How to prepare a new snowboard (2023)

A guide on how to prepare your new wood for a long and snowy life



(Video) Beginner Tip: First Thing To Do To Your New Snowboard

6 min read


Nov 15, 2020


(Video) How To Setup A New Snowboard

So you’ve recently succumbed to the craving of having your own snowboard or to the craving of buying yet another one to add to your quiver. The plank is sitting there, all shiny and wrapped up with stickers from the factory and you can’t wait to go out and test it.

You’ll often hear from the salespeople at the snowboard shop that “the snowboard has factory wax on it, and it’s good to go!” Although this is true; pretty much all brands will have some kind of factory wax on their boards, there are still a couple of things you can do to prepare your new plank for the slopes and with it, greatly increase the lifespan of the snowboard.

When you pick a brand-new snowboard off the shelf, it comes straight from the factory and has been prepared by the brand for use. The one thing you’ll keep hearing is that there’s factory wax on it. But what the salesperson usually doesn’t tell you is that this factory wax is actually a very thinly applied coat of wax that doesn’t really do anything. Often, the base of the board also hasn’t been ground and will barely have an embedded structure. This does vary a lot from brand to brand; some do a terrific job with factory coats (looking at you Capita) while others, eh, not so much.

Additionally, the edges of the snowboard are also nice shiny and razor-sharp at a 90 degrees angle across the whole board. Unless you plan to ride on a sheet of ice the whole season this is more sharpness than you’ll ever need. The additional sharpness can actually be harmful as well, as it can cause you to more quickly catch an edge.

This doesn’t mean that the brands are selling you a crappy board which isn’t properly prepped, there’s a reason why the boards are sold this way. The thin factory wax serves to keep the board from drying out while sitting on the shelves of shops, not to ride a full day (or season on). Likewise, the sharp edges make sure that riders can customize their boards since there’s only so much edge you can grind off.

So now that argument’s been made, what can you do to properly prepare your board for the snow?

This one should rather speak for itself, but you wouldn’t believe the number of times I’ve seen people on the slopes complaining that their board is slow; only to discover that there’s still a big fat sticker sitting dead center in the middle of the base of their board.

How to prepare a new snowboard (2)

So have a good look and remove all of that marketing material. If you’re one of those people who’s in love with that stuff, you can always stick it back on the top sheet.

Sometimes the stickers won’t come loose very easily (especially the barcodes, those suck big time). Pro tip: you can loosen up the glue of the stickers by warming them up; you can use a hairdryer to blow hot air to do so. Afterward, you’ll have no issue peeling off the stickers.

Like I said previously, new snowboards will come with dangerously sharp edges. Whatever kind of rider you are, it’s definitely worth detuning your edges! The area just beyond the effective edge — where the board curves upwards from your wide points towards the tip and tail — should not be kept sharp. This is to avoid the contact points feeling twitchy when engaging a turn, which can result in you catching an edge.

How to prepare a new snowboard (3)
(Video) 5 Tips for Setting Up Your Snowboard

To detune the edges, you’ll need a metal file, no fancy diamond files, or precise edging tools required. You’ll need to rub the file at an angle diagonal to both the board and the edge. The idea is to blunt the edge, so focus on the corner and keep filing back and forth until it is slightly beveled. You can keep adjusting the angle slightly to round it off smoothly.

Depending on the type of riding you want to do with the board you can further blunt the edges if you want. If you’re more into jibbing, you’d want to detune the edges along the full width of the board to really avoid catching edges on boxes and rails. If you’re more into all-mountain riding you’d want to stop at the wide points and keep the effective edge sharp.

A good way to know if your effective edge is still sharp enough is to run the nail of your thumb along the edge. If your nail gets scratched easily and you can see the marks, that means the edge is sharp enough.

If you really want to, you can use an edging tool as well to tune your edges to a specific angle, but unless you’re a racer or you ride 10m tall halfpipes that might be a bit overkill.

How to prepare a new snowboard (4)

This step might be a bit of an unorthodox one and one that you don’t hear often. But I’ve found that detuning your top sheet has some benefits. If you ski or snowboard in Europe, you know that people in the lift lines don’t exactly know what personal space is and often you end up being squeezed together. This often results in skis and snowboards going over one another, which can blemish your top sheet. Best case scenario, you end up with a couple of scratches. Worst-case scenario, you end up with a delaminated top sheet.

How to prepare a new snowboard (5)

I’ve found that by dulling the edges of the top sheet a bit, you can actually reduce your chances of getting your top sheet chipped. Basically, you do the same as when you detune your edges, but on the top. This will make the edge smoother and prevent it from catching and flipping up as easily. You do this all across the width of the snowboard. You can either do this using the same metal file as before or by rubbing some sandpaper along the edge.

The metal file technique yields the most aesthetic result in my opinion.

Finally, the last thing you want to do to prepare is waxing the board. Hopefully, by now I’ve convinced you that the factory wax isn’t really all that great for your first ride. Giving your board its first wax before it even touches the snow is a great way to increase the lifespan of the base so definitely recommend doing it.

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Since waxing is an art in and of its own, I won’t go into detail here, but you can check out this guide to learn how to do it.

(Video) How To Setup Your New Snowboard

If you’re like me and you buy snowboards in the off-season (it’s way cheaper), you might want to leave the wax on the board for storage. It’ll help to prevent the snowboard from drying out. And when you’re ready to go shred, just scrape the wax right off and you’re ready to go!

And there you go, all the steps you can do to prepare your snowboard for a long snowy life! There’s still a couple of more things to do to get you properly set up, like figuring out your stance, mounting your bindings, and customizing them to your boots, but I’ll maybe go into that in a future guide. Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two by reading this article, and if you liked it, feel free to leave a clap or two.

(Video) Tips With Nev: How To Tune The Edges Of Your Snowboard


What to do before using new snowboard? ›

Most snowboards, like ours, come with a factory wax and tune. This means they don't need a hot wax before you take them out for their first spin. The quality of this wax varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. We suggest riding about 2-3 days before getting your board waxed for the first time.

How do you wax a brand new snowboard? ›

  1. Loosen/remove the bindings. Before the iron goes anywhere near your base, make sure to loosen off or fully remove your bindings. ...
  2. Clean the base. ...
  3. Pick your wax. ...
  4. Melt the wax. ...
  5. Iron the base. ...
  6. Let the wax cool. ...
  7. Get scraping. ...
  8. Check your edges.
Dec 20, 2019

Do new Burton boards come waxed? ›

Every Burton snowboard is waxed, sharpened, and ready-to-ride as soon as you take it out of the sleeve. With a factory wax, sharpened edges, and a fresh bevel, every board is finely tuned for immediate use on most terrain in most conditions.

Do new boards need to be waxed? ›

Most snowboards, like ours, come with a factory wax and tune. This means they don't need a hot wax before you take them out for their first spin. The quality of this wax varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. We suggest riding about 2-3 days before getting your board waxed for the first time.

Should you wax or edge first? ›

Waxing your skis is the best way to protect them and keep them performing at their peak. It's important to wax your skis after completing base repair and edge work, as well as throughout the ski season to ensure your skis glide smoothly.

How do you prepare a snowboard for season? ›

Pre-Season Prep: Get Your Snowboarding Gear Ready for Winter
  1. Wax Your Board. ...
  2. Tune Your Edges. ...
  3. Set Your Board Up the RIGHT Way. ...
  4. Repair Your Gear. ...
  5. Submit a Warranty Claim. ...
  6. Get In the RIGHT Gear.
Sep 21, 2022

How long do you let wax sit on snowboard? ›

The wax layer should be thin enough that one end dries as you reach the other end. Wait for the ski or snowboard to cool and dry completely (30 minutes to 1 hour). Don't cool the ski or board outside because that will cause the wax to get pushed back up out of the pores of the base.

Do you need to take bindings off to wax? ›

Take Off the Bindings Before You Wax

Snowboards feature bindings, which are where you insert your feet. While bindings can help transfer energy when riding, they can make it difficult to wax a board, so you don't need them.

When should you sharpen your snowboard? ›

The board's edges should be sharpened when there are nicks, burrs, rust, or the edge is dull. If your board is showing any of these signs–your edges need to be sharpened! A properly sharpened edge will take off some of your fingernail when scraped against it.

Do you oil then wax wood? ›

Yes. Wax can be applied over almost any other wood finish including stain, oil, varnish and paint. Although we do always recommend a test area to ensure that you are happy with the result.

Do you wax the top or bottom of a board? ›

DO YOU WAX THE BOTTOM OF A SURFBOARD? No. The bottom of the surfboard should be kept wax free as this area has no need for traction, instead its surface is designed to be smooth to allow water to flow over it freely for speed. In short, keep all wax on the deck of your board.

Are you supposed to wax foam boards? ›

The surf industry has tried to create surfboards that have gripping technology, but it's not quite there yet — at least, not to a point where you can ditch the surf wax. This includes soft top surfboards. Yes, you absolutely should wax your foamie.

Should you lean forward or back snowboarding? ›

Stay out of the back seat: It might seem like putting your weight on your back foot will give you more control and keep you from falling, but it will actually do the exact opposite. You need to practice leaning on your front foot, which will give you the most control. Use your knees: Stance is crucial to good riding.

What are the most common injuries in snowboarding? ›

The most frequent snowboarding injuries are to the wrist

In addition to wrist injuries, falling onto an outstretched hand can transmit the force along the arm and cause a shoulder or elbow injury. Around 60% of snowboarding injuries are to the arm, wrist, hand or thumb.

Do you bleed the first time you wax? ›

Bleeding after waxing is normal in first-time/new waxers and is more likely to happen in sensitive, tight pore areas like the underarms or bikini and Brazilian area. The bleeding usually subsides on the same day as the wax.

Is the first time waxing the worst? ›

The first time getting waxed in an area hurts the most and does get less painful each time after. Hard to believe when your hair has just been ripped out for the first time, but it's true. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce waxing pain, whether you have been waxed before or not.

Will I be smooth after first wax? ›

Will I be perfectly smooth after my first wax? It's possible but not probable. Some clients are smooth as a baby's bottom after their first experience. However, it is common that after the first 2 or 3 waxings you may feel a wee bit of stubble.

Is 23 too late to start snowboarding? ›

There's no right or wrong age to become a skier or snowboarder. No magic time period where you can learn with no effort, and no milestone at which you're “too old” to get started.

How many times does it take to get good at snowboarding? ›

It can take anywhere from 1 to a couple of days to learn the basics of snowboarding. To become an intermediate snowboarder, it can typically take up to two seasons of practice. Finally, achieving expert status in snowboarding may take several years. However, learning speed is determined by practice.

Is 22 too late to start snowboarding? ›

It's never too late to learn snowboarding, whether you're 30, 40, or 50 years old. First, however, you need to know the variations in learning to snowboard at different ages. Furthermore, if you're a beginner, you can improve your snowboarding skills even when you're in your sixties.

How do I look cool on a snowboard? ›

Read on for all the essentials.
  1. Start with a Base Layer. A base layer is key for a good day on the mountains. ...
  2. Add a Sweater. ...
  3. Find Comfortable Pants. ...
  4. Determine Your Jacket Style. ...
  5. Gear Up with Accessories. ...
  6. Get Cozy for Après Ski.
Feb 24, 2022

Do you have to be in shape to snowboard? ›

You need good leg strength, enough to be able to support and maneuver your body weight. And you must know how to balance yourself while moving at high speeds. You are physically fit for snowboarding if you have strong legs and core. So, yes, your ability to snowboard is independent of your body weight in most cases.

How should you layer for snowboarding? ›

There is a simple equation for successful layering to follow; a light base layer, a warm and insulating mid-layer, then a waterproof/ windproof top layer.

How do you store a snowboard in the off season? ›

In general, snowboards and snowboard bindings should be stored out of direct sunlight in a cool dry place when not in use for more than three months (like during the summer).

How often should you wax? ›

Typically it's best to wait 2 to 5 weeks in between waxing depending on the part of the body. For face, underarms, and bikini areas, wax about every 2 to 3 weeks. Legs and arms can be stretched out to 3 to five weeks.

Can you wax a snowboard with a hair dryer? ›

Take a hair dryer and heat the bottom of the skiboard (do one at a time). Apply a coat of race paste evenly. Use the hair dryer and heat again drying the wax. When dry, you can carefully scrape or wipe off the excess wax.

How long does a quick wax last? ›

The longevity of Ultimate Quik Wax, however, makes this difficult. Lasting a few weeks at best, this is a maintenance wax more than anything. If you really want to see a test of its protection against UV rays, be prepared to commit to this wax for several months or even years.

Do I want stiff or soft bindings? ›

In most cases, new snowboarders should start with a soft flexing binding to allow the most forgiveness when learning fundamental edge control. In contrast, an experienced snowboarder may lean towards a stiff binding for instant response and control.

Can you store a snowboard with the bindings on? ›

Snowboard and Bindings

First things first: get those bindings off. Not only does that give you a chance to inspect them for wear and tear or cracking, but it's best if they stay separate during the summer months to relieve pressure on the inserts from the screws.

Can you wax a board without base coat? ›

For cold water, you add the basecoat so it gives the softer cold rated wax something to stick to. If you just wax your board with cold wax without the basecoat, you could end up with clumped mounds of wax instead of the desired small “bumps” we're looking to create. Not to mention your wax job won't last as long.

Do you wax your traction pad? ›

Well, one of the upsides of having traction pads is that you don't have to wax your surfboard anymore. The traction pads are easy to install and you have to do it one time, unlike waxing where you need to constantly re-apply.

What part of the board do you wax? ›

If you are using a longboard, wax the entire topside of the board from nose to tail and edge to edge. If you are using a shortboard, wax the topside of the board from the front logo to the back edge (about two thirds of the length) and from edge to edge.

Can I use a candle to wax my snowboard? ›

No, you should never use candle wax on a snowboard. You should only ever use wax sold specifically for waxing a snowboard or skis. Using candle wax can actually ruin your board and make it go slower on the slopes.

Can I use car wax on my snowboard? ›

So in a pinch, yes you can use car wax on your skis if you have nothing better and it will work for the best part of a day but ultimately you need to use a proper wax.

Do new boards come waxed? ›

Most snowboards, like ours, come with a factory wax and tune. This means they don't need a hot wax before you take them out for their first spin. The quality of this wax varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. We suggest riding about 2-3 days before getting your board waxed for the first time.

Do you need to wax and sharpen a brand new snowboard? ›

A common question that new riders often ask is: Do you need to wax a new snowboard? And in general, the answer is "no." The tune that a snowboard receives at the end of the manufacturing process (often called the “factory tune”) is good enough for most riders.

How often should you edge a board? ›

As a general rule, you should look to get it sharpened once a year, unless you are an avid snowboarder (in which case you may want it sharpened more often). Normally new snowboards come pre-sharpened so that shouldn't be a problem for new buyers – which is one less worry from your mind!

How do I prepare my body for snowboard season? ›

The best way to prepare for this is to perform cardiovascular training at a moderate-intensity at least 150 minutes a week. For example, you could do 30 minutes of running, swimming, brisk walking, biking, or dancing 5 times a week, in preparation for the ski season.

Should I tune or wax snowboard first? ›

Always finish up your tuning by waxing your snowboard.

It's also recommended that you wax your snowboard throughout the winter season even if you're not doing base or edge repairs.

How often do you need to wax your snowboard? ›

Generally, you want to hot wax your board every 3 to 4 days of riding. This ensures better glide in varying snow conditions and an overall better performance. Just make sure you're using the right type of wax for the specific conditions.

Do squats help with snowboarding? ›

The squat is an essential exercise when training for snowboarding. Squats strengthen nearly all of the lower body muscles required for snowboarding, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and gluteal muscles (buttocks). The stronger your squat, the longer you'll ride.

What food is good before snowboarding? ›

Trail mix with your favorite foods-nuts, seeds, cereal, dried fruit, chocolate bits, mini pretzels or any of these things by themselves. You will be burning plenty of calories so hot chocolate or a cookie and low fat milk is a great treat on a cold, high-energy expenditure day.

What are the most common snowboard injuries? ›

The most frequent snowboarding injuries are to the wrist

In addition to wrist injuries, falling onto an outstretched hand can transmit the force along the arm and cause a shoulder or elbow injury. Around 60% of snowboarding injuries are to the arm, wrist, hand or thumb.

What is a full snowboard tune? ›

A tune-up is a maintenance service that is done periodically throughout the lifespan of your equipment to help give your ski or snowboard better performance out on the slopes. A tune-up is a comprehensive service consisting of several steps including cleaning, inspection, edge sharpening, base grinding, and waxing.

How long before scraping wax off snowboard? ›

Wait for the ski or snowboard to cool and dry completely (30 minutes to 1 hour). Don't cool the ski or board outside because that will cause the wax to get pushed back up out of the pores of the base.

How many times can you base grind a snowboard? ›

A full ski base grind is recommended after the first 5-8 days on a newly purchased pair of skis to give it time for the epoxy to settle. This process actually planes a small layer of base off the ski and can therefore only be done up to six times over the life of the ski.


1. Setting Up a New Snowboard
2. Pre-wax Base-prep For Ski Or Snowboard
(Mountain Cultures)
3. How to Prep your SNOWBOARD for the summer!
(Tommie Bennett)
4. See How To Make A Snowboard | Whitelines Snowboarding
(Whitelines Snowboarding)
5. 10 Beginner Snowboard Tips - First Day
6. The Ultimate Guide To Buying A New Snowboard
(Snowboard Addiction)


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