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There are a lot of accessories that go along with snowboard gear and all of them are meant to make your ride a little better. These can include things like stomp pads, leashes and tuning equipment. To make sure that each of the accessories is going to do what it was meant to do, the best it can do it, there are a few things to know about some of them.
The main purpose of a leash is to attach the binding to the boot. Should the boot come out of the binding on the hill a leash will stop the board from sliding down hill without the rider. There are a few different designs to leashes. Some will be made out of nylon, or some companies will have ones specific to their brand. For example, Air Blaster has their Air Leash which has a cord that will stretch and contract so the rider won’t need to take the leash off to walk if they unstrap.
Stomp pads can also come in many different types. Most brands will make their own stomp pads with their logo or name out of a hard plastic. But some stomp pads will be made out of metal, aluminum or acrylic. Some will be more flat with a little bit of texture but others will be sharp spikes to really give good grip.
There are also a lot of different kinds of tools for maintaining and tuning your equipment. One thing any snowboarder will eventually need is wax remover. Before waxing a board the old wax should be removed because it can hold a lot of dirt and residue. It is best to apply new wax to a clean base.
When the old stuff is gone the next thing you will need is wax. The type of wax you choose will depend on the temperature you will be riding in and how fast you want your base to be. There are some rub on waxes that are easy and quick to apply, but the best way to wax your board is with a hot wax. Hot waxes will vary by the temperatures that the rider is intending to be riding in. There are warm weather, cold weather or all temp waxes. Hot wax will be melded onto the base and smoothed out with an iron. Any old iron can be used for this, but a specific snowboard wax iron will work best because it will have special temperature settings for different types of waxes and bases.
Once the wax is spread even over the base you will need a scraper to take off all the excess wax. These will also come in many different shapes and sizes. The best ones are acrylic because they won’t scratch the board’s surface. Then when the extra wax is removed there are also texturing tools to rub over the new wax. These will help to wick water away from the base of the board when riding that will create less suction allowing the board to glide faster over the snow.
Once the base is maintained the next this to tend to are the edges. The easiest way to sharpen edges is to use a file guide. To use a file guide, all you need to do is put it on the edge and push it from end to end. This will give the rider a nice sharp edge and a lot more grip in hard snow. These file guides can be quite simple but some will have different angle settings that will be used for different types of riding. After that a diamond stone can be used to take off any burrs or imperfections and get a really nice smooth edge. A diamond stone will be most useful to rail riders that will be putting their edges through much more abuse.
There are some other tools that will help to maintain the board and bindings while riding. Pocket wrenches are a really handy thing to have out on the hill because with the high vibrations of riding the screws in the bindings can come loose. Also if you want to make any adjustments while riding you can just pull out the tool and make the changes where you are rather than hunting down a screwdriver on a bench. Some pocket tools will have a ratcheting mechanism which makes everything faster and easier.
There are also other tools that will work better for at home. Some screw drivers and wrenches will have a bigger handle that will give more torque when tightening the binding. Many of these will also have the ratcheting mechanism and also extra attachments. It is best not to use power tools for tightening bindings because they will be more likely to strip out the insert or push through the base. Hand tools are really the best and safest way to go.