In this blog, we give you step-by-step directions on how to wax your snowboard base. Keep your snowboard healthy and get fast runs all season long by following the tips below.
Why Do I Need to Wax My Snowboard?
No matter your skill level, a good coat of wax will make your trip down the mountain much smoother and faster. If your snowboard is feeling a little slow, or you are struggling to get over flat sections, it may be time to apply a fresh coat of wax.
An additional benefit of keeping your snowboard waxed is that it keeps your base healthy. A snowboard's base has many pores that the wax seals, preventing it from drying out. A dry base is prone to delaminating, which can cause you to have to replace your board much sooner than if you keep your base properly waxed.
Do I Need to Wax a New Snowboard?
All new snowboards should come with factory wax already on the base. This is enough to keep your board sliding smoothly for a few sessions on the mountain.
After a few days, the base will become dry and less speedy, especially if you are riding in slushy conditions. Therefore, you need to make sure you wax your board before going on another snowboarding trip.
Are There Any Other Times I Need to Wax My Snowboard?
Besides the first initial waxing, you should wax your snowboard before storing it at the end of each winter. By leaving a layer of storage wax on your base, it won't dry out while it is waiting for you to pull it back out when the snow comes. When it comes to riding it again, all you need to do is scrape off the excess wax and structure the base (we will come to this shortly).
Additionally, we recommend waxing your base anytime during the season that you have been doing heavy riding, especially in less than desirable conditions, and notice that your board is not gliding as easily as it once did.
What Tools Do I Need To Wax My Base?
To give your snowboard base a wax job, you need the following tools:
A Note on Wax Choice
The wax sits between the base of your snowboard and the snow. Snow changes constantly, so it is important to use wax suitable for whatever conditions you are venturing into.
You can buy rub-on wax, which is a quick and easy solution to give you a bit more speed. However, it doesn't last very long and doesn't perform as well as a proper wax job.
We will focus on hot waxing in this article, which is our waxing method of choice. You will need to choose a suitable hot wax for the temperature you are riding in. The Venture Syndicate carries wax suitable for all types of riding environments which can be found here.
Our website outlines what temperature each wax is suitable for. Many people just use universal wax, which is good for changeable weather conditions and is better than rub-on wax. However, if you want the best on mountain performance, go for a temperature-specific wax.
Steps on How To Wax Your Snowboard Base
Step 1 - Clean Your Base
The first thing to do is clean all the old wax and dirt off the base of your snowboard. You do this by spraying some base cleaner evenly across your base.
Then scrub the base with a cloth while paying close attention to dirty or marked areas. You may need to do this a couple of times if your base is filthy. If you are having a hard time getting the old wax off, you can use a wax scraper to help remove it. We recommend The Venture Syndicate wax scraper found here.
Use a different polishing cloth to remove any residue and get rid of all the old wax and dirt.
Step 2 - Waxing Time
Now that you have the appropriate wax for your conditions, go ahead and plug in your iron. Set the temperature of your iron to match whatever wax block you are using (Recommended iron temperatures can be on this page). You don't want the wax to smoke and bubble on your iron. When you are ready, press a corner of your wax block onto your iron while holding it over your snowboard's base.
As the wax melts, it will smoothly drip down onto the snowboard. Move the iron around, so it drips down around the edges of the board. Then fill in the center of the base by dripping wax in a zig-zag pattern.
Don't go overboard with the wax, as you will have more to scrape off later. However, do make sure to drip enough onto the base to give it a good covering.
Next, place your iron gently onto the base, allowing the hard bits of wax to re-melt under the iron. Then move iron around in a circular motion to spread it evenly around the base.
Keep your iron moving so you don't let any part of your snowboard's base get too hot. If you do get it too hot, it can ruin the glue that bonds the top sheet onto your snowboard (however this is quite an extreme situation).
As you move the iron around the base, make sure you pay attention to the edges. These areas get the driest, especially when you carve a lot. You may need to drip some more wax on to ensure good coverage.
Once you have coated your snowboard's base in wax, switch off your iron and let the board cool down. You should wait at least 10 minutes, but you can do the next step the following day if you have time.
Step 3 - Scrape Your Base
Now it's time to grab your plastic base scraper. We recommend The Venture Syndicate Wax Scraper found here.
Hold it width-ways at about 45 degrees to your snowboard. You need the sharp edge in contact with your base.
Scrape the excess wax off in one direction, working from the nose to the tail. You may think you are taking too much wax off, but don't worry. The pores in the base of your snowboard will have absorbed the wax you have melted onto it.
The idea is to leave a very thin layer of wax on the base. You will get lots of wax flaking off as you scrape, so just brush it off the base as you go.
You may want to scrape your base outside or put something under your board to catch the wax.
There may be excess wax on the metal edges of your board. You need to get this off, or it will block your edge sharpener if you are going to tune your edges afterward. (Check out our article on how to tune your edges here)
To get rid of the wax at the edges, use the notch on the corner of your scraper.
You will probably find that the wax at the nose and tail takes a bit more work to remove. You may need to use the stiffer end of the scraper to get it off. But never neglect these parts, as the excess wax will slow you down.
Once you have scraped off the excess wax, give the base a quick wipe with a cloth.
Step 4 - Structure Your Base for Speed
Grab your structuring brush and run it firmly from nose to tail. Start at one edge of the board and work your way to the other edge. Doing this will put grooves in your wax that helps to reduce friction with the snow.
Now Get Out and Dare to Venture!
If you follow these steps, your snowboard will glide better and stay healthier all season long. Not to mention waxing your board is pretty satisfying to do and is an essential activity for anybody serious about their snowboarding (which we know you are).