Cruising around the mountain with crisp, sharp edges is one of the best feelings in snowboarding. However, there will come a time when your carves won't be as good as they once were, leaving you are skidding out on the hard-packed snow. This is a good indication that your edges are slipping because they are not as sharp as they used to be.
In this blog, we will give you all the information on how to sharpen the edges of your snowboard. By the end of this guide, you will have the knowledge needed to sharpen your snowboard's edges at home and get back to performing your best on the mountain.
Why Do I Need to Sharpen My Snowboard's Edges?
Sharpening your snowboard's edges, also known as tuning your edges, makes riding more fun and increases your control while you are shredding the mountain.
When your edges are sharp, you have more confidence in your board, which is essential to having a killer day on the mountain. No matter how advanced or new you are to snowboarding, you will benefit from having sharp edges.
How Often Should I Sharpen the Edges of My Snowboard?
How often you sharpen your edges depends on how often you ride your snowboard. At a minimum, you should sharpen the edges of their snowboard once a year, at the beginning of the season. However, if you shred many times during the winter, especially in rough conditions, you will benefit from doing a few midseason tune ups.
How Do I Know If My Edges Need Sharpening?
A tried and tested way of checking how sharp snowboard edges are is with your thumbnail. Gently rub the back of your nail on the edge at various points. If the edge is sharp, it will scrape small bits of your nail off pretty easily. Use this technique multiple times throughout the season to determine if your edges are becoming dull and you need a midseason tune up.
What Do I Need to Sharpen The Edges Of My Snowboard?
The best place to start is to get a snowboard tuning kit; it will have everything you need. These are great, as they keep everything together in a neat package. Luckily for you, we happen to sell one of the best snowboard tuning kits on the market which can be purchased here.
If you don't have a tuning kit, you will at minimum need a proper snowboard edging tool. These tools are relatively inexpensive, but are essential, as they have a guide that allows you to maintain the correct angle.
You may also need a light file such as a gummy stone or diamond files. These are great for midseason tune ups as they will take off any burrs incurred from chopping your edges in lift lines or striking rocks.
How to Sharpen Your Snowboard's Edges
You May Need To Remove Your Bindings
Some people like to remove their snowboard bindings. It all depends on how close your bindings are to the edge of your board. If you cannot run your edging tool along the edge, you will have to take the bindings off.
Let's Start Sharpening
Flip your snowboard over so the base is facing upwards and get your edging tool.
Place the edging tool on the edge of the board and run it smoothly from the tip to the tail. You don't need to press hard; just use light pressure.
Each stroke should begin and end at the wider points of your board. Don't go past the part where the board curves up towards the tip and tail. These parts don't need sharpening; in fact, they may need to be detuned (we will go into this shortly).
Run your tool along the edge several times in one direction (not back and forth), but make sure it is flat to the snowboard's edge. If you come across any sticking points, there may be a burr.
You may be able to get rid of the burr by giving the area a little more attention with the edging tool. If it is too bad, you can gently file it down with one of the diamond files.
Repeat the process on the other edge until both edges feel similar.
What About the Side Edges?
The next thing you need to do is switch the tool around to the side edge position. Some edging tools are adjustable, so you may be able to set yours to the angle that intersects the corner.
Most beginner/intermediate snowboarders will find 90 degrees perfectly acceptable. If you are a more advanced snowboarder, you may want to experiment with more acute angles, such as 89 degrees. Sharper angles will take more of a bite out of the snow, giving you more grip and faster turns during riding.
When you sharpen the side edges, make sure you only run the tool between the wider parts of your snowboard.
After doing this to both edges, use the thumbnail test to make sure you have done a good enough job. If not, repeat the process until your edges are sharp enough.
What Was That About Detuning?
When you buy a snowboard, the edges will usually come pre-sharpened, but you may need to detune the edges.
Those parts of the edges beyond the wide parts of your snowboard (the tip and tail) should not be sharp. If they are sharp, they can make your snowboard twitchy when you turn. Also, they can cause you to catch an edge, which is often unexpected and can lead to injury.
To detune the parts that curve upwards, you need a light or medium metal file. Rub the metal part at a diagonal angle to the board and to the edge.
Your goal with this is to blunt the edges at these raised areas. Therefore, you need to focus on the corner with your file until it is beveled slightly. For the best effect, feel free to adjust the angle to round it off smoothly.
If you ride all over the mountain, only detune your edges at the widest points of the snowboard. This will keep the effective edge nice and sharp.
However, you may benefit from detuning the whole edge if you spend the majority of your time in the terrain park. This will make it less likely for you to catch an edge on rails, boxes, and other features in the park.
Now Go Out and Dare to Venture!
There you go - you now know everything you need to sharpen your snowboard edges at home. Go and grab one of The Venture Syndicate Edge Tuning Kits today to ensure that you are bringing your best to the mountain all season long. You won't be disappointed.