In this post I’ll give you an insight in how to wax and tune a snowboard. I wax and tune my own and other snowboards this way. This method is based on the method of Demon professionals since I exclusively use the materials and tuning kit of their brand.
- an old cloth
- (universal) wax
- plastic scraper
- nylon brush
- tuning stone
After approximately 5 days of snowboarding, you should wax and egde your snowboard again. This way no doubt you will slide easily on the snow. It also gives you a good grip on the slopes, especially on the icy parts. If your snowboard looks like the one below, it could really use some new wax and tuning!
First you do the tuning, then the waxing
When you start, first tune your snowboard before you start waxing! You should look at the waxing as the finishing touch, all the rough work (repair work and tuning) comes first. With Demon’s edge tuner you will always tune the sides in a 90 degrees angle. This is important to get real scharp sides so you’ll have good grip.
Always tune the sides in the direction you ride your snowboard. From the front to the back. Put your snowboard upside down (or put it in the Demon ski/snow Vise) and press the edge-tuner (or file) firmly on the board. Tune one side of your board by pulling the edge tuner in three long strokes from the front to the end. Only tune the straight sides of the board. You don’t need to sharpen the round parts because they don’t touch the ground.
Then you turn the snowboard to its side, so you can tune the side of the edge as well. After that, tune the other side of the board as well on the bottom side and side egde.
You need sharp edges, but not all the way round!
After that’s done, check if there are any sharp splints on the sides due to the tuning. With the tuning stone you can softly remove these. Stop tuning a few centimeters before the curvature, otherwise the snowboard will become to agressive in the snow. It might cut the snow when you try to make a turn, what makes it difficult for you to turn smoothly. If you have sharpen the board too far in the curvature, with the tuning stone you can make the sides blunt again.
When you feel the sides are real sharp, you’re done! If you discover deep scratches in the base of the board, you should repair those before you start waxing. Read more about repairing scratches in my other blogpost!
Step two: apply the wax
Okay let’s start waxing. Always take off the bindings of the snowboard, so there can be no unevenness in the base caused by screws.
First clean the base with the Demon basecleaner to ensure there is no dirt or old wax left on it. Spray the basecleaner on the base and rub the board with an old cloth.
Heaten up your iron to 140-160 degrees celcius. I usually keep it upside down, so the point of the iron is downwards. Softly press the wax against the iron and it will start to melt instantly. Drip the wax evenly on the board. As you can see on the left picture below, I drip the wax snake-wise on the board. After a few times, you know just how much wax you need to apply. If you didn’t put enough wax on, your iron feels a bit sticky on the board. In the case of too much wax, the wax will drip down the sides of the board on your tabel or floor.
Important: if the wax is smoking a lot, your iron is too hot! You don’t want to burn the wax!
Be sure the snowboard is not fixed in a vise when you’re waxing. Because of the heath, the snowboard can warp when it’s fixed!
Calmly iron the wax into the snowboard. Feel with your other hand on the other side of the board. If you feel the warmth coming through, you’re doing a good job. That means, the structure of the base comes ‘open’ because of the heath, and is taking up the wax. Never let the iron stand still on one place, because you will burn the base. Just constantly move the iron around.
As soon as the wax is evenly spread out on the snowboard and the board feels warm from front to end, the waxing is done. The snowboard and the wax now need to cool down, what takes at least four hours. I usually let it cool down over the night. If the snowboard gets scraped off when it’s still warm, you will pull out the wax out of the structure of the base. This can be good if you want to clean up the base, but for normal waxing you don’t want this. You can see on the following picture how your snowboard will look like after applying the wax:
You should, directly after waxing, scrape off the sides of the board with the little corner of the scraper. This makes scraping the board tommorrow a bit easier. Some people say that the wax can shut off the board too much. When there is some moist between the base and the edges, the edges can start to rust. But actually I am not quite sure if this will happen in 4 hours/ one night.
Last step: scrape off the wax
The snowboard is cooled down, now you can scrape the surplus wax off with the plastic scraper. Pull the scraper in an angle of 45 degrees, or smaller, towards you. This way the scraper scrapes off the wax with its sharp side. You need to put some power in this scrape job!
When you do this for the first time, you might think you’re scraping off all the wax! But the wax is ironed in the board, all the wax that sits on top of the base is surplus. This job is also a bit messy and the scraped off wax tends to be static. That’s why you better do this outside. You’re done if there is no more wax coming off and the board feels real smooth again.
The last thing you need to do is take your nylon brush or polish-pad and run it down the base, front to end. With this, you make some structure in the new wax. Because of this structure it’s easier for the water in the snow to pass. If you don’t do this, the snowboard can feel sticky on the snow the first runs. Wipe off all the loose wax with an old cloth and you’re done!
Good luck waxing for the first time!