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Waxing Skis or Snowboards 101

Skis and snowboards need to be waxed regularly to keep them in top-notch condition. The base of your skis or snowboard can otherwise dry out, which causes them to glide much slower over the snow. So here’s some waxing basics to get you started.

To begin you will need the following items. These can all be bought at your local ski or snowboard shop.

  • A waxing iron – Waxing irons are different from irons that you press your clothes with! They have a temperature setting marked in degrees not fabric type, a constant heat flow, and flat metal plate with no holes.
  • Wax – Talk to your local shop about what kind of wax you will need and they will put you right. There are all different kinds, ranging from cheap to expensive. If you are just starting off, you likely just to need a basic wax. Waxes also range in type based on temperature of the snow, so if you are in a very cold place they will likely sell you a cold wax, or if its spring they will likely steer you in the direction of a warmer wax. And please don’t use candle wax, it’s a completely different thing!
  • Scraper – A scraper is a flat plastic object, which is used to scrap the excess wax from your snowboard.
  • Brush – A brush is used to remove the last of the excess wax from your board. If you don’t want to brush, you can probably get away with not using one.

Before we begin, I would just like to remind you that this is a beginner waxing blog. I don’t want to go over the top with information. There are of course a few extra steps and things you can do when waxing your board, but we just keeping this 101 simple.

Step 1. Take your bindings off. Make sure you remember how they were set. You can even use a marker to make a couple little marks on your board, this will help get them back in the right place. Make sure your snowboard isn’t dirty on the base. If there are mud splashes, just give it a wipe with a clean cloth.

Step 2. Plug your iron on, and set it to the correct temperature for the wax. This is information should be on the wax label. Press the wax up against the iron and as you are moving over the board, let it melt and drop onto the base of your board or skis.

Push the wax up against the iron and let it drip onto the base, moving along the board to spread it evenly

Step 3. Once you have put little drops or line all over your base, begin to iron it in. Move slowly over the base, allowing the wax to melt. Make sure you keep the iron moving, you don’t want to burn the base of your board or skis.

Keep the iron moving and melt in all the wax

Keep moving the iron over the base until you have melted in all the wax and the entire base is covered. You can add extra wax if needed, or use the iron to push the wax around to places that are not covered.

Think of the base of your board or skis just like your own skin. When the base is heated the pours on the base open up and allow wax to soak in. Just like the pours on your face when you have a hot tub or hot shower.

Make sure you have covered the entire base with wax and you have gone over it a couple times allowing it to soak in. Now leave your board in a cool place, ideally over night or for at least a couple of hours. This let’s the wax soak into the pours on the base to cool down and close up.

Step 4. The wax is now soaked into the base and it’s time to scrap off the excess. Using your scraper work your way from tip to tail scraping of as much wax as you can. Continue to do this until your only getting a few flakes. We scrap of the excess wax because otherwise when you ride the board, the snow will pull that wax out including the stuff we want to stay on the board. So by using a sharp scraper we can remove excess wax but leave the wax we need to stay in the base.

Keep the iron moving and melt in all the wax

Step 5. The final step and a step you can skip if you don’t want to invest in a brush, is to brush the base. Take the brush and again from tip to tail and brush straight lines down the board. This removes the last of the wax and places tiny grooves in the base of board, which will allow water particles to glide right through.

From tip to tail brush the board, getting rid of the last of the excess wax

Right we are almost done, you just need to put your bindings back on and you are set. Make sure you get them in the correct place, and use the marks you added earlier to get the stance right. And now you are all set to go!

Note: It’s a good idea to put a storage coat of wax on your board over the summer months when you are not skiing or riding. So follow the steps above, but be generous with the wax. There is no need to scrap it off, the cover of wax will help protect your base over the down months. When it comes to winter again, you can scrap it off and you will be ready to go!

You may also like some of our other blogs posts: 

  • Ski Boot Fit
  • Snowboard Boot Fit
  • Snowboarding for the First Time – Should I or Shouldn’t I?
  • Skiing for the First Time - The Learner Skier
  • Skiing and Snowboard Accessories  
  • What Makes Good Ski or Snowboard Pants?
  • What Makes a Good Ski or Snowboard Jacket?
  • Travel Tips

Posted By: Paula Mitchell, @ Thu, 24th Oct 2013

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