Summer has officially come to an end here in the northern hemisphere. The leaves are starting to change to their autumn colors and the mornings have started to produce a hair-raising chill. Naturally, these events have got us turning our minds and short-winded attention spans to our snowboards that have been collecting dust and cobwebs in our garages and basement storage areas over the long summer months. The first days of the winter season are approaching fast with snow falling in the farther north parts North America, and just like you, your board may be literally a little rusty and rough around the edges on your first day back on snow. To make your life and your board’s life a little more enjoyable, we’ve compiled an easy go-to checklist of some preseason prepping you should take into consideration before strapping in this season.
-Fix It Up-
Usually, the first thing I do when grabbing my board out from the rafters for the first time is go to check my base for any cosmetic defects or deep base shots that I can buff out. Whether this happened from late-season shenanigans or just from being tossed around the garage, it’s never a bad thing to get these things cleaned up before getting out on the hill. I usually use a pocket knife (in the supervision of an adult of course) or a razor-like blade to cut these core shots out to leave them smooth for further tuning. If you got a core shot that makes it to the base you’re gonna wanna get that filled in ASAP before water destroys your core.
-Clean It Up-
Now that you’ve gotten your base free of any blemishes or dings it’s time to get it clean. I use a Dakine Supertune Base Cleaner that seems to get all that excess dirt, dust and other garbage that collects in the pores of your base. I’ll have an old dish rag handy that I use to put the base cleaner on to and then spread it all across the base, tips included, until you notice all the grim and other nasty stuff has been collected onto the rag and off your base. This might take a few minutes and is crucial if you plan on waxing your base before your first time on snow. Your wax will more then likely not stick at all to your base if it is not clean.
-File It Down-
Like every other kind of steel, your snowboard edge is more than likely going to collect some rust that you’re going to want to get rid of before the season kicks off. Usually, if you bring your deck to your local tune shop this is something a base grind would take care of as well as take care of those blemishes we discussed earlier. But in the DIY spirit of this post, we’re just going to use an old-fashioned shop file. Most people grab this file and just start hammering away at the spot like a violinist, and that isn’t helping anyone. Start at one end the edge and hold the file a 45-degree angle just a little tilted up from the base. Run the file smoothly down the edge to eliminate any rust or edge blemishes you may have. This is also a good way to detune your edges to avoid getting caught on rails and boxes in your local parks. Keep in mind that detuning your edge may eliminate a stronger edge hold, especially on hardpack and icy terrain.
-Wax It Up-
Like I said before you can always visit your local tune shop to get your deck tuned up and ready to rip but in the circumstance that you live far from a shop or resort we called upon Guf to give us a little run down on how to get your boards waxed, ready and good to go by opening day.
-Tighten It Up-
Lastly, it is always a good idea and time saver to check the hardware of your bindings before strapping in. More often than not, no matter what kind of bindings, mounting system, amount of Loctite (which I don’t recommend using at all..), or hardware you have, your bindings are going to come loose every so often. You don’t put tires on your car and never check the pressure, right? Checking your hardware before getting out on the hill will save you the hassle of having to adjust your bindings on the hill. Obviously if you’re having a daily issue of your bindings coming loose they may be a bigger problem at hand but for the most part, this should be something you shouldn’t have to do more then once for every four to five times you go ride. Make sure to check the other hardware holding your ladders, straps, and highbacks in place as well to avoid losing one of those on the hill because that is an absolute nightmare.
You can shop our Snowboard Tune Shop and browse our selection of waxes, scraps, files and other tools you’ll need this upcoming winter. Just a few more weeks until shredding season is here and all will be right in the world again. For the winter at least.