Snowboard Repair & Maintenance
Inevitably frequent use of your Snowboard will result in damage to the Snowboard's base and edges ranging from small scratches to major cuts. To minimize this, you should take time to keep your board in good condition. In this guide are some Snowboard Tuning Instructions and helpful Snowboard Tuning Tips.
HOME TUNING OR BOARD SHOPS
So you are on your annual trip to get some snow and mountain air, you arrive at your chalet or hotel and you accept the local ski shops kind offer to 'tune' your snowboard all ready for your first days riding. Unless you board is in such a state that it needs a base grind, a quick wax and tune is a simple DIY job, so lets see what you get for your 20 tune up!...
Ideally to maintain a board in optimum riding condition hot wax should be applied to the base and edges sharpened after every three to five days (with a full base grind perhaps ten to fifteen).
Waxing and edging can easily be done at home or, preferably, as a therapeutic apres ski activity in the basement of a cosy holiday chalet.
You will need the following basic items for your tuning kit.
- Base cleaner
- P-Tex Candles
- Waxing iron
- Wax - for most riders a good all temperature wax is usually fine
- Wax Scraper
- Structure Base brush
- Edging tool
- Pocket stone
- Some soft cloths
Boardology sell all tuning items as well as mini or full tuning kits - click here for our complete range of Tuning Products
If you are intending undertaking this activity often it is worthwhile investing in a snowboard vice but they are quite expensive and unless you are lucky enough to be out on the slopes for a season you are unlikely to be packing one in your suitcase. Providing you have somewhere that will hold your board securely while you tune you should be OK, it is well worth spending a few minutes rigging something up.
Give the base a good clean with a soft cloth and your chosen base cleaner, this will remove most of the grime - you don't want to iron this back into the board when adding your wax.
- Wipe all the dirt off the surface with a soft cloth
- Spray or wipe on the cleaner and leave it to dissolve the grime and bring impurities to the surface for about 5-10 minutes
- Wipe off with a soft cloth
I like to do this a couple of times to be sure I have covered the whole board.
If you have small gouges in your Snowboard surface you can repair those using a P-Tex candle, larger gouges should be repaired by the experts.
- Light one end of the P-Tex candle and let drops of P-Tex into the gouges.
- Let the board and the P-Tex cool down
- Using a scraper, scrape off the excess P-Tex and smoothen the surface.
APPLYING THE WAX
Next apply your wax:
1. Hold your block of wax against the iron (wool setting), the wax will start to melt,
2. Use the point of the iron to drip a liberal trail of wax onto the board. You need to have enough wax to cover the board when you iron it in, and it does not hurt to have too much
3. Now slowly iron the wax into the base. The idea here is to heat the base enough to allow it to soak up the wax but not enough to damage it (be careful in the area of the inserts as too much heat can cause these to expand and damage the board). Again, a medium heat (wool setting) works well and just keep the iron moving over the board, do not leave in one place for too long.
4. Once the board has been covered in wax leave it to cool for half an hour or so.
|5. The purpose of waxing is to get the base of the snowboard to absorb the wax and not leave too much on the surface. Grab your wax scraper and scrape off all the excess wax buy scraping along the length of the board - do not be afraid to scrape off as much as you can.|
|6. Next use your base brush in long strokes from nose to tail to give the wax left on the surface a fine-ridged structure. This helps to reduce surface tension and stops the board from sticking to the snow.|| |
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|HERE'S A VIDEO CLIP FROM DEMON SNOW ON HOW TO WAX YOUR BOARD|| |
A snowboard with sharp edges will help you in turns, improving your general grip and edge control on different snow surfaces. Without regular maintenance the edges of your snowboard will start to wear, become rounded and burred.
Another of those 'black arts' which is actually relatively straightforward if carried out regularly is Edge Maintenance, small imperfections are easier to fix! So after every ride check your board for damage and take action where appropriate.
Any damage not removed by following this process should be referred to your friendly local snowboard shop for advice and repair.
Use a carborundum or diamond stone and drag it from the Snowboard's tip to the tail of the edge. Repeat the movement until all nicks and burrs are gone and the edges are smooth again.
Base Edge Tuning
Tuning edges is best done with a file (special edge tuners are available they make the job a little easier and also give a little more protection to the base of your board). Start off with the base edge of the Snowboard. Still, take care with filing. Make sure not to file the base of the board and only file as little as needed.
Side Edge Tuning
After filing the base, you can file the side edges. Use a small file so you won't have a hard time filing the sidecut of your Snowboard. Again special edge tuners will make it easier to determine the angle that you are filing.
TIP - Use permanent marker along the edge before you start so that you can see where you have been.
When it comes to tuning your edges you have a few options:
- Base edge angle is 0, side edge angle is 90 degrees. Most boards come from the shop with these angles.
- Base edge angle is 0, side edge angle is smaller than 90 degrees. This gives you a sharper side edge, this allows you to increase your grip on turns in snow. Handy for icy conditions.
- Base edge angle is larger than 0 degrees, side edge angle is 90 degrees. This effectively 'dulls' your side edge decreasing your grip but increasing your boards grip. It will also make it easier to make turns.
- Base edge angle is larger than 0 degrees, side edge angle smaller than 90 degrees. By tuning both edges you can actually maintain the 90 degree in your edge but with a repositioning. Some people find that in this way, they can profit from both effects: more speed and easier turns.
Beginners and even intermediate riders profit most from keeping their edges the way they got them when they bought the Snowboard. Don't do any major changes in the angles of your edges unless you're certain you know what you are doing.
You will want to detune the tip and tail edges beyond the effective edge. Detuning the tip and tail edges will prevent your Snowboard from catching too early in turns. You can tell if your board needs to be detuned by running the back of your nail across the edge of the board. If you see any of your nail on the edge your edges need to b de-tuned. Using a metal file run it at a 45 degree angle repeatedly on the contact points of the board until the edges become dull.
Smoothing the Edges
Once all the basic deburring and edge tuning and detuning has been done, you can use a whetstone to smoothen out all the edges.
HERE'S A YOUTUBE EDGE TUNING GUIDE FROM DEMON SNOW