Sooner or later, all snowboards take a beating. And whether it's early-season sessions or a mountain made of scree, your board is destined to get gouged. You can repair minor scratches at home with P-tex, but for the more gruesome wounds you'll need a baseweld and the help of a pro like Ty McRae from Milosport in Salt Lake. McRae has been tuning and repairing boards for eighteen years and is here to impart some of his knowledge about fixing beat bases.—L.G.
What's the first step when repairing a gouged base?
Cleaning out and preparing the base is one of the most important tasks. Use a flat-head screwdriver or similar type of tool to remove all the debris and loose material from the damaged area. Use a razor blade to remove any base material that has been damaged and trim slightly into the non-damaged area to insure a solid bond when repairing.
Scratches to the base can be repaired with P-tex if the core of the board isn't exposed, but if there's wood showing, it requires a baseweld, right?
Yes. Baseweld is hands down the best way to repair a core shot. Don't mess around with ruining your board because you don't want to spend the money. P-texing a core shot is usually not the way to go. Take your board to a shop and have it professionally basewelded.
What's the difference between P-tex and baseweld?
P-tex and baseweld are two different materials that require a different method of application. P-tex is a soft, porous plastic used cosmetically to repair minor scratches on the surface of your base. Because it's porous, it absorbs the wax well. But be aware that P-tex carries the risk of melting into the graphics on your board. Baseweld is a harder, durable plastic with epoxy that ensures bonding. It has watertight sealing capabilities, which prevents water from getting into and damaging your core.
How are the two different material applied to damaged bases?
P-tex is applied by melting it with a P-tex gun. You can also use P-tex if you're out riding and have no access to a shop. Melt it with a lighter and drip it onto your board as a quick fix until you can make it into a shop to fix it properly. Baseweld is applied through an extruding process that uses hot air to apply it, which ensures a strong bond.
What's the most common mistake people make when trying to repair a core shot or gouge in their base?
Insufficient preparation! They don't cut out all the damaged area and they leave moisture in it, which prevents the P-tex or baseweld from forming a solid bond.
Swix’s Franklin Crowe breaks down how to do an at home P Tex: