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How to Wax a Snowboard

Knowing how to maintain a snowboard will keep the boarding smooth.

How to Wax a Snowboard

When it comes to snowboards, waxing isn't just for the pros. Regular waxing will extend the life of your board and let you get the most out of it on the slopes even if you're not necessarily racing down at breakneck speed. One of the first things that any prospective snowboarder should learn is how to wax a snowboard.

To wax your snowboard, you'll need these supplies:

  • Wax
  • Iron (either a specialized waxing iron or a junk clothes iron)
  • Plastic scrapper
  • Well-ventilated work space

Step 1: Choose Your Wax

There are many varieties of snowboard wax available. Most of the time, snowboarders use solid wax that comes in bar form. Some solid waxes are designed for optimal operation at specific temperatures, while others are universal, intended to work fairly well at all temperatures.

There are also liquid waxes that can be applied much more easily than solid wax, but they come off more easily too and can't really offer the same benefits as regular wax.

Step 2: Clean the Base

Before you actually start waxing, make sure the base of your snowboard is clean. Often you can just wipe it off with a clean paper towel or rag; occasionally, you may need to use a little rubbing alcohol on the rag as a solvent.

Liquid base cleaners are available, but they should be used with caution. They can dry out the base, and theyr'e not really necessary unless your board is thoroughly trashed.

Step 3: Get to Waxin'

Place your snowboard upside down on a workbench or a pair of chairs, boxes or sawhorses. Make sure you're working on a surface that you won't mind getting a little hot wax on.

Heat the iron enough to melt the wax, but not so hot that the wax smokes. Hold the flat surface of the iron perpendicular above the board and press the bar of wax against it, dripping the wax onto the board and moving it from side to side, up and down the length of the board. Your goal is get enough wax on the board to form a thin, even coating.

Once there's enough wax on the board, use the iron to spread it into a thin layer over the entire base. Keep the iron slowly and constantly moving so that the board doesn't get too hot in any one place. If the wax begins to smoke, turn down the temperature of the iron.

Step 4: Scrape the Board

Let the board cool until the wax dries completely. Don't let the board cool outside, because that can interfere with the base's absorption of the wax. Some experts recommend allowing 30 minutes for a board to dry, while others claim that overnight is best.

Once enough time has passed and you're ready to scrape the board, you can stand it against a wall or car bumper or balance it upside down on a pair of sawhorses. Then use a plastic scrapper to remove the excess wax that didn't absorb into the base. Lightly scrape from tip to tail in continuous, even strokes, removing thick patches while keeping a very thin, even coating of wax on the base.

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