December 28, 2021

How to Tune a Snowboard

by Brad

Table of Contents

After a long time of riding your board, it’s time to service it. Tuning and waxing it keeps it in perfect condition, leaving it running smoothly during your next adventure. Besides, this process is relatively easy to do and is extremely rewarding. 

Of course, you have the option of taking your snowboard to your local board shop and having it serviced, though you’ll miss out on all the fun and the incredible bonding experience. Proper tuning will leave you sailing effortlessly and having the best time on the slopes. 

Today, we learn how to tune a snowboard through this comprehensive multi-step guide. 

Let’s get started!

Tunning Your Snowboard

When it comes to tuning your snowboard, there are three major steps involved: 

  • Base repair
  • Edgework
  • Waxing

So, how do you know that your snowboard requires tuning? The first step is to check for scrapes at the base. Typically, the large holes expose the midsection, and they have to be repaired by a board shop with the right tools and skills to install new base material. On the other hand, when it comes to gouges and minor scrapes, you can repair them at home.

Once you’re done repairing the small scrapes, you can now check for small burrs and rust on the edges. Again, like the small scrapes, minor rust work can be quickly done from home. However, it would be best to do the wide-ranging repairs and sharpening at the snowboard or ski shop. 

Lastly, wax your snowboard when you’re done tuning. It is recommended that a snowboard be waxed during the winter, even when you’re not fixing the base or edges. All the same, you cannot overdo it since the more it’s done, the swifter your snowboard drifts. 

1. Base Repair 

It’s inevitable, whether you’re a professional or casual rider, your snowboard’s base will be damaged, whether minorly or significantly. While significant scratches and gauges might require being repaired in the shop, you can fix most small damages from the comfort of your home with the proper tools. Repairing these minor blemishes on your board will facilitate a smoother, swift, and catch-free ride. 

Additionally, a base without blemishes can hinder water from diminishing your board’s structure. Here are the supplies you’ll require to perform the base repair on your snowboard:

  • Razorblade
  • P-Tex candle
  • Rags or towels
  • Lighter
  • Citrus-based cleaner 
  • Metallic edge scrapper 

Here’s how to do it. 

2. Edgework 

Base Repair for Snowboards

Next, you have to tune the edges, as this is vital for your board to remain fast and responsive when turning. Besides, it is an excellent way to personalize the way your snowboard rides. 

Each edge features two surfaces:

The base and side – the base is positioned evenly with the base material. Typically, the bevel base plays a significant role in making effortless turns. This is because it spreads through the bottom of your snowboard, resulting in a reduced side edge against the surface. 

So, once you bevel the side edge, you’ll be increasing the board’s grip, translating to it having a firmer hold on the snow when stopping and turning, offering you more control. 

Here are the items you’ll require to do the edge work on your snowboard:

  • Metallic file
  • Gummy stone 
  • Edge beveling tool

Click here for more information. 

3. Waxing

The final step to the snowboard tuning process is waxing. This is the most suitable way to shield it and maintain its superb performance. It is essential to do this after finishing the first two steps and in winter. What’s more, waxing after every three to four adventures is a recommended practice. 

The supplies you’ll require are:

  • Waxing iron
  • Clean towels 
  • Several brushes 
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic scraper 

So, here’s how to wax your snowboard.

Apply the wax 

Once you’ve finalized the base repair and edge work, the next thing to do is apply the wax. If you have a waxing iron featuring a temperature gauge, you should check the packet your wax came in since it has the recommended temperature. 

On the other hand, if you’re using the usual clothes iron, set a low temperature; this way, it melts the wax gradually. Take the wax and press it against the hot iron as you move it throughout your snowboard. Begin by trickling across the edge, as this is the part that needs waxing the most. 

Next, trickle it into an S-like shape to cover the core, drip it again through the midsection, and fill the big gaps. No matter how you apply it, make sure you give your snowboard an even coating; just don’t overdo it, as it will be tedious to remove it. 

Tune your snowboard by Waxing

Spreading the wax 

Using the iron, evenly spread the wax throughout your snowboard. Make small circular motions until one portion is evenly covered, then move to a different area. All the same, don’t concentrate on a given spot too much since your board may get damaged due to the excess heat. 

Give the wax some time to cool 

It is essential that you give your board and the wax some time to cool down before removing it. Thus, leave it for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. 

Scuff the snowboard

Just like edging, removing the wax from nose to tail is recommended. Using your plastic scraper, scuff along your snowboard’s length. Do this until you remove all the wax, leaving your snowboard smooth and level. Also, don’t forget to scrape the edges as they won’t adequately grasp the snow with wax on them. 

4. Finalize 

You can focus on the base and make it shine in this step, substantially boosting its performance. Take the scotch pad and work on your base to make it smoother, then use the nylon brush to even out the base once more, moving from the nose to the tail. This motion enhances your board’s structure, hindering suction and facilitating faster and smoother rides. 

Lastly, take a wet towel or rag and wipe the base. At this point, your snowboard should be as good as new, and the edges can once more handle the most challenging moves on any terrain. It’s now time to look at your work and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

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About the author 


Brad is a professional climber in the discipline of traditional climbing. He often jokes that he can get a book to read during the long climbs. Of course, it always goes well with a good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is his safer hobby.

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