Snowboard Care and Maintenance Tips
7 Things to Check Before and After you Snowboard
We all know snowboarding is a blast. Having the right conditions and crew makes it even better. It's a sport that has no boundaries if your looking to progress and get better. When it comes to throwing tricks you can be as creative and stylish as you want to be. You can't do any of this without a snowboard and with that comes some basic knowledge you need when owning one. Here are some precautions and maintenance steps you should take before hitting the mountain.
1. Getting Waxed
If your board is new out of the box it probably has a thin layer of ready to ride wax. Cool that was easy! Not so fast this factory wax isn't considered the best and will quickly wear off. Maybe even your first couple runs. Without the proper wax on the base of your snowboard you will notice a sluggish ride down the mountain. When it comes to wax there are tons of products that work in different conditions. Be sure to check on temperatures, speed, and other factors before choosing your wax. You can also purchase portable rub on wax products that help if conditions change during the day, or you notice a decrease in speed. Taking the stick of wax you normally melt on the board will also work for a quick fix. Just rub the wax stick all over the base to get you through the day. After this a hot wax job is recommended to give your the proper setup. You can wax a snowboard at home, take it in to your local shop, or mountain to do the hot wax. Just call ahead to see how long it will take or if they have time. If you look online there are multiple at home kits that provide the wax, scraper, brush, edge tuner, and hot iron. If you want to really do it yourself without adding extra expenses a typical home iron would work. Just be sure not to use it on clothes ever again. You can also use a 90 degree edge or a piece of hard plastic that can act as the scraper. This is definitely not the best way to hot wax, but it can work. The amount of times you have to wax your board depends on a few factors like: how many times you ride, and what the conditions are. If you get out and snowboard 4 times a week then you will have to wax your board a couple times in the season. If the temperature changes the snow to slushy mushy then you might have to remove all your wax and go to a different type or ride without wax.
2. Visual Overview
This part doesn't take long to do and can save your snowboard and bindings from getting destroyed on the mountain. It can also save you from hurting yourself and others. Taking a few seconds to look over your board is really easy and just assures nothing happened to your board since the last use. If you see anything out of the ordinary fix it and make sure it won't cause further damage.
3. Tighten the Hardware
You don't have to do this every time you ride, but checking often is always good practice. Do this before you ride if you left your board and bindings attached
4. Tune the Edges
The edges on a snowboard come ready to ride. The edge runs the whole length of the board. Every board is slightly different so we will discuss just the basics of the snowboard edge. If you have a new board you can either ride it as is or dull some of the metal edge to keep you from catching an edge on the hill or mountain. This is especially helpful for first time snowboarders as catching an edge will be a given. If you detune and dull the tip and tail edges only you will have plenty of grip from the mid section of the board. You can do this at home with a tool provided in a snowboard maintenance kit or take the board to your local shop. Snowboard edge maintenance is something you might have to do once or twice a year. You won't need to do this as much as hot waxing the base. If you hit something such as a park feature or rock then be sure to check your edge to make sure there are no dents or burs. Your edges may have a little rust after pulling your board out of storage so it's always good to check before you ride.
5. Keep it Dry
Keeping your board and bindings dry after use and when not in use will keep everything working better. It helps to dry your board off when your don't for the day. Your snowboard and bindings have parts that can and will rust up without proper care. You can either pack a older bath towel in the car for afterwards or dry the board off when you arrive home. We like having a towel with so the snow doesn't melt off in your car.
6. Store It
Storing your board in a cool dry place during the off-season will also help prevent rust build up and possible damage. Be sure your board is dry and any extra debris is removed before you pack it away. You should also make sure that your snowboard is clear of any objects that could damage it. Leaning it against the wall is not recommended as the board has a higher probability of falling on the edge and damaging it.
7. Know Before You Go
Being aware of your surroundings and riding conditions is key. Riding on non groomed trails and urban settings is fun, but can wreak your snowboard quickly. Hitting rocks and unknown features can cause large gashes that may not be repairable. If the snow has melted down during the spring new threats may be on the trails so always be cautious. If you happen to ride over rocks and gash your board you may be able to repair with a P-Tex candle. As always if you are unsure check with a local snowboard shop.