Learning how to wax your snowboard or skis is a must for any serious rider. It will save you time and money, as well as ensure you have a well tuned board/skis every time. It is actually easier than you might think, just follow the steps in this guide and you will have a wax just as fast as the pros at your local snow shop.
Things You Will Need
These items can be found at your local Snow Shop:
Base Cleaner and an old rag
Brush or scuff pad
If you don't have this stuff I use and recommend the ONE BALL JAY SNOWBOARD WAXING IRON & HOT WAX KIT
Setting Up a Workstation for Your Snowboard or Skis
Specialty clamps are available to hold your board/skis while waxing. I like the Swix FX Snowboard Vise 2010, but a set of saw horses or two chairs work well too. If using saw horses or chairs it is a good idea to place an old towel under your board to protect the top sheet from scratches.
Cleaning the Base of Your Snowboard Or Skis
It is important to prep your base so the new wax really sticks. The easiest way to do this is to use a base cleaner. Follow the directions on the bottle, but you basically just spray it on and wipe it off with a rag. This will remove any dirt and grim your base picked up on the last trip to the mountain. This step is especially important in the spring when the snow is dirtiest.
Choosing a Snowboard or Ski Wax
You want to choose a wax that matches the conditions you expect to be riding in. For instance if it is January you will want a harder cold temperature wax, but if it is April you will want a softer warm temperature wax. Another good option is to go with an all-temperature wax that performs well in all conditions. An all-temperature wax is a good option if you want to keep things simple.
Hot Waxing Your Snowboard or Skis
Grab your wax iron. Choose a setting hot enough to melt the wax but not hot enough to cause the wax to smoke. The user manual for the iron will offer tips on this, but as a ruler cold temperature waxes will need a hotter iron to melt than warm temperature waxes. Touch the wax to the iron and let the wax drip onto the base creating an even pattern of wax drips. Space out your drips 1-2 inches apart. Now place the iron on your snowboard or ski base as if ironing a shirt and melt and spread the wax drips evenly. The idea is to get an even coat of wax across the base. Now let your board cool to room temperature (waiting 30 minutes is safe).
Scraping Your Snowboard or Skis
Now use the wax scraper to scrape the excess wax from the base. Keep the scrapper at a 45 degree angle to the base and use long smooth strokes for best results. You want to get most of the wax off during this step.
Brushing or Buffing Your Base
Now grab a base brush or a scuff pad. Use it to buff off any wax the scraper might have missed. Don't be afraid of rubbing off to much wax, the idea is to expose your base because that is what will make you ride faster.
Tips & Warnings-For the best ride wax your snowboard or skis before every trip to the mountain. This will keep you sliding fast, protect your base, and make you a better rider.
- Pick up an old clothing iron at a thrift store and it makes a cheap wax iron (just don't use it on clothes after melting wax with it).
- Make sure you open a window as the hot wax will create some fumes.