When snowboards are produced in the factory they are only given a one-coat quick wax, so after riding a new board for only a couple of days you may see dry patches appear. To prevent this it is highly recommended that you hot wax the board; not just once, but up to five or six times to really condition the base.
Also, all snowboards straight out of the factory are tuned for your everyday rider and the contact points of the board are very sharp. This is great if you love carving and mountain charging all day, but if are more of a freestyle rider, then you may want to consider de-tuning the board so you won’t catch an edge.
1. What you need to do is find the widest points of the rails and these are what are known as the contact points. Once you have found them, de-tune the edges about 5-10cm past the contact points.
2. Take a fine file and scribe up and down the edge to take away the sharpness to stop you catching an edge when turning, or when performing 180 or 360 jumps and landing slightly on an edge.
3. Now take a Gummy stone, which is nice and soft, and run it over the whole edge to sort out any shards of metal from the de-tune, as well as any imperfections in the rail left from when it came out of the factory.
When to re-service your board?
The tell-tale signs when your board needs waxing again is different depending on what style of rider you are, but as you ride you will notice that the rails will start to heat up and white dry patches will start to appear down the side of the base of your board – this is a good indication that your board needs a wax.
To check your edges are sharp enough, gently (be careful as they are sharp) run the back of your fingernail on the edge in the middle of the board. If it is sharp enough, a remanence of nail should be left on the edge. Also, carefully check the edge to see if there are any signs of snagging which may have been caused by riding your board over a rock or a rough surface.
The importance of waxing a new board
If you let a base dry out too much from not waxing it, you will need a base grind to open up the pores for the wax to be effective and stop the board drying out. Each time you have a base grind done, it has a negative effect on the lifespan of the board.
This is why it is so important to get these first few applications of wax on a new board, so it soaks into the base and stops it drying out too quick.
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)