Regardless if you’re a novice snowboarder or have been shreddin’ the gnar for years, you probably know how important maintaining your snowboard is. That’s where waxing your snowboard comes in. Not only does proper waxing help you ride the mountain easier, but it also prolongs the life of your board and prevents serious damage to you and the base. So just how often should you wax your snowboard?
If you think you’re due for some maintenance, you may be wondering how often you should apply wax, how to tell if your snowboard needs waxing, and if you can do it on your own. Well, we’re here to help answer those questions. Most people recommend that you wax your snowboard every two to six times you’re on the mountain. Continue reading to find out why.
How to determine that your snowboard needs waxing
If you think that you’re in need of a wax, you can look for a few common signs on your snowboard:
- The base of the snowboard will look dry. The edges might appear to be discolored. This is most commonly seen in black snowboards, as the edges will turn white as they dry out.
- If you’re still not 100% sure after looking, you can actually feel the bottom of the snowboard to determine if it needs waxed. Use your fingernail to lightly scratch the bottom of the snowboard. If the board has adequate wax, you should be able to see a line from your nail. If you don’t see any marks, it’s time to add some wax.
- If you’re coming to the end of a season, it’s a good idea to do one last wax. An unwaxed board is prone to drying out over the summer, requiring more maintenance before the next season.
Different conditions that impact waxing
When it comes to waxing it depends on a few factors. When planning a waxing routine, think about how your base was constructed, how often you use the snowboard, the typical conditions you ride in, and how you want the snowboard to perform.
The base of your board
There are two main types of snowboard bases—sintered and extruded. They vary in their waxing needs.
- Sintered bases typically need more waxing. The base is porous (comes with a lot of little holes) so it absorbs wax. Because it holds more wax, these types of bases will ride much faster than extruded bases and will hold wax for longer.
- If you neglect regular waxing, your sintered base will ride much slower, even slower than an extruded base.
- Extruded bases will need to be rewaxed more often, as they don’t have the porous holes to absorb the wax.
The typical riding conditions
Another factor that impacts how often you’ll need to wax is the conditions. Keep in mind that the wax serves as a layer of protection for your board. If you’re exposed to elements that will damage that, you’ll want more wax.
- Hard and icy conditions will require more wax.
- Regularly hitting exposed roots, rocks, and rough terrain will require more wax.
- Hotter days mean that the wax will wear down quicker, and you’ll need to wax more regularly.
- Nice soft powder will require less waxing.
How often your board is in use
This probably comes as common sense, but if you’re snowboarding more often then you will need to apply wax more often. Normal everyday riding will start to wear away some of the wax. If you’re riding more often or going for longer sessions, you’ll need to wax your board more regularly.
How fast you want your snowboard to be
Performance of your snowboard is also influenced by waxing. Depending on how skilled you are and what your performance goals are, you may want to consider a different waxing routine.
- Generally speaking, additional wax will allow your snowboard to glide better—which means improved speed.
- Especially in flat terrain, a freshly waxed board will have improved speed and allow you to get through parts you’d formerly have to walk through.
So how often should you wax your snowboard?
So, you know how to look for signs that your snowboard needs wax. It could be issues with speed and performance, a sticky-feeling in the snow, or a base that appears dry or chalky. Just how often is this exactly? Most snowboarders recommend that you wax every two to six times that you go riding—depending on other factors and how much speed you’re after.
DIY waxing vs hiring a professional
With the right tools, skills, and enough time, you can easily wax your own board. You can easily buy a cheap iron, look for budget wax, and follow an online guide. If you’re an avid snowboarder, you can invest in a better iron and wax more suited to your needs. Rub-on wax, hot wax, and high-performance wax can be sourced online or from your local shop. There are a lot of resources available on the internet to help you wax any base.
If you’re new to snowboarding, or simply don’t have the time, why not let a local ski shop handle the job? Any ski shop tech will have the know-how to wax your board to meet your needs, plus they’ll have all the tools and a range of waxes available for you. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Get ready to glide
Now that you know how to check if your snowboard needs waxed as well as how often you need to apply wax, you’re ready to hit the slopes! Based on your weather and snow conditions, the type of base you have, and your performance goals you’ll want to wax your snowboard every two to six times you snowboard. You can either learn how to wax your board yourself, or check out a local ski shop to have them do it for you. Get ready to glide by all of your snowboarding friends with your smooth and freshly-waxed board!