The exhilaration we feel on the run-in to a jump is part of why we do it. How big? How much speed? What trick should I do? Will I stomp? Will I eat shit? The last thing you want to worry about here is whether or not your board is tuned.
First and foremost, you always want to have enough speed to clear the jump, so definitely hot wax! It’s just like when you’re deciding how many layers to wear to the hill: you can always take one off if you’re hot, but if you’re cold and don’t have that extra layer, you’re screwed. Same with speed—you can always speed check and adjust if you’ve hot waxed, but if you were lazy and your board is dry and hacked up, don’t be surprised when you knuckle the landing.
Next, think about actually riding to the jump, speed checking if necessary, stomping the landing, and riding away stoked. All of that requires properly tuned edges. Make sure you start by detuning your tip and tail—round those areas of your edge with a file so they don’t catch when you least expect it. Now finish your edges by using a file guide to put a two-degree bevel on both the base and side edges. This will allow you to turn and speed check easier, especially on harder snow and ice, while the board remains forgiving on takeoffs and landings. No one likes the dreaded scorpion faceplant or reverse scorpion whiplash—no bueno!
In a nutshell, make sure you:
Hot wax your ride for speed.
Detune your tip and tail.
Tune your edges with a two-degree bevel for optimal freeriding and jumping.