09/12/2013 | by Peter Warwick Brown
Waxing your snowboard makes it run faster and can help you get years more use out of it. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A cloth or rag to clean the base
- Base cleaner
- An iron that you don’t mind getting wax on
- Some wax. Different waxes are designed to suit different temperatures, so choose one that suits the conditions you’ll be riding in.
- A sponge or brillo pad
- A brush
- A scraper, to scrape the wax off.
1) Prepare your snowboard for waxing. Clean the board using a damp rag or base cleaner to wipe off any old wax, dirt or grime that may be stuck to the base. You don’t want any of that stuff to get deeply ingrained in there. You can also clean the board by doing what’s called a “hot wax” where you slap a coat of wax on and scrape it off really quickly before it’s cooled so it takes all the dirt off with it.
2) Melt the wax onto your snowboard. Cover your board in globules of melted wax, then spread these around using the iron. You want a good covering, so spread it right up to the edges.
3) Leave the wax to cool down. Once you’ve covered the board, leave it for an hour or so until the wax sets. You can leave it overnight if you like.
4) Scrape the wax off. Use your scraper in a smooth motion, working from nose to tail. Long strokes work better than short, scribbly ones.
5) Buff your board using the sponge or brillo pad. This helps remove any lingering shreds of wax, and makes it feel lovely and smooth.
6) Scrape lines along your base using the brush. As with the scraper, work nose to tail with long, smooth strokes.
Jim Stewart from the British wax brand Butta has been waxing boards for years. Here are a few of his top tips for getting the best finish.
1) Don’t overspend on equipment. “My iron is a regular household iron from Argos or whatever. People will sell you specialist waxing irons but you don’t really need them. You can also make your own base-cleaner out of water and something acidic like lemon juice. My waxing stand is a keyboard stand off eBay with a couple of BMX handlebar grips on it. Cost me 15 quid.”
2) Wax a board as soon as you buy it. “Factory wax will last you a day on the hill max. When you’ve got a new board, you can wax it two or three times and it will keep absorbing stuff that’s good for the base.”
3) Don’t do up your bindings too tight. “It shows when you wax a board, you often get these little collections of wax where the inserts are and that’s cos your bindings are too tight. If you crank ‘em up, you draw the base upwards, and you don’t need to do that. One or two turns will do.”
4) Wax your board over the summer to protect it. “If you put it away wet – even just to fly home – you’ll get rust on it so quickly. Dry it off before you fly, and when you get home, don’t put it straight in your garage. Keep it somewhere warm and dry for a week, like your living room, ‘til it’s bone dry. Then wax it – do everything up until the scraping process, and make sure you cover the edges in a layer of wax. That protects it.”
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