Essential Snowboard Maintenance
Snowboarding and riding a snowboard are two very different sports, and a snowboarder needs to do several basic snowboard maintenance tasks regularly. It is important for snowboarders to understand their boards and what needs to be done to keep them maintained.
The process of maintaining your board does not have much to do with fixing any problem or with any serious mechanical work. A lot of snowboard maintenance is just making sure that the parts on a snowboard are still working and are still attached to the board properly.
This article will give you some insight as to what kind of snowboard maintenance you need to do.
Maintenance Starts With A New Board
Pre-existing damage can be a significant danger, especially on your first few days, when you’re still getting used to the feel of your board.
While you don’t want to worry about supposed defects you can’t see anyway, it’s a good idea to exchange your board with the rental shop if something doesn’t feel right.
Also, check the shop’s return policy. Such shops have a strict policy of no refunds and no exchanges. By the time your rental period is over, your rental snowboard might be damaged in a way that you will not be able to notice.
At any rate, before you leave the shop, it’s essential to ask the shopkeeper to fill out the rental department form for your snowboard.
And please always keep your receipt. It’s a necessity for a cheap replacement if you own a loss & damage insurance.
Prevention Is Key
What are the best snowboard maintenance tips?
Maintaining your snowboard isn’t just about keeping it clean so every time you ride you feel fresh.
It is also about maintaining certain aspects like keeping the hardware in top shape.
Otherwise, you end up damaging your board, which will affect your riding in the long run.
Snowboard maintenance is like car maintenance. You should do small treatments consistently, instead of one big overhaul after a long time of neglect.
Channel Your Inner Mr. Miyagi
If you’re just starting to learn snowboarding, maintenance may not be top of mind for you.
But the best thing you can do for your snowboard is learn how to take care of your equipment right at the start.
In this day and age, most snowboards are constructed using materials specific to either the top or bottom of the board.
Bottom material must be water based (e.g. urethane, polyethylene, P-tex, etc.).
Top material must be wax based (e.g. copolymer, epoxy, fiberglass, etc.).
Before you even start to ride your board, you should focus on understanding how it works.
How Wax-Base Boards Work:
Snowboards use wax when they are new, and as the board is ridden with wax on it, the wax eventually breaks down.
As the wax wears down, dirt and grime that accumulates on the base will begin to stick to the board.
This will cause a loss of control. Wax will correct this. But if snowboarders often ride their boards without wax on it, the base will wear down much faster.
How Urethane-Bases Work:
Urethane bases are general are much faster than wax-bases due to the softer flex.
Scrape, Smooth And Buff
A smooth and clean board is always in the best condition to ride and will perform best. Also, it will be less prone to damage from dings and scrapes.
Snowboard decks can pick up nicks and dings quickly depending on the type of terrain you ride and how much abuse they get.
Instead of waiting for your board to get all of those dings from riding, take a scraper and remove them just before you ride.
It’s cheap and easy to do and will make your deck looking new again. Just run your scraper in long strokes with medium pressure,
Do this side to side from the front of the board to the tail. You have to be careful not to apply too much pressure and dig into the fibreglass base. To prevent this, you could put a piece of tape over the base before scraping the deck.
If you beat up the bottom of your deck, then you should sand it down and smooth it all out.
This is even more important if you have a big ding(s) to remove. Just sand the whole board down and then buff it, especially on the high-wear areas like the nose and tail.
Use a buffing pad and buffing compound to do the job. It’s best to do it after you have sanded the board.
Fine-Tune Your Edge
Sharpening the board teeth is done to ensure that the snowboard glides forward easily instead of catching the snow.
The best possible way to keep the edges smooth and sharp on the snowboard is to use a proper sharpening stone to hone the snowboard edges. You can find these stones online and at your local snowboard shop.
The other way is to use a file to remove sharp burrs and roughness.
A good tip is to avoid making sharp turns while sharpening your edges because it could potentially flake the edge of your iron.
Hold the file at an angle slightly lower than that of the edge of the iron to keep it from filing down the edge of the iron prematurely.
After using the file, move to the stone and continue with your sharpening process until your iron becomes clean and flat.
Another good tip to sharpen your snowboard edges is to keep your edges even.
When the snowboard edges are a bit misaligned, you may experience roughness after a ride, which is neither a pleasant experience nor a healthy one.
To keep your snowboard edges aligned and smooth, first use a smooth and flat stone, and then continue with the sharpening stone. Doing this will make your snowboard edges aligned flat and smooth.
Before you go and invest in all the protective gear and clothing that your snowboarding hobby requires, you should be familiar with some of the basic maintenance tasks that are required of a snowboard.
Snowboarding is a great activity to enjoy in a variety of weather conditions, but that doesn't mean that there isn't any maintenance involved.
One of the most basic maintenance tasks that every snowboard must know is how to run and stop on their board. Much the same as a bicycle, the practice can help you learn the basics of snowboarding and also help you master your board.
You often run a snowboard board when you are preparing to perform a trick that requires you to transition from a run to a stop.
Much like stopping a bike, it is important to learn how to slow down to a stop without throwing yourself off the board.
Snowboarding also requires you to learn to balance on a variety of terrain types and in a variety of weather conditions using a snowboard board.
To learn to balance on a board, you must understand how to apply pressure to control the speed and how to control the board.
The following are a few snowboarding workshop resources that can really help you get started.
Store It Away
First, make sure to store your board in a cool, dry place. Though it would seem freezing your board would help it last longer, this is not the case.
If you leave your board at below freezing temperatures for extended periods of time, the wood can absorb moisture and drastically shorten the life of your board.
Though you can’t be around all the time to make sure it’s stored perfectly, there are solutions. A good-quality board bag will protect your board from just about anything.
A home-made board bag can be made out of a duvet cover and some cardboard. Just cut the duvet cover to fit your board and glue the cardboard to the inside for extra padding.
If you can’t find a board bag, a pillow case or plastic bag can be used for a quick fix. Fortunately, most snowboarders travel with or already own a duffel bag that can be used as a board bag.
These are just some of the essentials that any decent board should have. However, there are various other bindings, boards, etc. that are geared towards different use cases.