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How to Wax a Snowboard

Wondering how to wax a snowboard? You’ve come to the right place! Waxing your snowboard is an essential part of the sport and with a little practice, it’ll be as easy and therapeutic as linking turns. A properly waxed snowboard is faster, better protected against base damage, and gives you a fighting chance at getting across long traverses.

The kind of base your board has—sintered or extruded—determines how often you need to wax, but as a general rule, there’s no such thing as waxing too often. You can tell your board needs a wax when there are visible white “hairs” in the P-Tex. We’re going to focus on how to hot wax a snowboard in this guide and the equipment this method requires, which we’ll get into below.

Snowboard Waxing Equipment List:

You’ll want to make sure that you have a good workspace to wax your snowboard - a garage floor is better than carpet or nice hardwood floors since wax drips and shavings will inevitably end up spattering the ground around your workstation.

You will need something supportive to place your snowboard on, too. This could vary from a workbench, to sawhorses, to specific snowboard tuning vises. Whatever system you choose, don’t be afraid to remove the bindings if they are getting in the way.

Next, you’ll want to gather all of your tools. This includes:
If you plan on waxing at home often, a wax-specific iron is a worthwhile investment because it is calibrated in degrees rather than by fabric type and will hold temperatures more consistently.

A clothing iron will do fine in a pinch though, as long as you don’t plan on using it on clothing again. If using a clothing iron, set it in the lower “wool” setting to avoid damaging your base with excess heat. Most manufacturers put temperature recommendations on their packages too.

What Wax to Use

You’ll need a hard wax to hot wax your snowboard, which comes in a range of temperatures. These ranges are based on temperature, moisture levels, and other factors. Choose the wax that’s designed for the temperatures where you’ll be riding for the best results, or choose an all-temperature wax for the most versatility and flexibility.

How to Wax

melting snowboard wax

  1. Place your board on your workstation with the base facing upward. If you need to do any tuning to your board (like sharpening edges or ptex repairs), do it beforeyou start waxing.
  2. Wipe your base down with a clean cloth and apply base cleaner if you need to remove grime or oil. Give the base cleaner time to dry before moving on.
  3. Preheat your iron to the recommended temperature. If your wax doesn’t specify a temperature, 260 degrees or the 'Wool' setting is a safe bet.
  4. Once the iron is warm, hold the wax against the bottom of the iron and add drips every few inches along the length of the base — tip to tail. The goal is to use the least amount of wax to cover the entire base, but it will take practice to get there.
  5. Use the iron to spread the wax evenly across your base. Don’t leave the iron on any one spot for too long, especially if you’re near the inserts. A good rule of thumb to remember is to move the iron along at 2-3" per second.
  6. Make a second pass afterward to make sure the entire base is covered, and touch up any bare spots.
  7. Let the wax cool for 20 to 30 minutes until it’s cool to the touch.

iron on snowboard wax

How to Scrape

scraping snowboard wax
The next step is scraping the excess wax off. We recommend using a plastic scraper because metal ones can gouge the base. Your scraper should also be sharp and smooth enough to cut through the wax layer easily.

Move from tip to tail with the long edge of the scraper angled at 45 degrees. Scrape until only a very thin layer of wax remains. You can use the narrow edge of the scraper to better remove wax from the sides and edges of your board — some scrapers even have a little notch specifically for clearing the edges.

NOTE:Underscraping is the most common mistake people make when waxing their snowboard at home.

How to Brush

brushing snowboard wax
Although brushing isn’t an essential step when it comes to waxing a snowboard, it will certainly help you to get the best glide and performance.

Use your brushes to expose the base structure and further remove excess wax. Start with a coarse nylon brush and run it from tip to tail in 6-10" strokes. You want to see small white flecks as you go, so you may need to apply more pressure if you don’t. Less wax should come off as you brush more. Follow this with a finer nylon or horsehair brush to finish.

NOTE:You can’t overbrush, but five minutes should be enough to get a uniform, shiny base that’s ready to rip.

How Often To Wax Your Snowboard?

Now that you know how to wax your snowboard, you're probably wondering how often you need to re-apply wax. Like we said before, you really can't wax too often but the optimal frequency depends on several factors.

In general, sintered bases need to be waxed more often than extruded bases because they shed more wax as you ride. You'll notice your board slowing down after just a few days and the base will start to look dry. Dry bases are pretty easy to notice - look for "hairs" in the P-tex and obvious white patches. 

Temperature variations are another consideration. Because different waxes are made for different snow temperatures, it's best to wax again if there is a large temperature fluctuation. 

Ultimately, there's no set amount of time or a definitive number of ride intervals when it comes to waxing. Some snowboarders re-wax their boards every time they go to the mountain, while others only wax once per season...

For most snowboarders, waxing again after 3-5 days of riding is a good rule of thumb. If you're in doubt, take a look at your bases; if they look "dry" like the photo below, you'll most certainly benefit from a fresh wax.

dry snowboard in need of wax
Want to get your gear back in tip-top shape and sliding like new? Visit one of our stores where our professional ski and snowboard techs can tune, wax, mount or repair your trusty snow sliders.
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