How To: Wax Off
Board Waxing 101
Waxing is a simple process that makes your board fast and keeps the base in shape. It’s a must for pow days and a skill every snowboarder can easily acquire. Learn how with these three quick steps.
Clean Your Base
Use a splash of citrus-based cleaner like One Ball Jay Base Cleaner or Goo Gone, a rag, and some elbow grease to scrub the base clean. Wipe it dry and let it sit for about twenty minutes. This step is the most crucial come springtime, when there are a lot of contaminants in the snow that can stick to your base. Your base has pores just like your skin, and for wax to stick to them you need to clean out the grime.
Apply The Wax
Your board should be warm or at least room temperature before you apply the wax. Use a wax-specific iron like the Burton Hot Stick or a regular ‘ol one (you won’t be able to use it on clothes afterward, though), and turn it to a medium setting. With your board lying base up on a level surface, start melting the wax and dripping it along the base (about one drop per two square inches or so). If the wax starts smoking, the iron’s too hot. Find the right setting where it still melts the wax, but doesn’t smoke. Now smear around that wax and work it into the base. Don’t let the iron sit in one place for too long or you’ll melt the bottom of your board. After it’s all smooth, let it sit and cool back to room temp or colder.
Scrape And Buff It
If the conditions are really slushy (or you’re just lazy), don’t bother scraping the wax; it will come off as you ride. But the proper way to finish your wax job is to scrape off all the excess, then buff it. With small, tip-to-tail motions, shave off the wax with a plastic scraper. Once you’ve scraped it all down, use a green Scotch-Brite pad and buff it out in a similar tip-to-tail motion. That’s it! Now go out and send it!
o Loosen your mounting screws before waxing to remedy the suction zone caused by your bindings. Remember to tighten them when you’re done.
o If it’s super cold and icy where you ride, sprinkle some arctic hardener like Toko Nordlite Powder around the edges and melt it in.
o All-temperature wax is the best go-to choice, but waxes also come in temperature-specific formulas. Check your local snow conditions and temps, and then compare them to the wax’s recommended range.
Illustrations by Shawn O’Keefe