Snow goggles? Check. Dry gloves and boots? Check. Your Liftopia beanie? Check.
But how’s that snowboard doing? Think carefully about whether your snowboard has gotten some TLC since last season. Whether or not that’s the case, you’re going to want to make sure your board is in top condition so you don’t miss out on the first bluebird day of the season.
Here’s what you should check on and do to maintain your snowboard:
First, a word on your outerwear.
If you’ve washed and dried your outerwear since last season, it may be good to go. But especially if you’ve had this gear for a couple seasons, you may be thinking of a refresh. But don’t fret. This doesn’t mean you have to buy entirely new outerwear; you may just need to give your gear some love.
Through regular use, the outside of your outerwear can start to absorb water, or “wet out.” What to do? Care for your outerwear according to the guidelines of the washing instructions. Most likely, you’ll be able to wash and tumble dry them. Tumble drying, especially with dryer balls or tennis balls, could be great for your gear because this will fluff up the fabric and re-invigorate the durable water-repellent (DWR) that the fabric is treated with. Need to go the extra mile with waterproofing? You may also want to look into spray-on or wash-in re-waterproofing products like from Gear Aid’s Revivex or Nikwax.
Clean your snowboard.
If you properly stored your board last season, you might not have to clean it. But if you do, don’t use anything too abrasive. Instead, use a citrus-based cleaner like One Ball Base Cleaner or Goo Gone along with a clean rag.
Check for damage.
Look closely at your board for minor damage such as shallow gouges. If you see a scratch is less than .5mm deep, you can ignore it, says REI. If a gouge is shallow and not near the edge, you can likely repair it yourself – with the help of a torch or lighter, and a P-Tex candle. For anything more serious than that, you’ll want to go to your local ski shop.
Tune your snowboard.
It’s normal for your board to build up a little rust or roughness on the edges. Tuning or sharpening your board will whip it back into shape so it doesn’t slow you down the mountain.
To tune your board, you’ll need a diamond stone and gummy stone, or an edge sharpener. If you’re using an edge sharpener, Nonstop Snow says you’ll have several angle options to choose from: 90 degrees is the standard setting for beginner to intermediate riding. 89, 88 and 87 degrees are progressively more advanced.
Once you choose your edge angle, use a permanent marker to draw down the side edge, and sharpen that edge. When your marker line is gone, you’re done sharpening. You’ll know your board is sharp enough when it, well, feels sharp when you graze it with your fingernail.
Wax your snowboard.
How often should you wax? Recommendations will vary depending on the type of board you have, how often you ride, the conditions you ride in, and how fast you want your board to be. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to wax once every three to four rides.
First, check whether your board has a sintered base or an extruded base. The difference?
Sintered bases are more porous, which means they need more waxing. And since they need more wax, these boards are likely to be faster than boards with extruded bases. But by the same token, an unwaxed sintered base snowboard will be slower than an unwaxed board with extruded base.
But how will you know when to wax your board? When it looks a little dry, or when you start to feel your board is slowing down on a given ride. Another tip is to lightly drag your fingernail across the surface of the board and if it doesn’t collect wax, it’s time for a fresh coat, according to Snowboarding Profiles.
Maintain your snowboard and store it properly.
Keep an eye on your board and make sure it’s tuned and waxed throughout the season. Once the season is over, be sure to store your board properly. Wrap it, store it standing up in order to preserve the chamber or shape, and keep it in a cool, dry place.
Now that your snowboard is freshly tuned and waxed, you’re just about ready for a day of riding on fresh pow. Head over to Liftopia.com to swoop up your lift ticket!