Once you get your hands on a great snowboard, the mountain opens up and your excitement is sure to grow right alongside it. Spending plenty of time on the snow is the best way to improve your boarding abilities and how you can make the most of the sport.
That being said, even the best boards need some TLC from time to time to make sure they perform as intended. If you’ve only ever rented a board before, you might not be aware that they need a tune-up – just like your car – to stay in tip-top shape. There are several factors that go into that care, and an essential one is waxing. This article will break down the process and explain how often it needs to be done.
There is no exact answer to how often you should wax your board. Every model needs to be waxed to effectively slide on the snow, and they all need to be rewaxed after consistent use. However, the timing depends on how much you ride, what type of base you have, and the snow conditions. Everyone you ask will give you a different factor, so it’s always good to experiment and find out what works best for you.
If you’re an aggressive rider and demand peak performance at all times, you might consider waxing your board every 2 to 3 days.
For the average rider, let’s say someone who has intermediate skills and goes a couple of times a month, you can wax your board once a month.
If you’re a beginner and don’t frequent the mountain that often, you might only need to wax your board once a season.
The Importance of Wax
Wax provides a slippery layer between your board’s base and the snow to reduce friction and allow you to more easily slide. Obviously, the entire point of snowboarding is to slide on the snow. If your board is struggling to move downhill or you feel it dragging, it’s time for new wax.
Wax also provides a protective layer against natural obstacles you might hit while you’re riding such as rocks or dirt. It can improve the life of your board as well by letting you move more effectively. Wax is a crucial part of your snowboarding experience and a properly waxed board will let you enjoy the sport far better than a poorly waxed one.
Wax also lets you deal with changing snow conditions. Colder snow is more slippery than warmer snow. By changing the type of wax you use, you can better match shifting conditions. You don’t always need to re-wax if the temperature changes, but die-hard boarders will want to do everything they can to get the most out of their boards.
Other Factors that Affect How Often You Need to Wax
In addition to changing temperatures, there are some other factors you need to know about when deciding how often you should wax your board. As mentioned above, there is no right or wrong way. Rather, you’ll simply know by feel.
Snow Conditions – If you often ride in icy conditions, you’ll need to wax your board more often. Ice can quickly scrape off a good coat of wax, and if you regularly ride on lots of ice, I would say you should wax your board about once a week. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy lots of powder riding and are generally on softer snow, you will not need to wax your board nearly as often because the wax will stay in place.
Type of Base – There are two main snowboard base types: sintered and extruding. Sintered bases are made of a material that will naturally absorb more wax because they have tiny holes that soak it up. This means that sintered bases will need to be waxed more often than extruding ones.
Your Need for Speed – A freshly waxed board is always going to be faster than a board that has even a few days of use on its wax job. If you really want to get every little morsel of speed out of your board, you’re going to want to wax frequently. Maybe even every day that you’re out on the snow. That might be a bit over the top, in my opinion, but I have friends who wax their boards every night after they’re done riding so they always have a fresh coat.
How to Tell if Your Snowboard Needs to Be Waxed
The easiest way to tell if your board needs wax is by feel. If you think that you’re dragging or that your board is riding much slower on the snow, it’s likely you need new wax. If you’re just starting out with boarding, that can be hard to figure out. Luckily, there are a few other ways to see if you need new wax.
You can also run your fingers across the base of your board when it is dry. If you can scrape off a little bit of wax with your fingernails, you probably don’t need any additional wax. If you don’t see any wax scrape off, then applying some more wax tends to be a good idea. If you’re unsure if your board needs wax or not, you should probably go ahead and wax it. That will then help you in the future.
Waxing is an important element to your snowboarding experience, but there’s no exact answer to how often you should wax your board. By taking into account the factors mentioned above, you can get a general idea of how often you should wax-up based on your riding habits and the conditions you most often find yourself in. A freshly waxed board is always nice. When in doubt, get the iron out!
How often do you wax your snowboard? What’s your favorite type of wax? Let us know in the comments below!