Preparing your snowboard for the big day by waxing it.
Waxing your snowboard is easier than you may think; the only real drawbacks are the time and mess involved. Snowboarding has many positive aspects, including spending time in nature and enjoying the sun, snow, and fresh air. Board glide is a crucial factor for any snowboarder. The “factory wax” applied to every snowboard is subpar at best and nonexistent at worst. It’s a factory coating, so it’s not surprising that it doesn’t accomplish anything and doesn’t last very long. DIY waxing before hitting the slopes is the way to go. There are a few different waxes and application methods, but hot wax is the most effective.
Various Wax Forms
Waxing can be done in a few different ways. There is also a spray-on wax that you apply using the bottle’s finger pump and “polish” with the spongy applicator attached to the bottle’s base. The optimum time to use this is during the spring when the snow is milder. This wax doesn’t penetrate too deeply and may be easily removed by rubbing. It may be carried in a pocket, making it convenient for skiing.
Similarly to how auto wax is sold in a jar with a wipe-on/buff-off applicator on the lid, there is rub or wipe-on wax. This is a viable alternative to hot waxing if you are short on time or resources. You can apply and remove wipe-on wax by wiping it on and then buffing it off from a jar. While you could always carry this product, it’s best used before hitting the slopes.
Hot wax is the most effective method of waxing. Unlike other waxes, the hot wax will seep into the pours at your board’s base instead of sitting on top. Any trace of wax left on the snow will act as a drag, preventing you from moving any quicker. Having a fast-moving snowboard is not helped by using too much wax. To apply hot wax, melt a bar of wax and let it drip onto the board, then smooth it out and apply a thin layer of wax all over the board with an iron. You’re letting it soak into the foundation’s cracks.
How to Perform Homemade Hot Wax
First, this is dirty, so do it where you can make a mess and clean it up quickly, like in a garage or outside. Wax shreds can get caught on the soles of shoes and be tracked indoors, permanently damaging carpeting and clothing. Wear anything you don’t mind getting waxed on, just in case you do. The exit is a thorny one. To finish this task, you will need a plastic scraper, an iron (any kind will do, I have a $7 Wal-Mart special, and it works just fine), board wax, a citrus-based cleaning, a rag, and a Scotch Brite pad for buffing at the end.
After plugging in and preheating your iron, scrap the board with a plastic scraper to remove any loose debris, dirt, or wax. A scraper can be found in any sporting goods or skateboard store. After you have scraped any old memories off the board, wipe it well with a citrus-based cleanser and a rag. It would be best if you weren’t putting anything besides wax into your foundation.
Wax comes in a few varieties, each with a specific purpose. You can use the higher-temperature wax when the ambient temperature is relatively high. When the temperature at the base is shallow, you can use the cold base temperature wax; otherwise, you can use the all-temperature wax. The easiest way to use this is as a base layer under a warmer or colder coat, depending on your riding temperature.
The next step is to drip melted wax all over the board using the iron. You don’t have to cover the entire board in polish, but you should use enough to protect it. You will destroy the board if you leave the iron in one spot for too long, as with clothes. Once you have a lot of melted wax dripping around the board, smooth it out with the iron. Apply a drip of wax about every two or three square inches, covering the board thoroughly from nose to tail. If you spread the wax evenly around the board, you’ll easily remove it. There are now a few options for removing the wax. One school of thought suggests beginning the scraping process when the wax is still warm and has not yet set, while another says to wait at least 30 minutes. For my part, I prefer to let it dry and firm a bit before scraping it off.
For the cleanest wax removal, scrape from nose to tail rather than in a zigzag pattern. Pull the plastic scraper towards you while holding it at a 45-degree angle, with the bottom pointing towards you. I have found that this is the most convenient method for scraping. Keep scraping the board until you can see that very little wax is coming out. Buff the board’s surface with the Scotch Brite pad in the direction of the grain, starting at the front and working your way to the rear. To remove any residual wax and get a flawless surface, buffing is the way to go. Now you may begin shredding. Waxing your board improves its performance on snow and powder and makes it simpler to ride up the modest inclines found on fire paths at ski areas. By keeping the surface clean and well-maintained, you can extend the useful life of your board. Get out there and enjoy your newly waxed board.
There are other ways to prepare your board for a day of riding.
You can also use an edge tuner tool, which you can find at any sporting goods store or board shop, to polish your edges to a mirror finish. It’s a rail file, which helps you obtain a cleaner advantage on the snow.
If your base has any gauges or deep scrapes, you may want to pick up a Petex stick to fill them in. It looks like a clear glue stick and is applied with a lighter to melt and drip into place. You risk burning your board and melting its base if you bring the flame too close to it.
Towel – A wet, snowy snowboard is a breeding ground for rust and corrosion. Therefore, carrying an old towel to dry it off after use is a good idea. Towel drying it off after each day of riding will keep the rails cleaner and sharper.
You may get everything from headphones to a USB battery charger for riders who want to listen to music on their iPods as they ride and everything from camera cases to camera batteries for the adventure filmmakers among you.
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