Do You Need to Wax a New Snowboard?

Wax helps your snowboard slide on the snow. Without wax, you won’t see quality performance out of your board, and that can slow you down and ruin an otherwise great day on the mountain. 

I’m an avid snowboarder, and I’ve been riding for decades. I’m also a certified snowboarding instructor who gets many questions from my students, and frequently, these have to do with wax. 

In this post, I’ll address the question of if you need to wax a new snowboard and highlight some of the reasons why the substance is so important. 

Time to bust out the wax and get after it.

Quick Answer

Generally, a new snowboard should be ready to ride as soon as you buy it. You don’t need to wax it because the factory always waxes their product before selling them to consumers. 

However, you might want to wax a new board if you have particular wax preferences regarding specific temperatures or variety of products. If the wax appears to be dried out, a fresh coat can improve performance.

Why You Don’t Need to Wax a New Snowboard

Almost every new snowboard you’ll get your hands on should be ready for action right off of the shelf. The manufacturer will put a coat of wax on the board and ensure that the edges are sharp. 

This means that you don’t need to do anything to the board most of the time to get it ready, other than mounting bindings. If you are a beginner and don’t have a preference for what kind of wax is on your board, you can strap on a new snowboard and be ready for action. 

Related Reading: How to Wax a Snowboard With or Without Iron

Why You Need to Wax a New Snowboard

While new boards most likely don’t need wax, there are a few situations where you might want to go ahead and give them a fresh coat. Because wax is such an essential part of good performance, some riders simply don’t trust the wax the manufacturer puts on.

If you have a specific type of wax you like to use or know that you will be riding in a certain kind of condition requiring special wax, you’ll probably want to put a fresh coat of wax on your new board before riding it. 

Some riders also just prefer to have fresh wax. You don’t always know how long the board has been sitting in a shop or how many people have touched it. A fresh coat of wax can be a fun part of getting your board ready for its maiden voyage. 

Also Read: How Often to Wax a Snowboard

Additional Considerations

Sometimes wax can dry out in the snowboard shop, even if the board hasn’t been used. This can be caused by warm or dry climate conditions or because a subpar wax was put on the board. You’ll want to put on fresh wax for sure if it looks too dry. 

You can tell if a base is dried out by looking closely at it. Flip the board upside down and check for any discoloration or foggy patches in the base. These are both good indicators that the wax is dry, and you’ll want to put on a fresh coat before riding it. 

Most shops will put on a fresh coat of wax for you when you buy a new board. They might not advertise this fact, so be sure to ask. I always like to get a fresh coat of wax regardless of how it looks, so I always ask the guys at the shop for it.


Here are some quick answers to a few common questions relating to waxing a new snowboard and wax in general. 

Is it necessary to wax a new snowboard?

Most snowboards will come waxed from the factory, which means you might not need to wax them before you ride them. Some wax jobs are not temperature specific, and you might need to wax a new board to match the conditions you’ll be riding in. 

How do you prepare a new snowboard?

Getting a new snowboard is extremely exciting, but you’ll have a little bit of prep work to get started. Make sure it has wax that works with the temperature snow you’re riding in, and get your bindings mounted at the correct angles before you ride. 

What happens if you don’t wax your snowboard?

If you don’t wax your snowboard, the first thing you’ll notice is that it won’t slide on the snow as well. You’ll experience dragging and can get hung up in the snow. It can also cause damage to your board because wax provides a protective layer to prevent rubbing and friction on the base. 

Do you need to get a new snowboard sharpened? 

Usually, no. But you should always check to make sure that a new board is sharp before you take it out on the mountain. You can check to make sure the board is sharp by carefully touching it or inspecting it closely to see if you notice an edge. 

Final Thoughts

Getting a new snowboard is one of the most exciting things you can do off the mountain. But making sure it is properly waxed is critical to getting the most performance out of your board. 

While you don’t always need to wax a new snowboard before you ride it, it’s never a bad idea to go ahead and put on a fresh coat, so you know the variety and condition of wax. 

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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