If you’re a new snowboard owner, or even an experienced one, you may be wondering whether you need to wax your board before hitting the slopes. The answer might surprise you.
There are different schools of thought on this topic, with some arguing that it’s necessary to wax a new board in order to achieve optimal performance and avoid damage. Others believe that factory waxing is sufficient and additional waxing is optional.
In this post, we’ll explore these arguments in more detail and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about waxing your new snowboard.
“Waxing can affect factors such as speed, maneuverability, and durability, so understanding how it works is important for any serious snowboarder.”
We’ll cover the benefits of waxing, the differences between factory wax and hand waxing, when to wax your board, and how often you should do it. We’ll also discuss some common myths surrounding waxing and provide tips on how to properly maintain your board throughout the season.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not you should wax your new snowboard, and if so, how to go about doing it effectively.
The Importance of Waxing a Snowboard
Do you have to wax a new snowboard? The answer is yes, because even brand-new boards need to be waxed to improve their performance and lifespan. Here are some reasons why waxing your snowboard is essential:
Improved Speed and Glide
A freshly waxed snowboard moves faster across the snow than an unwaxed board. This is because wax reduces friction between the base of the board and the snow, allowing it to glide more easily. Wax also helps prevent sticking in wet snow or slushy conditions. If you want to ride with speed and fluidity, regular waxing is a must.
“Waxing not only enhances glide speed, but it also prolongs the life of a snowboard.” -The Snow Pros
Increased Durability and Lifespan
Waxing not only improves your ride experience but also extends the life of your snowboard. By filling in scratches and imperfections on the surface of the board, wax creates a protective layer that prevents further damage from occurring. A well-waxed board is less likely to get damaged by rocks or other debris on the mountain.
“Waxing fills holes and cracks that could lead to water getting into your core which quickly leads to delamination and shortened lifespan.” -Snow Magazine
Better Performance on Different Snow Conditions
If you like to snowboard in different types of snow – such as powder, packed or icy – then waxing becomes even more important. Depending on the temperature and humidity, each kind of snow requires different wax formulas for optimal performance. With the right wax job, your snowboard will slide better and grip better, giving you greater control over your turns and movements.
“The right wax will ensure that you have more control when turning, as well as better glide over the snow in varying conditions.” -Men’s Journal
If you want to get the best out of your snowboarding experience, it’s critical to keep your board regularly waxed. Properly maintaining your board with regular waxing can mean a longer lifespan for your equipment and greater performance on the slopes. So, remember, better glide means better ride!
How Waxing Affects Your Snowboarding Experience
Snowboarding can be an exhilarating and fun sport, but it requires proper equipment maintenance to ensure a great experience. One of the essential ways to maintain your snowboard is by regular waxing. The question of whether you have to wax a new snowboard might come up for beginners who are not familiar with this topic.
“The whole purpose of waxing your board is to reduce friction between the base of the board and the snow.” – Nikita Sekerinska
Enhanced Speed and Control
The primary benefit of waxing your snowboard is enhanced speed and control on the slopes. When you apply wax, it creates a film layer that reduces resistance between the snowboard and the snow, resulting in effortless gliding and increased velocity. Without it, your board will feel sluggish, making it difficult to keep up with other riders. Properly waxed boards enable you to make quicker movements and respond better to sudden changes, providing you with more precision over your snowboarding skills.
“Waxing makes such a difference… If you’re riding without properly waxed boards, then you’re missing out on about 30% of the fun.” – Travis Rice
Reduced Friction and Drag
Apart from enhancing your speed, waxing also helps reduce friction and drag while carving through powder or packed snow. When you ride with a non-waxed board, the surface creates more friction that slows down your speed almost immediately after passing over flat areas. Waxing fills those porous areas and allows you to glide efficiently without losing momentum, which is crucial when tackling steeper terrain.
“I think one thing people don’t realise is how much your board’s tune impacts your ability to make it down the hill. Wax, edges, base structure – all of these things play a role in how you smoothly or narrowly you navigate everything from serac fields to pow runs”- Kim Havell
Improved Maneuverability and Stability
Waxing also improves stability and maneuverability by reducing the likelihood of catching an edge on hard snow. It creates better contact between the board and the surface, which translates into more control as you turn and stop. This is especially important for beginners who need stable footing when practicing carving or turning at high speeds.
“Maintaining your board’s wax level doesn’t just help improve performance – it can also preserve it. Without proper waxing, UV rays from the sun (especially at altitude), wil deteriorate the bases of your skis or board over time.” – Maria Hidalgo Skiracing.com
There’s no doubt that regular waxing can enhance your overall snowboarding experience by providing smoother turns, increased speed, and improved stability throughout intense riding conditions. You don’t have to wax a new snowboard right away since most manufacturers apply a factory wax before shipping them out. However, after a few rides, you’ll notice a difference in the feel and performance of your board, indicating that it’s time for some wax maintenance. So go ahead, grab your wax kit, and give your snowboard the TLC it deserves!
The Best Time to Wax a New Snowboard
Before the First Use
Many snowboarders wonder if they need to wax their new snowboard before using it for the first time. The answer is yes! It’s important to wax your new snowboard before you hit the slopes for the first time.
A new snowboard comes with a factory wax, which typically isn’t enough to keep your board in good condition throughout the season. Factory wax wears off easily and may not provide enough glide or speed. By adding an extra layer of wax before your first use, you’ll improve your overall performance on the hill.
“Waxing a board prior to its first use seals the base and helps prolong its life-span. This keeps your riding experience consistent from day 1.” – Chris Pokorny, REI expert
Additionally, wax helps protect the base of your board from damage that can occur during transportation and storage. Applying a fresh coat of wax will seal any pores in the base, helping prevent water absorption and improving durability.
After Every 3-4 Uses
After your first ride, regular waxing becomes necessary to maintain optimal performance and extend the life of your snowboard. But how often should you wax your board?
We recommend waxing every three to four days of riding or about every six to eight hours of riding time. Over time, the wax wears away through normal wear and tear, leaving your board more difficult to turn, slower and less responsive. A dry, non-waxed base will cause friction, making turning and edging more difficult.
If you notice that your board is getting sluggish or slowing down faster than usual, then it’s probably time for a new wax job!
“Waxing your board frequently will keep it at optimal conditions and reduce the amount of friction between the snowboard and the snow.” – Casey Smith, Evo expert
At the End of the Season
Waxing your board at the end of the season is an important step to protect it during storage. Waxing your board after winter helps to seal any small scratches or gouges that may have accumulated throughout the season.
If you don’t wax your board before storing it for several months, the base can dry out and lose its ability to hold wax. This makes it harder to get your board going in the next season and increases the likelihood of damage or wear and tear on the base.
“Make sure to store your board with a fresh coat of wax on the base. This seals up the pores, keeps water out, and prevents oxidation from occurring while the board is not in use.” – Brendan Madigan, Teton Gravity Research Founder
Clean off all debris and dirt from your board before applying a heavy layer of wax. The thick wax coating will protect the base during summertime storage.
When Stored for Long Periods of Time
If you’re planning to store your snowboard for an extended period of time, it’s essential to wax it first. Without a protective layer of wax, the base will become more susceptible to environmental factors such as humidity and temperature changes, which can cause structural damage or weakening over time.
Waxing your board before long-term storage creates a barrier by filling in any minor cracks or chips in the base material, reducing the risk of moisture damage or delamination caused by temperature fluctuations.
“Store your board horizontally (not vertically) in a cool, dry place, and make sure it’s waxed before putting it into storage. This will help protect your base from drying out, oxidizing and collecting dust.” – Joe Suta, Burton Snowboards Lead Engineer
Be sure to also store your board in a dry area away from any sunlight or moisture. Avoid leaving it near heaters or damp areas, which can cause the board to warp or compromise its integrity over time.
- Waxing Tips:
- – Use an iron set at a low temperature to melt the wax onto the board. Spread evenly using long strokes with the iron.
- – Scrape off excess wax with a plastic scraper while the wax is still warm but not hot.
- – Buff the remaining wax with a brush to create a smooth finish.
Waxing your new snowboard before your first use is essential for performance and longevity. After that, regular waxing every three to four days of riding helps maintain optimal conditions throughout the season. Don’t forget to wax your board at the end of the winter season and before storing it for extended periods.
Waxing vs. Factory Wax: Which is Better?
Customization and Personalization
If you are a snowboarding enthusiast, then the first thing that comes to mind when you get a new snowboard is how to make it perform exceptionally in all weather conditions. This brings us to the question, do you have to wax a new snowboard? There’s no right or wrong answer since both factory waxed and hand-waxed boards come with their advantages. One advantage of getting your board custom waxed is that you can tailor the mix to suit different snow types and temperature conditions.
Customizing the wax gives riders an opportunity to select between speed and control as either may be necessary depending on the rider’s personal experience level and style preference. For instance, by selecting harder waxes, riders will experience more speed but less control when riding downhill which is suitable for advanced riders. Conversely, softer waxes provide riders with better friction and ensures they remain in control at lower speeds hence great for beginners learning to ride comfortably.
“Properly tuned equipment allows you to have fun and feel confident with every turn.” -Burton Snowboards
Long-Term Performance and Durability
The frequent use of a snowboard results in wear and tear over time. Overriding especially on icy slopes causes damage by wearing off edge materials thus requiring corrective maintenance measures from time-to-time. That said, regular waxing enhances the durability of your snowboard through adding protection and increasing performance; thereby extending the life span of the board.
Hand waxing of your board creates longer lasting effect compared to factory wax. The high-quality hot wax penetrates deeply into your base fabric and fills any holes or cracks that could cause water retention inside the board leading to rust, corrosion and deformation. Moreover, factory wax wears off quickly after a few rides which could compromise the overall riding experience when compared to a properly personalized microcrystalline-based hand-waxed board.
“Base treatment is probably the most important thing… Waxing is always essential if you want speed and an easy glide.” -Mark McMorris
Cost-Effectiveness and Convenience
In terms of cost effectiveness, it’s less expensive to get your snowboard custom waxed than relying on factory-ready boards that might end up wasting precious powder days just because they are inadequately prepped for rough weather conditions. Snowboards should be routinely serviced with hot wax using specific materials that vary in thickness according to temperature. Buying these waxes yourself will eventually save you more money since you have full amenities at home, tools and knowledge or taking them to reputable technicians who can do the job within a shorter time frame and ensure their proficiency rate.
The inconvenience associated with visiting a technician frequently for maintenance demands cannot be contrasted to having your waxing set-up ready to use whenever necessary without additional setup costs. Customized boards need regular servicing depending on frequency of usage, ie: rental shops require daily service whereas private owners may require less-frequent maintenance. Besides, customizing also eliminates any chance of mistakes or over -mushing different waxes into ineffective globs often experienced by novices trying out DIY projects.
“Waxing your sled is definitely worth it….Maintenance is always cheaper than repair!” -Branden Liederman, Westcoat Sports Service Manager”
DIY Waxing Tips for Beginners
Choose the Right Wax for Your Snowboard
Choosing the right wax for your snowboard is crucial for a smooth and fast ride. There are many different waxes available in the market, each with different properties suitable for specific conditions.
- If you’re riding on cold or dry snow, go for a harder wax that will last longer.
- If the temperature is warmer, use a softer wax that will provide better grip.
- If you’re unsure of which wax to choose, an all-purpose wax can be a good option.
To apply the wax, make sure to heat it up properly before spreading it over your snowboard. You can either use a wax iron or a hair dryer. Be careful not to overheat the wax as this can damage your board.
Clean and Prepare Your Snowboard Properly
Before applying wax, it’s important to clean and prepare your snowboard properly. Start by removing any stickers, price tags, or residue left from previous wax jobs using a plastic scraper.
- Next, wipe down the base of your snowboard with a soft cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
- If there are any scratches or gouges on the base, fill them in with P-Tex candles or repair sticks.
- Finally, use a brass brush to rough up the base of your snowboard, making it easier for the wax to adhere.
Apply Wax Evenly and Smoothly
When applying wax, make sure to do it evenly and smoothly to avoid bumps or uneven distribution.
- Start by holding the wax against the iron and melting it until it drips onto the base of your snowboard.
- Then, use a wax scraper to spread the melted wax across the base, working from tip to tail.
- After the wax has been evenly distributed, let it cool down for at least 20 minutes before scraping off any excess with a plastic scraper.
Once all the excess wax has been removed, use a nylon brush to buff the base of your snowboard until it shines. This will help improve speed and glide on the snow.
“Waxing is key to maintaining your board’s performance and longevity.” – K2 Snowboarding
If you’re new to waxing your snowboard, it can seem intimidating at first. However, with the right tools and techniques, anyone can do it themselves. By choosing the right wax, cleaning and preparing your board properly, and applying the wax evenly and smoothly, you’ll be able to enjoy a smoother, faster ride on the snow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should You Wax A New Snowboard?
Waxing a new snowboard is important because it prepares the base for optimal performance. The factory wax on a new board is minimal and wears off quickly, leaving the base dry and slow. A proper wax job fills in the pores in the base and creates a smooth surface for better glide. This also protects the base from damage and prolongs the life of the board. Waxing a new board also allows you to customize the wax job to your specific riding conditions.
Can You Ride A New Snowboard Without Waxing It?
Yes, you can ride a new snowboard without waxing it, but it will not perform as well as it could. The factory wax is minimal and wears off quickly, leaving the base dry and slow. This can make it difficult to control the board and reduce the overall experience. Waxing a new board is recommended to prepare the base for optimal performance and prolong the life of the board. It also allows you to customize the wax job to your specific riding conditions.
How Often Should You Wax A New Snowboard?
It is recommended to wax a new snowboard after the first few times you ride it, and then regularly throughout the season. How often you wax depends on how frequently you ride and the conditions you ride in. If you ride frequently or in wet conditions, you may need to wax more often. A general rule of thumb is to wax every 4-8 days of riding. Waxing regularly will ensure optimal performance, protect the base from damage, and prolong the life of the board.
What Happens If You Don’t Wax A New Snowboard?
If you don’t wax a new snowboard, the base will dry out and become slow. The factory wax is minimal and wears off quickly, leaving the base dry and porous. This can make it difficult to control the board and reduce the overall experience. Riding a dry board can also cause damage to the base and decrease the life of the board. Regular waxing protects the base from damage and prolongs the life of the board, while also improving the overall riding experience.
What Are The Benefits Of Waxing A New Snowboard?
The benefits of waxing a new snowboard are numerous. Waxing fills in the pores in the base and creates a smooth surface for better glide. This improves the overall riding experience and makes it easier to control the board. Regular waxing also protects the base from damage and prolongs the life of the board. Waxing can also be customized to your specific riding conditions, allowing you to optimize performance in different snow conditions. Overall, waxing a new snowboard is essential for optimal performance and longevity of the board.