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If you’re a regular snowboarder, you likely have your own snowboard. It’s essential that you’re caring for it properly, as there are various ways that you can ruin your snowboard.
Here are 8 ways to completely ruin your snowboard:
- Landing your snowboard too hard
- Hitting your snowboard on rocks
- Using your snowboard when its core is exposed
- Not cleaning your snowboard well
- Not waxing your snowboard regularly
- Not tuning your snowboard regularly
- Not storing your snowboard regularly
- Transporting your snowboard without protecting it
Snowboards are expensive, and you should learn how to preserve yours. It’s also essential to know more about snowboard maintenance so that you can reduce the risks of accidents. This article explores how you can ruin your snowboards and how you can prevent and address extreme damage.
Can a Snowboard Warp/Break/Snap?
Before exploring specific actions that can lead to you ruining your snowboard, it’s important to understand the different ways a snowboard can be damaged. A snowboard can break or snap, can warp, and also suffer from general wear and tear.
These different types of damage are explored in greater detail below.
Can a Snowboard Warp?
To tell whether a snowboard has warped, you should consider:
- Whether its shape has changed: The curve of the snowboard may change if it has been warped.
- Whether it has dents: Warping may also cause deep dents in your snowboard.
- Whether your performance has been impacted: When a snowboard has warped, it cannot bear the snowboarder’s weight. You may notice that your balance has changed or that your snowboard isn’t turning as smoothly.
A warped snowboard will not only function less effectively but also be dangerous for a snowboarder to use.
Can a Snowboard Break or Snap?
Snowboards can break or snap, primarily when they’re roughly handled or used. Depending on how badly it’s damaged, a snowboard can also break or snap when you’re riding it or when it’s carried or transported.
If your snowboard has snapped or broken, it’s best to get a new one. While the pieces can be glued together, they’ll likely break again. This is especially dangerous if this happens when you’re snowboarding.
What Other Ways Can a Snowboard Be Damaged?
Other ways a snowboard can be damaged include scratching, small dents, and chipping. While these seem minor, over time, they can build up into something more significant. Warping, breaking, and snapping are extreme types of snowboard damage.
With this understanding of the different types of damage that a snowboard may suffer, let’s explore specific actions that can completely ruin your snowboard:
1. Landing Your Snowboard Too Hard
When you jump from a height and land on your snowboard, it can put a large amount of pressure on the board. If your snowboard is made with low-quality materials, it can begin to get damaged. If you land it in the same way several times, it may snap or break.
There are a few factors that may make your snowboard more vulnerable to breaking from hard landings:
- The weight of the snowboarder. The heavier the snowboarder, the more pressure on the board and the more vulnerable it is to cracking.
- The size of the jump. If the jump is made from a higher height, the pressure on the board when landing will increase.
- The style of the landing. If you land the board at its tail or front rather than in the middle, it’s more likely to break.
- Existing damage to the board. Before taking your snowboard out, especially if you’ll try high jumps, you should inspect it for any cracks that may get aggravated by heavy landings.
To ensure that you’re not landing your snowboard too hard, plot out your route beforehand and ensure that you’re not trying jumps that are too high. It also helps if you’re riding a high-quality snowboard as these are less vulnerable to breaking and snapping.
2. Hitting Your Snowboard on Rocks
Depending on the landscape and season you’re snowboarding in, you may find that some of the rocks on your route aren’t covered in snow. Hitting these rocks is dangerous not just for you but also for your snowboard.
If you hit a rock, you may dent or warp your snowboard. On some occasions, your board may even snap into two.
Plot out your route beforehand and talk to other snowboarders who have taken the same route to ensure you won’t encounter large or dangerous rocks.
3. Using Your Snowboard When Its Core Is Exposed
Every snowboard has a core that sits at its center that shouldn’t be exposed to the elements. Continuously riding your snowboard with the core exposed can cause it to break.
So, before each trip, inspect your snowboard to ensure the core can’t be seen.
If you notice that the core is exposed (typically because of continuous wear and tear), you can seal your board using a sealant. Some sealants from Amazon.com that you can use include:
- Eastwood Diamond Clear Satin Finish Aerosol. This is a sealant and protector that offers excellent value for money as it can be used on a range of different surfaces, including your snowboard.
- Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant. This sealant is easy to use and is waterproof, which is especially useful for protecting snowboards that are continuously exposed to damp areas.
It’s important to note that a sealant is only a temporary fix. It’ll help if you give your snowboard to a professional repairer or consider getting a new board.
4. Not Cleaning Your Snowboard Well
You should often clean your snowboard, mainly if you’ve just used it or stored it away for a long time. Cleaning your snowboard includes wiping down the base with a clean cloth and a cleaning solution.
If you don’t clean your snowboard, it may accumulate rocks in its cracks, contributing to wear and tear. Dirt may even break down the sealant on the board, increasing the chances of it breaking or snapping.
Here are two of the best snowboard cleaning solutions:
- Purl Eco Base Cleaner. This is a biodegradable, non-toxic pre-prepared solution that has been designed especially for snowboards. As a result, it doesn’t break down the sealant on your board but rather just strips off the grime.
- Citrus Magic All-Purpose Cleaner. This cleaner isn’t designed primarily for snowboards but quite effectively breaks down and removes dirt on them. It can also be used for several other cleaning functions around the home, such as wiping down surfaces. It has an adjustable nozzle, allowing you to change the power and intensity of the spray.
How To Clean the Base of Your Board
Follow these steps to clean the base of your board:
- Wipe down the base of our board with a clean cloth.
- Spray the cleaning solution directly on the board.
- Use another clean cloth to rub the cleaner into the board, agitating the cloth until the dirt is dislodged.
- Allow the board to set and dry.
5. Not Waxing Your Snowboard Regularly
Equally, if not more, important than cleaning is waxing your snowboard regularly. New snowboards will generally come pre-waxed by the manufacturer. This means that a thin layer of wax has been applied to the snowboard, but over time, it gets eroded.
If you’re using your snowboard regularly, you must wax it often to rebuild the layer of wax. This is important because of the following reasons:
- It helps the snowboard stay hydrated, which increases the performance of the snowboard in terms of turns and speed.
- It helps protect the snowboard from abrasions and scratches.
- It helps the snowboard last longer as it makes it more wear-resistant.
- It protects the snowboard from moisture which can erode the inside part of the board.
Not waxing your snowboard often makes it vulnerable to damage, especially warping.
Here are some of the best waxing agents on Amazon.com that you can use for your snowboard:
- Demon Hyper Wax. This is a scented block of wax popular amongst snowboarders across America for its ease of use and ability to withstand low temperatures. It can be used several times and offers excellent value for money.
- Purl Wax. This is a versatile wax as it can be used for both snowboards and skis. It’s made with a non-toxic formula and is biodegradable. It can be used several times and has a pleasant after scent.
- SwiftGlide Ski Wax Spray. Most snowboard waxes come in blocks that have to be melted down to use them. The SwiftGuide Spray is comparatively easy to use as you can spray it onto your snowboard. However, this should only be used as a quick top-off – you should follow the whole waxing process every few times you take your snowboard out.
Aside from a block of wax, some of the other materials you’ll need for waxing your snowboard correctly are:
- A snowboard waxing iron. I recommend using the Wintersteiger Ski/Snowboard Waxing Iron from Amazon.com as it’s portable and lightweight.
- A plastic or acrylic wax scraper. Try to use the Mt Sun Gear Heavy Duty Acrylic Wax Scraper that you can get from Amazon.com. It’s easy to sharpen and is easy to maneuver and control.
- A buffing brush. Use a stiff-haired brush or try the Swix T158D Medium Coarse Bronze Rectangular Brush from Amazon.com. The Swix brush has been designed especially for snowboard maintenance and is firm but gentle on the board.
How To Wax Your Snowboard
To ensure you’re waxing your snowboard correctly, follow these steps:
- Clean the base of your snowboard using the base cleaning steps explored above.
- Heat the snowboard waxing iron.
- Press the wax block to the snowboarding iron, allowing a layer of wax to drip onto the board.
- Once the board is completely covered with wax, allow 10-15 minutes for the wax to cool.
- Hold your wax scraper at a 45-degree angle and gently scrape the wax until a very thin layer is left on the board.
- Use the brush to buff the remaining wax into the board gently. This will ensure that the wax latches onto the board, protecting it.
Following these steps regularly will prevent your board from getting completely ruined.
6. Not Tuning Your Snowboard Regularly
Tuning your snowboard includes repairing the area around the core with sealant and waxing your board. It also includes repairing the snowboard’s edges. This should be done every 20 times you take it out for a run.
When you tune your snowboard regularly, this will ensure that it doesn’t warp or that you’re addressing any warps before they get unmanageable.
According to REI, you’ll need the following to tune your snowboard:
- A gummy stone. I recommend buying Tools4Boards Gummy Trio Rubber Abrasive Stone Set from Amazon.com. This set offers excellent value for money.
- A diamond stone. You may buy the Diaface Moonflex Ski & Snowboard Diamond Stone from Amazon.com. It’s a popular choice for many snowboarders.
- Clean towels
- Rubbing alcohol
How To Repair the Edges of Your Snowboard
Follow these steps when tuning your snowboard’s edges:
- Inspect your snowboard for any scratches or rust at the edges.
- Use the gummy stone to rub off these scratches or rust.
- Dip a clean towel into the rubbing alcohol, and use the towel to agitate any lingering rust or dust.
- Use the diamond stone to file at the edges, ensuring you shape the edge’s curve in the way you want.
- Run the snowboard down with a clean towel.
7. Not Storing Your Snowboard Properly
If you snowboard only in the winter, it’s essential to store it correctly during the summer. If you don’t store it properly, it’ll absorb moisture and may warp. Ensure that you clean and tune your snowboard before you begin to pack it away for storing.
Here’s how you can store your snowboard correctly:
- Wipe down your snowboard, ensuring it’s as dry as possible.
- Use sealant on any cracks if necessary.
- Tune the edge of the board to your liking.
- Wax your board, leaving a thin layer of wax on it.
- Place your snowboard in a cool, dry area, ensuring it’s cushioned.
8. Transporting Your Snowboard Without Protecting It
You’ll likely have to travel with your snowboard to find the best routes and trails. To ensure you don’t scratch it while being transported, you should make sure it’s placed in a travel bag.
Snowboard travel bags are typically waterproof, well-cushioned, and have easy-to-carry handles, such as the OutdoorMaster ORCA Snowboard Bag from Amazon.com. However, ensure that you select one that’s suited to your snowboard’s size.
Best Snowboard Maintenance Kits
There are several snowboard maintenance kits that you can use to make sure your snowboard doesn’t get ruined. Below are two of the best options from Amazon.com:
This kit has a range of tools to ensure that you can clean, tune, and repair your snowboard. All the tools can be packed neatly together into an easily portable bag.
Some of the tools included in the kit are:
- Citrus base cleaner
- Dual voltage wax iron
- Gummy stone
- Snowboard sharpener
This is a portable tuning kit with a waterproof bag and box. The kit includes:
- Blocks of snowboarding wax
- A wax scraper
- A nylon brush
- A brass brush
- A coarse file
It’s important to note that this kit doesn’t come with a wax iron.
Carrying a maintenance kit with you on your next trip to the slopes will ensure that you can protect your board and that it doesn’t get ruined.
Resources Mentioned Above
- Amazon: Citrus Magic All Purpose Cleaner
- Amazon: Eastwood Diamond Satin Finish
- Amazon: Henkel Waterproof Sealant
- Amazon: Demon Mechanic Ski and Snowboard Tuning Wax Kit
- Amazon: Demon Hyper Wax
- Amazon: Diaface Moonflex Ski & Snowboard Diamond Stone
- Amazon: PURL – Ski & Snowboard Wax
- Amazon: Ski Wax Spray
- Amazon: Swix T158D Medium Coarse Bronze Rectangular Brush
- Amazon: Tools4Boards Gummy Stones
- Amazon: Mt Sun Gear Heavy Duty Wax
- Amazon: Outdoor Master Snow Bag
- Amazon: Wintersteiger Ski/Snowboard Waxing Iron
- Amazon: XCMAN Ski and Snowboard Waxing and Tuning Kit
- Adventure Sports Outpost: How to Tell if You Need to Replace a Damaged Ski or
- Instructables: Waxing, Tuning and Attached Bindings
- Make Space: How to store Snowboarding Gear
- Melbourne Snowboard: How to wax your snowboard
- REI: How to tune snowboards?
- Spare Foot: How to properly store your snowboard
- Snowboarding Forum: Is my board warped?
- Snowboarding Forum: Warped Boards
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