You’ve just purchased a new snowboard and while board maintenance may not be foremost in your mind, it won’t be long before you’ll need to consider it. New boards are pre-waxed. So, although you won’t need to wax your board right away, keep in mind that waxing is a beneficial habit you’ll definitely want to pick up.
While it’s true that no one is required to wax their board, with all the advantages it provides, why wouldn’t you? A waxed board glides effortlessly over snow and allows you to run faster down the slopes. You’ll have added control which in turn lets you enjoy your slope runs even more. A waxed board also doesn’t get stuck on flat terrain as easily. As far as your board investment goes, regular waxing will protect your base, improving durability and prolonging the life of your board.
The base of your snowboard is made of polyethylene or p-tex. When p-tex is heated miniscule holes open in the material. Wax poured or rubbed into the holes creates a smooth surface that glides more efficiently over snow allowing you to travel faster. The wax also serves as a barrier and provides base protection.
Your p-tex base loses its ability to efficiently absorb wax if it’s not waxed regularly. This leaves your base exposed to the highly abrasive nature and friction of snow which will wear off your wax allowing your base to dry.
You can wax your board yourself or take it into your nearest shop and let them handle it. If you opt to wax your board you will need some room to spread out. So, if you live in an apartment or other cramped quarters, you might want to consider taking your board into the shop.
If you’ve decided to wax your board, gather your supplies and get started. While every wax manufacturer will say their wax is the best, any wax is better than no wax. Slight differences in wax compounds may make a difference if you’re waxing for racing or training, but if you’re just hitting the slopes for fun, any wax will serve the purpose just fine.
As with many things, getting the feel for waxing your board will take some practice. Allow yourself about an hour the first few times. Once you get the hang of it, it shouldn’t take more than thirty minutes.
If you don’t snowboard very often, plan to wax a couple times per season. For those who are out every weekend, it’s a good idea to wax monthly.