Waxing a snowboard is essential for maximum performance. If you fail to wax your snowboard before riding, then you are slowly destroying the surface of your board and you will not enjoy the experience when riding your snowboard.
Since factories wax and tune some of the best snowboards when shipping them, do you need to wax a new snowboard before you use it? The short answer is YES! In this article, we explain the why and how-to’s of waxing a new snowboard.
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The Importance of Waxing a New Snowboard
The importance of coating a snowboard with wax is so it seals the base of the snowboard and prevents water from the snow from seeping into its core. Many snowboards are made of wood cores, and basic chemistry shows that wood doesn’t do well in water.
Snowboard waxes give the board a slippery surface to easily glide over snow. Basically, wax coatingwill protect your snowboard, further enhancing the chance to perform better. There’s no such thing as too much waxing when it comes to snowboarding.
Although some snowboard manufacturers have more routines put in place for factory waxing more than others, it’ll be hard to tell the differences between the various finished products. It’s usually safer to coat your snowboard with wax. The wax used by some factories are also cheap and will cause it to dry out fast.
If you solely depend on factory waxing, be mindful that the snowboard you are purchasing may have sat in the warehouse or store for weeks or months. It’s not advisable to use your snowboard without adequate coating.
Rewaxing your board should be a compulsory ritual for the best first-time experience as it would perform better on the snow.
Factors to Keep in Mind Regarding Factory Waxing
Some quality snowboarding brands do layer their new boards with a high-end wax coating and can be used right off the shopping rack, but there are a couple of factors you should keep in mind if you are using a factory waxed board.
The State of the Factory Wax
Even quality factory waxing will eventually dry off or become old. This can happen even if the new board has plastic wrapping or protective wrapping around it. Shelf duration, wrapping, and atmospheric conditions can all affect the state of the factory wax job, but you can easily see if the board has been dried out by examining the base.
If there are cloudy white patches on the base, the wax job is likely old. You can still take the board out for a quick ride but it won’t perform as well and using it in this state can result in water damage.
Your Personal Preference
Some snowboarders are a lot fussier about their wax jobs than others.
For complete beginners, it isn’t too important if the board has a couple of flat patches on it because they likely won’t be able to tell the difference anyway. But a pro snowboarder is going to notice these issues immediately since flat patches can impact your speed and performance.
It is also advisable to give your board a new wax coat if you are extremely particular about the condition of your board. Those who want to avoid damage at all costs should consider giving it a new wax coat, especially since you can’t really wax too much.
It should be noted that if you don’t use your board for high-speed chases and are more of a freestyle rider, then you can enjoy the board a bit before giving it a first wax job.
The Duration of Your First Trip
If you are only going out to try your new board for a couple of hours or for one or two days in the snowy mountains then you can likely get away without waxing your board. A few hours on the factory waxed board probably won’t hurt.
On the other hand, those who spend a long week in the mountains and might not find the time to perform a hot wax in between rides should get their boards waxed before they leave for the trip. Even a good factory wax layer won’t last too long and your board can become damaged if you use it for too long.
How to Wax a Brand-New Snowboard
You can take your snowboard to a ski shop or wax your snowboard yourself. It’s not difficult, and this way will bring a new coat of wax that fits your snow condition.
Spending extra cash to buy wax to maintain the integrity of the snowboard is a small sacrifice, it’s best to protect it from tear and wear and allow it to perform properly.
Tools Needed to Wax a New Snowboard
If you decide to wax your board yourself, you should consider getting the below tools:
- Dedicated workspace like a garage. You need this space because waxing can be a bit messy.
- Waxing iron. You can’t use your clothing iron, but you need a waxing iron that allows you to melt the wax.
- Snowboard or Ski Wax
- Metallic or Plastic Scrapers
- Base Brush or Buffer
- Base Cleaner
- Phillips-head screwdriver to take off the parts of your board.
Steps to Wax Your Snowboard
Now that you have the list of items needed to work on your snowboard, you can follow these simple steps. The whole process would take you 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
- Start by using the Philips head screwdriver to remove the binding. If you leave this in, the screw will be heated up from the iron and have permanent damage.
- Use your scraper to remove old wax or dirt from the base of the board to allow the board to absorb new wax.
- Apply a thin layer of wax with the iron and wipe it off. This thin layer of wax acts as a layer to remove debris out of the base pore.
- Pick your wax based on the temperature of the surface you are riding on. Cold wax is for surfaces with sub-zero temperatures, and hot wax for warmer surfaces.
- Melt your selected wax over the entire base of your snowboard, place the wax on the heated surface of the iron and allow the melted wax to drip in a zig-zag manner across the board.
- Once you are done dripping the wax over the board, place the iron on the case and move it around in circles.
- Leave the board in a corner for the wax to settle for half an hour. Once the wax cools down, start scraping the edges.
- Scrape the edges at an angle of 45 degrees starting from the nose to the tail.
The type of wax you use is very important. Make sure you use high-quality wax to achieve optimal performance of your board. High-quality products make your board look great, which in turn enhances your riding experience.
Another tip is to use wax that is easy to apply. Using a wax that is difficult to apply can be exhausting, and this may result in you skipping some steps or potentially damaging your gear.
These are a few reasons it’s important to properly wax snowboards and skis. If you choose high quality products, your gear will perform better and will look great for many months. Keep in mind that re-waxing snowboard and ski equipment can be done anytime throughout the winter season, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities.
Ideal Frequency to Wax a Snowboard
There are different opinions over this subject. Some people think your snowboard should be waxed after every six hours of riding, whereas others don’t wax boards as frequently and are doing fine.
A good interval to wax a snowboard falls between 5 to 10 days of riding during the winter, but how often you need to wax depends on the type of base your snowboard has.
Types of Snowboard Bases
There are two types of snowboard bases: sintered and extruded.
A Sintered snowboard base is more porous than an extruded base. Sintered bases have greater performance if they receive enough wax jobs. Its porous nature allows it to hold on to the wax for extensive periods of time, and it rides smoother and faster than boards with an extruded base.
Extruded bases hardly show improvement even after a good wax job. It is, therefore, necessary to wax as often as you can for maximum performance.
Waxing is an essential part of snowboarding and is critical for any snowboarder who wants to enjoy the riding experience. If you’ve been wondering if you need to wax your new snowboard, then we have given enough reasons to do so.
Using the correct wax and properly coating your snowboard will allow it to perform better and last longer. You will have a peace of mind knowing that your snowboard is cared for and ready for a smooth ride.
If you are looking for other helpful tips for keeping your snowboard in good condition for longer or need some advice on the bestsnowboarding gearto get then we welcome you to take a look at some of the other guides we have onSnow Authorities. With these guides, you can take good care of your snowboarding equipment and find all the latest and best snowboarding gear.