and debris that might be on your snowboard, and also remove any residue from older wax, and prepare the snowboard for a new layer of wax. Add the base cleaner, scrub with a scouring pad on all the dirty spots, then wipe it clean with a polishing cloth.
Step 2: Wax On
Once your snowboard is all clean, it’s ready to be coated by the wax. First, preheat the iron (make sure it’s on a low setting – high temperatures can do more damage than good!) and apply some of the wax (not too much, you can always add more if you need!) on the snowboard and push on it gently with the iron in order to melt it down.
As it melts, slowly move the iron around and try to spread the wax. You can go in circular or zig-zag motion to spread it around, the choice is yours. Just make sure you cover the whole snowboard and that there aren’t uneven spots with less or more wax. Smooth it out.
Step 3: Scraping
After you apply the wax, let it sit for 10-20 minutes. It should dry up and stiffen up a bit. After it’s all dry, grab the scraper, hold it at a 45-degree angle to the snowboard and gently start scraping from tip to back.
There are different ways to scrape, in terms of direction, but it’s generally suggested you go from tip to tail as this way the lines will be in the direction you ride, improving sliding. And when you start scraping, go for longer scrape lines, rather than short ones, as this way you can get a better feel of the surface and can easily smoothen out some bumps and holes.
One common mistake people do when scraping is not scraping enough wax off, but keep in mind that some of the wax is absorbed by the snowboard, meaning that you need to leave a thin layer, rather than a thick one. Scrape until you feel there is enough wax left on, and the snowboard’s colors look richer and shinier.
Step 4: Brushing
After the excess wax is scraped off, it’s time to smooth out the small lines that might be left. For this, you should use a structuring brush. This will help buff up the surface and make it look more new and fresh.
When brushing, do it in the same way you did the scraping. From tip to tail, and in longer strokes. This will smoothen out some lines that might be left, flatten up the surface, and lower the friction your snowboard might create when riding fast down a slope.
Now that you got all the info on why you should wax your snowboard and how to do it, we suggest you get right on it. Waxing not only improves speed and performance, but it also increases the life-span of your snowboard by quite a lot. Spend some time maintaining your winter toy, and you’ll reap the benefits every time you hit the slopes.