Snowboard tuning - an illustrated "how to"

Iron the wax into the baseTo maintain a board in optimum riding condition one should ideally apply hot wax to the base and sharpen the edges after every three days or so of riding with a full base grind maybe every ten to fifteen days.

Although a base grind will necessitate checking the board in to a service centre, waxing and edging can easily be done at home or, preferably, as a therapeutic aprés ski activity in the basement of a cosy holiday chalet. That is just what I did the other day and I took some pictures to serve as an illustrated "how to".

My tuning kit comprises the following specialist and household items.

  • Base cleaner - buy specialist stuff or use a solution of washing up liquid and lemon juice

  • Waxing iron - mine is a cheap travel iron from Argos

  • Wax - all temperature wax is fine unless you are Karine Ruby

  • Scraper

  • Structure brush - I use a stiff nylon scrubbing brush

  • Edging tool

Leave the wax to cool for half an hourI found a table with no top in the basement which made a perfect workbench as it meant I could lay the board flat upside down with the bindings hanging through the hole. If your basement is not so well equipped it is worth improvising some supports to get the board level.

Start by giving the base a good clean with a soft cloth and your chosen board cleaner this will remove most of the grime which you do not want to iron into the board.

Then apply the wax. This is done by holding the block of wax against the iron (wool setting) and using the point of the iron to drip a liberal trail of wax onto the board. You want to have enough wax to cover the board when you iron it in and it will not hurt to have too much.

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.

Using the structure brushOnce the board has been covered in wax which has been lovingly ironed in leave it to cool for half an hour or so.

Now scrape off all the excess wax going along the length of the board. Remember the purpose of hot waxing is to get the base to soak up and absorb the wax and not to leave too much of a wax coating on top so do not be afraid to scrape off as much as you can.

Next use the structure 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.

Sharpen the edges with an edging toolFinally, take your edging tool and sharpen up the edges with long firm strokes, maybe four or five per edge. Wipe off any excess steel filings with a wet paper towel and you are good to go.

2 January 2004 Permalink | Comments (2)

hey i was wondering i have looked at thousands of sites to see how to sharpen my edges but i cant figure out how to do it with a file. do i just run it down the length of the board. or the short strokes up and down.

Posted by: joe at December 22, 2004 03:32 AM

Joe, I would not recommend using a file without some sort of guide to keep a steady angle perpendicular to the board unless you know what you are doing, better to get an edging tool that will give you the right angle.

The motion, however, is along the edge of the board. One useful tip is to put permanent marker along the edge before you start so that you can see what you've done.

Posted by: Luke at January 11, 2005 10:20 AM
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