If you’ve ever lost speed on a long traverse or had to unstrap your bindings on a flat cat track, you know how important it is to have a freshly waxed snowboard. Keeping your board regularly waxed allows you to go faster downhill, glide smoother along traverses, and exert more control in tight trees. It also keeps your base in good shape, extending the life of your snowboard.
Tune shops, however, are expensive and time-consuming. If you want to wax your board on a consistent basis, the easiest and most cost-effective way is to learn to do it yourself. Fortunately, that’s a lot easier than it looks. To learn how to wax a snowboard properly, all you need is a few pieces of equipment, a brief tutorial, and a little practice — you’ll be working like a pro in no time. Here’s the best way to wax a snowboard yourself.
Things to consider
What type of wax is best?
Before you get started, you want to consider what type of wax to use. If it’s the middle of an exceptionally cold winter, or you live in a dry climate where the temperature gauge rarely hits two digits, you’ll want to invest in a good cold-weather wax. Conversely, if it’s late-March and you’ve already stocked up on spring riding shorts, you’ll want a warm weather wax that’s specifically formulated for spring conditions. Anything in the middle and an all-weather wax is your best bet.
How often should you wax your snowboard?
The next thing to think about is how often to wax your snowboard, which largely depends on how often you ride. Opinions range but most people agree you should wax your board every three to 10 times you ride. Specific riding style also plays a factor. If you’re an aggressive snowboarder who hits a lot of manmade features that wear on the wax — or if you stomp a lot of landings that put pressure on your base — you’re going to need to do it more often. If you’re a fairly casual rider who doesn’t work the board as intensely, you likely won’t need to do it as often.
How fast you want to go is another factor — in essence, how important is speed to you? If you like to play in the snow and aren’t concerned with race-style performance, you don’t need to wax your board religiously. If you want to charge like hell and be the first one to the lift line every time, you need to wax practically every session — or at least more frequently than your peers.
The last thing to consider is the type of board you use. Riders whose board has a sintered base need to wax more frequently whereas extruded bases tend to be able to go a bit longer. Although the porousness of a sintered base absorbs tons of wax and ultimately rides faster than extruded bases, it becomes slower than its extruded counterparts when wax is low.
Really, the best gauge you have to tell when it’s time to wax your board is simply how it feels. If you notice it’s starting to slow down, it’s time to give it a wax.