How to Detune a Snowboard

Detuning a snowboard can help prevent your board from catching on certain features in the park or around the mountain. It involves making sure the tip and tail of your board aren’t sharp and is always a good thing to check before you start riding. 

I’ve been a snowboarder for most of my life, and I love everything about the sport. I know how important it is to keep your snowboard in good shape for proper performance and how detuning plays a role in that. 

This post will show you how to detune a snowboard. I’ll explain what this is, why it’s important, and the steps you need to take to make it happen. 

Let’s get started. 

Should You Detune a Snowboard? 

Not every snowboard needs to be detuned. Many manufacturers will detune their boards at the factory before they are shipped to shops to be sold to riders. So there’s a pretty good chance that a snowboard you buy brand new will not need a detune. 

But it’s always a good thing to check before taking your board to the mountains. You don’t really want to ride a board with all of its edges sharpened because that can lead to poor performance and even be a safety issue. 

Always ask the sales rep at the shop if the board you are buying has been detuned or not. If it has, you don’t need to worry about it. If it hasn’t, you should get it detuned before taking it out in the snow. 

Why Detune Snowboard Edges? 

Detuning helps ensure that the entire length of a board’s edge isn’t sharp. You don’t need any part of the board that doesn’t make contact with the snow to be sharp. When the tip and tail of a snowboard are sharp, that can lead to problems. 

If a board isn’t detuned, you are more prone to catching edges and taking a fall. This is especially true in the terrain park, but it can happen all over the mountain. Detuning is an important safety consideration with that in mind. 

How to Detune a Snowboard

Here are the steps you need to follow to detune a snowboard. 

What you need: 

  • File and file guide (or edge file)
  • Diamond stone or gummy stone

Step 1: Prep Your Board

You don’t technically need a special setup to detune your board, but putting it on a vice or bench can help keep things stable as you go about detuning it. 

You can also hold your board upright, but make sure you have a good grip, so it doesn’t slide around as you are filing down the edges. 

It’s also good to take a slightly damp rag or cloth and wipe down the edges before you start detuning. This will get rid of any debris or dirt and help you file things down. 

Step 2: File the Tip and Tail

Your board’s tip and tail sections are the most critical areas you need to focus on when you are detuning. These areas don’t come into contact with the snow as often and aren’t as important for maintaining control. 

Take your file and set it to a regular angle. Run the file over the edge several times with pretty firm pressure to start to take down the edge. Then set the file to a different angle and repeat the process. 

You want to run through several different angles to smooth out the edges and make them soft or round rather than sharp. The entire idea behind detuning your board is to get rid of the sharpness of these areas. 

I usually start with the tip and then do the tail, but it really doesn’t matter which way you go about it. Just make sure to cover the entire round section of the tip and tail and get the whole edge filed down pretty well. 

Step 3: Fine Tune Time

After you have ground down the edges of the tip and tail a bit, you are going to want to run a softer gummy stone around to get rid of any burrs or spurs that have built up. This is a natural part of the filing process. 

Take your gummy stone and work around the length of the board that you just file down. If you see any burrs, hit them with the gummy stone and soften the edges up until they are as smooth as the rest of the edge.

Where Do You Detune a Snowboard Edge? 

You really only need to focus on detuning your snowboard’s tip and tail sections. These are the areas that you don’t want to catch because they are not in constant contact with the snow. 

So detuning along the rounded areas of your board that sit up off the snow as part of the board’s natural rocker are the areas you are shooting for. 

How Do You Detune a Snowboard for the Park? 

There isn’t that much difference between detuning a snowboard for the park from the steps mentioned above. Some riders like to file down their entire edges of the board a bit so that they don’t catch on a rail or other feature. 

But you still want to make sure that the tip and tail are fully detuned, as this will give you better park performance. 


Detuning your snowboard involves filing down the tip and tail sections of your board so that they are dull. This prevents the edges from digging or biting into the snow, and it’s an important thing for every snowboard. 

Most snowboards are detuned at the factory, but you always want to make sure that’s the case before you start riding.

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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