Answer this: in what condition did you leave your snowboards at the end of last season? Forgive yourself if you don’t know, stashed your boards in the garage, and forgot about their condition until today. Tuning your snowboard is rarely what’s on your mind in April at the end of the snowboarding season.
But, even very tardy off-season snowboard prep is better than waiting until the night before you ride to wax.
Snowboard prep isn’t just about preserving a much-beloved piece of equipment. It allows the base of your deck to absorb wax more effectively throughout the season, make critical P-tex repairs after you hit a rock, and ultimately run smoother and faster.
1. Get vises and wax table
To prep your snowboard, you can purchase snowboard vises for at-home use for as cheap as $70 and a waxing table for about $150. Many handy, more miserly folks prefer to DIY the set-up.
You’ll be tuning your snowboard in the future. You won’t regret this investment.
Use the following steps to prep your snowboard for off-season storage; start by securing the snowboard into vises.
2. Remove bindings, storing screws, and washers in a Ziploc bag
Yes, it’s highly convenient to leave your bindings on your board(s), but it’s also a great way to rust the screws and washers.
Loosen the screws from the base plate, make sure they are dry, and store your screws, washers, and snowboarding binding base plates in a Ziploc bag.
3. Assess the condition of your base
A dry base will appear whiter. There is less wax and less base material. These are dire straits for your board.
If you notice the base is dry and parts of it seem to be peeling in strips, you need a base grind before you proceed.
4. Clean the base
A lot of people’s bases, dry or not, will be downright filthy. During the melt-freeze of the spring snow cycle and near-liquid runouts at the resort base, your snowboard collected debris.
Use a base cleaner. Swix base cleaner, which also comes in aerosol form, is an industry-standard. If you are environmentally conscious and want to avoid hydrocarbons entirely, Purl Wax has an organic, biodegradable spray-on wax, otherwise Magical Go-Go wax is a great and affordable option.
Apply the base cleaner and use a clean cloth to wipe the base. Continue wiping until the base is clean.
5. If you didn’t get a spring tune, knock burrs off your edges now
Even though it’s a best practice, most snowboarders do not pay for a professional tune at the end of the season. That said, you probably are looking at some burrs right now. Use a file to knock those off.
Even if it’s half-assed, tuning your snowboard now will prevent you from forgetting about those horrible edges and strapping into a deck that can’t carve the white ribbon of death.
6. Apply base conditioner
Base conditioner is one of the most necessary but least purchased items in snowboarding. It helps to prep your base for future wax layers and leaves it in great condition. Think of it as a primer.
Dominator Wax puts out an ultra-penetrating base conditioner you can do a single pass on, not scrape, and leave.
Be warned that base conditioner tends to be expensive, so you may want to touch the wax to the iron, crayon it to the base, and then apply the iron.
7. Store the board in your board bag
Do not store your board in your closet, garage, or storage unit without protection. Put it in your board bag and keep it protected during the off-season.
The next time you’re lazily sitting at home, avoiding off-season board prep, remember the last time you got stuck on a flat and had to skate.
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