Your snowboard will come in contact with the snow the entire time it’s being used, so you’re going to have to figure out some way to avoid the wear and tear caused by your board being so exposed to the elements. Waxing your board is the number one way to do this to ensure your favorite board lasts as long as possible, and allows you to shred at full effectiveness for years to come.
Waxing is reasonably straightforward, and it isn’t particularly tricky. But then, it’s essential in every sense of the word. Wax is meant to keep the base of your snowboard hydrated. A dry board leads to the fibers on the base standing up instead of lying down. These upright fibers cause a lot of friction and drag which will mean you’ll be going slower than usual. Since the board won’t be going at the same rate on all portions, this means that you might have one side of the snowboard slowing you down more than other, which will just throw off your game even more. That’s why you need to be diligent in your waxing efforts.
The Types of Wax
There are two main types of waxes for snowboards, each with their own purpose. Universal wax is the most basic kind of wax, and serves to prevent your board from drying out and leading to the fibers standing up like previously mentioned. Universal wax should be applied once for every 5-8 days spent on the hill.
The next type of wax is referred to as gliding wax. Its purpose is to aid in cruising over the snow as smoothly as possible. Gliding wax should be applied the day before you go snowboarding for best effect. The only thing worth mentioning with gliding wax is that you should purchase temperature-specific wax for the best result, so do some research on the conditions of the hill before you settle on which wax to use.
Ways to Wax a Snowboard
People have gotten creative with how to accomplish snowboard waxing. There is, of course, liquid wax that you simply rub on to the board. It’s the quickest and easiest to apply, but also doesn’t last very long. For quick touch-ups, a device called a Waxjet can be used to apply some hot wax in a pinch.
Next, some shops use wax paper and an iron to keep a board adequately hydrated. The wax paper and iron method are better than liquid wax, but still requires frequent reapplication.
The most popular method of waxing snowboards involves using an iron to apply wax to your board using heat. The results from this are of high quality and tend to last fairly long. The downside is that it does require some specific technique and about 15 minutes. In addition, there’s the risk of some messiness if you aren’t particularly skilled at iron waxing yet.
The last method of waxing is called a hot box, and it’s only used by professionals. It involves a specialized machine that applies a special hot wax treatment to the base of the board. It’s expensive and requires some pretty fancy equipment, so unless you go to the pro circles, it’s unlikely you’ll even ever see one of these machines.
We can determine that waxing your snowboard is a necessary part of maintaining your equipment, and should be done regularly to get the most out of your time on the slopes. While at first, it’s fine to pay your ski shop to wax your board for you, you should eventually buy your own kit and learn how to do it yourself. An updated guide for 2019 is available on adventure genesis should you think you’re ready to take this step. If not, that’s alright. Most shops will do a hot iron wax for you for a small fee.
Best of luck next time you’re on the hill!