A Clean Board is a Happy BoardIf you're a serious rider planning to get out more than a couple times this season, cleaning your snowboard on a regular basis is the first step to keeping your board in tip top shape. It's ideal to try and clean your board after every 3-4 sessions, so plan to set aside some time on those days after you finish up your last run. First, find a well-ventilated area with a flat surface where you can lay out and work on your board unencumbered. For supplies, you'll need base cleaner, clean rags, and a little bit of elbow grease. You can pick up base cleaner from most gear shops. Start by wiping away any wet snow from the day's session and then with a dry rag and a bit of elbow grease, wipe down the base in long, straight strokes to remove grime and old wax. Next, apply base cleaner in the same fashion. Let the base cleaner sit on the board for about 15 minutes. After time is up, wipe the base cleaner off with a new, clean rag, and you're ready to wax.
Wax On, Wax OffWaxing your snowboard every 3-4 sessions is the most important part of board maintenance — and also the step most riders forgo, or perform once a season at most. It's time to buck the trend, because hot waxing your board is akin to oiling a machine. In the short term, waxing makes your board glide better, which means you'll move faster. In the long term, waxing extends the life of your base. Your board's base is constructed from P-Tex, which contain pores that open up when heated. Waxing serves to fill these pores and smooth over blemishes. If your board's base is starting to look a little whiteish in color, that's a telltale sign it's time for a good hot wax.
You can take your board to a hot wax shop or learn to do it yourself. It's a good thing to learn as it'll save you money and you'll be more likely to follow through long-term. Supplies you'll need include an iron, wax, scraper, cloth, and abrasive brush. There are different types of snowboard wax meant for use in varying temperatures, including hot, cold, and universal. If you're unsure which to choose, go with the universal, as it will function well in any temperature. When you're ready to wax, heat up your iron. Once hot, apply a corner of your wax to the iron until it starts to melt. Once it starts dripping down onto the board, move the iron around the edges. Drip wax across the middle of the board by moving side to side in a zig zag pattern. Next, place the iron on the base and work the wax in a circular motion until the whole base is covered. Finally, switch off your iron and allow the wax to cool for about 10 minutes. Once your board is cool, take your plastic scraper and holding it at a 45 degree angle, begin scraping off the excess wax. Try to work in one direction — ideally from nose to tail. Remove the wax from your edges with the notch in the corner of the scraper. Once finished, dust off the base with a cloth and grab the abrasive brush. With this brush, apply pressure and starting at one end, rub the base from nose to tail. This step puts tiny grooves into the wax, which helps reduce friction and improve performance.