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A Beginner’s Guide on How to Wax a Snowboard

With snow season in full swing, you're likely pulling out your gear, taking stock of what you need for this winter, and thinking about putting a fresh coat of wax on your snowboard or skis. If you've never done this before, you're likely curious about how to wax a snowboard. Don't fear! It's not as complicated as you might think and this step-by-step guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Difficulty

Moderate

What You Need

  • Snowboard

  • Snowboard Wax

  • Waxing Iron

  • Scraper

  • Brush

  • Workbench

Once you've got your snowboard waxed, you'll be one step closer to being ready for the slopes. Check out our other tips on getting ready for ski season and read through a previous roundup of our favorite winter gear.

how to wax a snowboard

Can I Wax My Snowboard Myself?

Yes, you absolutely can wax your own snowboard instead of sending it off to the shop. Of course, you will need to purchase the equipment, which is available in a wax kit. While it's not required, a workbench may provide you with some stability and level workspace.

How Often to Wax a Snowboard?

As you snowboard, the wax applied to the board will be rubbed off. So it makes sense that the more often you snowboard the more often you'll need to wax it. The general rule of thumb is that you should wax your snowboard everything 3-4 days of riding. If you're a more aggressive rider putting in long hours, that can be shortened to 2-3 days.

So how often you wax your board will really depend on how often you go snowboarding. Makes sense, right? Only going snowboarding a few times this season? Wax your board at the start of the season and you'll probably be set until next season. If you get out once a week and cruise around for a few hours, you might be fine waxing your board once a month. If you're out multiple days every weekend you might need to wave bi-monthly or maybe even once a week.

Other factors to consider are the terrain (icy terrain removes wax more quickly than powder) and how fast you want to go. Waxing your board more often will allow you to maintain speed on the snow.

Check out the video below for a few tips on how to tell when it's time to wax your snowboard:

Is It Hard to Wax a Snowboard?

No, not particularly. You'll get better (and quicker) at it over time, as well. There is some up-front cost and learning that goes into it, though. If you only go snowboarding occasionally it may not be worth it to buy a wax kit and wax your board yourself. If you only plan to go out 3-4 times this season, taking your board to your local ski shop can be easier than waxing your board yourself.

But if you're planning to go snowboarding once a week, or more than that, getting a kit to wax your board at home will save you time and money in the long run.

How Do You Wax a Snowboard for Beginners?

A picture, or in this case a video, is sometimes far more helpful in learning how to do something than reading about it. Check out this video from REI that'll walk you through the snowboard waxing process.

How to Wax a Snowboard at Home?

Step 1: Clean off any visible dirt and debris from the base (or underside) of your snowboard with a brush or a rag. Many people with either loosen or remove their bindings, as well, as your board will expand with the heat of the iron in Step 4.

Step 2: Further clean the base of your board by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol or base cleaner.

Step 3: Heat up your tuning iron and melt wax over your board. Make sure the iron isn't smoking. If it is, turn it down. Hold the wax and iron a few inches above your board and allow the wax to fall in drops. You can be as creative as you want with the pattern, but the goal is to coat the board with drops of wax.

Step 4: Set aside your wax and move the iron slowly over the base of the board. The drops of wax will melt as you move the iron. The goal here is to coat the entire bottom of your board with the melted wax.

Step 5: Using a scraper (included in tuning kits), scrape off excess wax. Scrape from the front to the back of the board. You really can't scrape off too much wax. While it might seem counterintuitive to scrape off all the wax you've just applied, the point of the wax is to fill the pores in the base of the board giving you a smoother, faster glide. Don't worry, you won't remove the wax in the pores with your scraper.

How to Hot Wax a Snowboard

The process above (both the video and in the above section) is for hot waxing a snowboard. Generally hot waxing is going to give you the best result. There are waxes that can be applied cold at the resort, but these are not generally sufficient to get your snowboard back to its prime condition. These types of waxes can be helpful in a pinch if you hit a rock or a tree and scrape off a bunch of wax accidentally.

Snowboard Wax Kits

If you're just getting started with waxing your snowboard a wax kit is a great way to go. Here are a few popular options.

how to wax a snowboard eco kit

MountainFLOW Eco-wax Green Circle Kit

This is a great introductory wax kit. Iron, wax, scraper. All the basics, no-frills. It doesn't cost a ton so if you find you don't use it that much or find you'd rather have the shop wax your board, you're not on the hook for a really expensive kit.

 

how to wax a snowboard dakine super tune kit

Dakine Super Tune Tuning Kit

Another great option, slightly more expensive than the MountainFLOW kit, but with some added goodies. A file, scotch brite, and a pocket stone round out this deluxe kit that'll keep you (and your board) happy all season.

Snowboard Wax

When choosing which wax to use (or evaluating which wax you have) you'll differentiate between all-temperature wax, cold, cool, or warm. All-temperature wax is great for snowboarders who expect to be out all season long, in the cold of winter, and the warmth of spring. If you just want to get one wax, an all-temp wax can be the way to go. Most kits will come with an all-temp wax.

If you want to get the best wax possible, and therefore the best ride possible, you can invest in different types of wax that'll perform better in different temperatures. Warm wax is best for, you guessed it, warmer days (high 20's low 30's), cool wax works well in the 20's, and cold wax works well in the low 20's and below. Note that those numbers refer to degrees Fahrenheit.

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