Sharp edges are awesome. If you’re just learning how to snowboard, you might not realize that your board needs to be tuned up from time to time. While the process isn’t complicated or expensive, it is important. As such, all boarders should know how to upkeep their gear in order to get the best possible performance. While you can ride with dull edges, you’ll have a much better experience if you keep them sharp.
The Importance of Sharp Edges
When boarding, sharp edges are key because they allow you to grip and bite into the slippery snow. Without them, you would have no way to control your board. The thin pieces of metal may not seem like much, but they play a crucial role in how you are able to maintain control, turn, carve, and maneuver while you’re out on the slopes.
Just like it’s hard to cut with a dull knife, dull edges result in your board not being able to cut into the snow. That can lead to poor performance and control. It can be dangerous as well. The sharper you can keep your edges, the better time you will have on the snow. It’s important to keep an eye on your edges and sharpen them up from time to time.
When to Sharpen Snowboard Edges
A brand new board should have sharp edges, but they do dull over time. Snow and ice cause friction, which then slowly grinds away at your board. Cold weather and moisture can also cause edges to become less sharp. You might even hit a rock or a rail. That can also knock parts of your board out of the sharp zone.
It’s a good idea to get your board tuned up at the beginning of the season. That typically involves waxing and sharpening your edges. If you ride a lot, it’s a good idea to sharpen your edges at least once every couple of weeks. You can tell when your edges need to be sharpened by looking at them or touching them. If they look haggard or have rounded out, they need to be sharpened. If you run your finger across them and don’t feel sharp, they aren’t.
How to Sharpen Snowboard Edges
Before you sharpen your edges, you need the proper tools. In order to do a good job, you need the following:
- An edge file with angle guide
- A screwdriver to take off your bindings
- Wax, a wax iron, and scraper (if you want to wax your board)
- A marker
If you have all of the above tools, you can get started. If you don’t, there are a lot of different snowboard tuning kits out there that you can purchase online. Just note that you don’t need an extremely strong file to do a good job. As long as you get the angle right and never sharper the tip and tail, you’ll be fine.
Follow these steps to sharpen the edges on your snowboard.
- Set up a good workstation on a sturdy bench or table
- Take the bindings off of your snowboard
- Lay board base up on your working surface
- Adjust your guide to the proper angle. Most people use 90 degrees, but you may have a personal preference where you change that up and go a few degrees less.
- Use the marker to draw a light line across the edge of your board. This will be used as a guide to help you know which areas are sharp and where you need to sharpen again.
- Position the sharpener so it’s flat on the edge and the angle guide is in the proper place. You use long motions from the tip to the tail of the board. You don’t want to go back-and-forth, as that can damage the edge.
- Gently press down on the file and make long, smooth motions to begin sharpening the edges
- Keep sharpening in the same area until the marker line you drew is no longer visible
- Reposition the file further up on the edge and repeat steps 6 through 8
- Repeat the process until both sides of your board have sharp edges
- Remember not to sharpen the tip and tail of your board
- Follow everything up with fresh wax if you need it
- Reattach your bindings
Why Sharpen Edges Yourself?
As you can see, anyone can sharpen the edges of their board. Once you have the necessary equipment, you can get the job done in a matter of minutes. Learning how to do it yourself can save you money because you won’t have to go to the shop every time you need sharp edges. It also makes your riding much easier and a lot more fun.
Sharp edges on your snowboard make a world of difference. Once you learn how to sharpen them up, you’ll never need to deal with dull ones again. It’s an easy task that anyone can do with the right tools. I would recommend learning how to do it if you’re an active rider who enjoys getting out as much as you can. Plus, it’s an easy way to save some money in the long run.
Have you ever sharpened your edges? What type of file did you use? Let us know in the comments below!