It doesn’t matter what level of rider you are, chances are your snowboard is going to take a pounding. Keeping on top of the maintenance of your snowboard is essential if you want to prolong its life. You can carry out basic snowboard tuning and repair at home as long as you have the right set of snowboard tools, a waxing iron, edge file and of course - snowboard wax!
There are so many different “How To” articles on the internet but here at BBC MK we walk the walk and talk the talk so will only give you advice that we would follow ourselves. No BS . . . just the honest truth!
How to service a snowboard
First you need to de-bur the edges and check whether they need to be sharpened. By running your finger along the edge of the board, you will be able to feel if there are any burs (or metal) creating a rough edge. You will need an Oxide Stone to do this to ensure you smooth these out and do not blunt your edging file. This will also stop the edge from cutting up your clothes and, ultimately, give you a better holding edge on the mountain.
Start with your edging tool sharpen the base edge at one degree - this will give you a smoother ride when flat lining or on cat tracks. You then do the same on the side edge. If you are going to be hitting the park or want to jib a little then you can increase your edging tool to a three degree bevel. This will help get a more catch free feel to the edge but will still have a sharpness that will enable you to ride across the whole mountain.
2. Cleaning the base
Using wax remover / base cleaner to really get a clean finish and pull any dirt and wax off the base you will need to use a clean cloth or kitchen towel and rub the base all over.
Hold the wax against the iron and dribble it as it melts up and down the base until you have enough to spread it evenly to cover the whole base. Don’t put too much wax on at once as when it cools you will only have more to scrape off! Remember you can always add more wax but you can’t take it off (well you can, but you’re just creating more work for yourself!).
Using a plastic scraper (a metal scraper will only gouge the base), start scraping the wax off the board. You might need to sharpen the edges of the scraper before each use with a file - the sharper the scraper the easier it is to remove the wax.
Working from nose to tail scrape all the surface wax off the board. Any remaining wax will act like a brake and grip onto the snow. Always scrape nose to tail or tail to nose - never edge to edge as the structure of the base runs in this direction. It’s also a good idea to run the scraper around the side edge of the board just to remove any wax that may have run over the edges of the board.
Once all the excess wax has been scraped off its time to buff it up and put the structure back into the base using a structure brush. Again with ample force rub the base nose to tail or tail to nose to take the wax out of the structure lines of the base and remove all of those scraping marks until you get that polished finish.
You will know that you board is waxed properly when you drop some water onto the board and the water disperses and runs smoothly across the board. If the water creates a “puddle” you have not scraped the wax off properly.