Nothing will ruin a powder day faster than a slow base, and you don’t want questionable glide when you’re rolling into a kicker, hip or other features. Speed counts big time, and waxing your board properly enables you to use gravity to its fullest. Don’t be daunted by the task of waxing your own snowboard. Following these steps it’s actually very simple.
What supplies you’ll need:
- A work area, preferably a garage or workshop space. Sometimes waxing can get a little messy.
- A waxing specific iron (You can find these here at The House Boardshop). Don’t use your home iron. Once you use an iron for waxing you can’t use it again to iron clothes. Wax specific irons come with a flat base (as opposed to steam vents) and temperature settings that are ideal for melting snowboard and ski wax.
- Snowboard or Ski Wax (You can find this here at The House Boardshop).
- A Scraper (You can find these here at The House Boardshop)
- A Base Brush/Buffer (You can find these here at The House Boardshop)
- Base Cleaner (You can find this here at The House Boardshop)
- A phillips-head screwdriver (For loosening or taking off your bindings prior to waxing).
Clean your base so the wax really takes. Use base cleaner and a rag, or if you don’t have any, run a hot iron over the base, apply a thin layer of wax, and then scrape instantly. Cleaning your base before applying a fresh wax is particularly important if you’re riding spring/summer snow because of all the dust, dirt and other impurities speckling the snowpack.
More Pre-Wax Prep
Loosen your binding screws or remove them altogether. The bolts conduct heat when you run the iron over them and will create small dimples in your base. You don’t want that.
Picking the right combination of wax types is the trickiest part. Things to consider: Where do you live, what temperature range do you ride in, what’s the forecast for the next week? Choose a wax that best represents the conditions you’re riding in. All-temperature wax is one option; blending multiple temp waxes is another, more custom option. Along your edge, the adjacent section of base takes the most abuse, so consider using a harder wax in that area.
When you’re ready to go, grab a pre-warmed waxing iron and block of wax, hold the wax to the iron and let the molten droplets fall evenly across the board’s base. Then iron-on the wax by running the iron over the droplets, and spreading a film of wax evenly across the base. DON’T OVERHEAT YOUR BOARD! Touch the top-sheet periodically from below to get a feel for how hot the board is; it should never be more than warm to the touch.
Scrape to Smooth
Let the wax cool for about a half hour, or until it reaches room temperature. Then take a wax scraper (sharper the better), and make long, smooth strokes from nose to tail. Short choppy scraping makes for a bad tune and a slow base. Long and smooth…
Buff it Out
Use a base brush to remove excess, leftover wax and expose the “structure” of your base. For the extra, extra-fine treatment, buff your base with a pair of pantyhose from nose to tail. -MH