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Checklist: How To Keep Your Snowboard in Perfect Condition

A snowboard can last for years when properly maintained, stored, and repaired. To keep your snowboard in perfect condition for as long as possible, you’ll want to make sure you’re following through with a handful of simple tasks, including consistent base cleaning.

Here’s a checklist of how you can keep your snowboard in perfect condition:

  1. Clean the base every few runs.
  2. Wax the board between sessions.
  3. Smooth away any nicks or rust.
  4. Store the board in a dry place.
  5. Make immediate repairs.
  6. Avoid hazardous terrain.

Though no snowboard is built to last forever, you can extend your board’s lifespan by keeping it waxed, clean, and as dry as possible. Let’s run through some of the top maintenance tasks that can help keep your snowboard in great shape.

1. Clean the Base Every Few Runs

Though you might be running on clean white snow, your board can still get a little dirty after a few runs. So to achieve the best smooth glide across the ice, you’ll want to take the time to clean your board after every few sessions.

Still, if you’re new to snowboarding or you’re not in the habit of cleaning your base often, you might wonder how to do it. Let’s take a few moments to go over essential snowboard base cleaning techniques and supplies to help you make short work of this task.

How To Clean Your Snowboard Base

To clean your snowboard base, you’ll first need to purchase the right cleaning supplies. Fortunately, you’ll only need a spray-on cleaning solution and a few clean cloths or bar towels.

The Purl ECO Base Cleaner available from Amazon.com is a fantastic option, mainly because it’s fluorocarbon-free, biodegradable, and free of toxic chemicals. When you use this base cleaner, you can ensure you’re leaving a wake of snow, not pollution. 

After wiping away any bits of dirt or debris, you’ll want to dry your snowboard with one of your clean towels and set it somewhere (preferably elevated) to continue drying. After about thirty minutes, it should be ready for a fresh coat of wax.

Remember, part of cleaning your snowboard base is ensuring that the base is fully waxed. An unwaxed or filthy base can catch on the ice or fail to reach satisfying speeds. Besides, a fresh coat of wax is a great way to protect your board’s overall health and condition.

2. Wax the Board Between Sessions

Keeping your board waxed is one of the best ways to improve its overall performance and longevity. After all, wax helps protect your board’s surfaces from moisture, keeping it from delaminating.

But if you’re planning on hitting the slopes for a few days at the beginning of the season, then heading back in a few weeks to catch a little more air, you’ll want to make sure you’re waxing between sessions. 

Even experienced snowboarders can forget to wax their board before hitting the ice again, leading to slower speeds and damaged boards. Though many snowboard shops and repair technicians can wax your board, you might want to learn how to do it yourself.

You’ll need a waxing iron to apply hot wax to your board, and this type of wax is often preferable to the thinner rub-on varieties. You might also need a razor blade to help scrape away any stubborn bits of old wax. 

When applying a fresh coat of wax to your board, be sure that you’re in an area that can get a little dirty. A home garage or backyard patio could be the ideal place for this task. You might also want to set up a workspace when smoothing away small nicks and bits of rust from your snowboard.

3. Smooth Away Any Nicks or Rust

Tiny burrs along the sides of your board aren’t necessarily a cause for alarm. Though they can develop into deeper cracks over time, you can prevent this by simply smoothing them away. The same can be said for any rust that may form along the top or sides of your snowboard.

Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with this type of maintenance, you might not know where to start. Fortunately, smoothing away nicks and rust is often as simple as investing in a snowboard edger or visiting a snowboard shop. 

Using a Snowboard Edger

Snowboard edgers are specialized blades designed to keep board edges clean and sharp. They’re best used along the sides of the board and can remove tiny bits of rust or fractured metal.

Still, the nose and tail might benefit from a sharpening stone instead, especially if you spot small cracks. These are rectangular blocks with abrasive finishes that you can drag along the side of your board to keep its edges sharp and burr-free.

The DMT Ski and Snowboard Edge Care on Amazon.com is an excellent example of a handy snowboard sharpening tool. It has a fine grit that’s ideal for most board surfaces, especially edges. But, of course, you can also choose a coarse or extra-coarse model for a faster, more powerful sharpening.

But if you’re dealing with spots of rust, you’ll want to use medium- and fine-grit sandpaper, not a sharpening stone. Of course, you could also invest in a diamond stone to rub away the rust, but these can be somewhat pricey.

Visiting a Snowboard Shop

If you’re comfortable using a sharpening stone on the edges of your board, you can also choose to visit a snowboard shop for repair services. Professional repair technicians can quickly and easily fix any cracks or broken edges, helping you get back onto the frost as soon as possible.

Be Careful To Avoid Oversharpening

There’s something to be said for not sharpening your board edges often. After all, there’s only so much board to smooth away before you start changing its shape. Though it’s an excellent idea to sharpen away moderate nicks and rust, you never want to over sharpen your board.

Opting to visit a snowboard shop for repairs and sharpenings can help you avoid accidental oversharpening. After all, repair technicians can offer helpful advice to ensure you don’t accidentally shave away part of your board.

4. Store the Board in a Dry Place

One of the most vital aspects of maintaining a snowboard is storage. Putting your board in the wrong place during the summer and spring can potentially destroy it. That’s why you’ll want to take special care to store your board in a safe and dry area.

Some of the best things to keep in mind when storing your snowboard include:

  • Clean it first: Before you store your board, you’ll want to give it a proper wipe down. You may also want to apply a cleaning fluid and gently scrub away any stubborn bits of dirt. This way, you’ll be able to see any damage and prepare your board for a new coat of wax.
  • Make repairs if they’re needed: If your snowboard has some scrapes or scratches, you’ll want to repair them before putting the board into storage. Any cracks or holes can expose the board’s inner layers to moisture, potentially weakening it over time.
  • Apply wax before long-term storage: Are you storing your board at the end of the season? If so, you may want to apply some fresh wax to it. A solid coat of wax can help protect it from UV damage and humidity as it awaits the following year’s snowfall.
  • Avoid humid storage spaces: The last thing you want to do is store your snowboard in a humid area. After all, long-term exposure to moisture is a surefire way to rot a board. If you live in a humid area, you may want to install a dehumidifier in the room where your snowboard is stored.

Following these tips, you should be able to keep your snowboard in excellent condition while it’s in storage. A clean, waxed and repaired board is more likely to run smoothly next season than one that’s left dirtied and broken in a humid garage.

5. Make Immediate Repairs

Accidents happen, and it’s normal for your board to develop minor wear and tear throughout the season. But neglecting to repair these tiny bits of damage can be a death sentence for your snowboard. That’s because each layer of a board is built to protect the other layers.

If the sides of your board begin cracking or the base develops noticeable cracks and holes, it’s time to get serious about snowboard repair. But, of course, these are only a couple of the common types of snowboard damage you might find.

Familiarizing yourself with all the warning signs of a failing board can help you keep your gear in near-perfect shape. It’s also a great way to keep your rides smooth and avoid accidental collisions or falls.

Common Types of Snowboard Damage

There are quite a few noticeable signs of damage that you’ll want to watch for. For example, snowboarders should always examine their board before a run and check for:

  • Small cracks along the sides
  • Peeling laminate on the top
  • Large cracks on the nose or tail
  • Cracks on the stomp pad
  • Severe warping of board shape
  • Holes in the base
  • An exposed core layer

Any of these types of damage can lead to total board rot. Of course, some are more problematic than others, such as holes in the base of an exposed core. But even the more superficial issues, like cracking sides, deserve a quick fix. 

Remember, you’re going to be riding through snow and ice, both of which can impact your board’s layers. And many snowboards have wood cores. If this core is exposed to water and extreme cold, it can rot or crack, significantly weakening your board.

DIY Snowboard Repairs

In some cases, you might be able to repair your board without professional assistance. Many of the more minor issues have simple fixes. 

Consequently, maintaining your snowboard is similar to caring for your car: If you make sure to repair the minor issues quickly, you may be able to have your board looking good as new in no time. 

Still, you’ll need a clean and secure workspace, as well as a collection of helpful tools and supplies if you’d like to do some DIY snowboard repairs. And if you make a mistake, you might end up needing to take your board into the repair shop anyways.

Overall, professional repair technicians are the better choice. They’re likely to make solid, affordable repairs that can help keep your snowboard in ideal condition.  

Professional Snowboard Repair Services

Professional repair services are an excellent investment, though prices do vary from shop to shop. Still, you can expect to spend between $30 and $50 for a basic or complete repair and wax service. 

A high-quality snowboard can easily cost several hundred dollars, so most repair fees are comparatively affordable and reasonable. Besides, while your board’s getting repaired and waxed, you could start planning your run or treat yourself to a quick lunch.

6. Avoid Hazardous Terrain

Finally, you could extend the life of your snowboard by avoiding hazardous terrain. Naturally, this isn’t always possible. After all, heavy snowfall can easily conceal sharp boulders and sudden drop-offs. 

Still, if you can avoid potentially hazardous paths, you should. According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), 42 people suffered fatal accidents during the 2019-2020 winter season. Unfortunately, many of these accidents were the result of collisions.

Snowboarders should be careful to maintain their snowboards to ensure they don’t accidentally stray from their chosen path. In addition, a bent or splintered board can be challenging to maneuver, potentially leading to a collision with surrounding trees, rocks, or people.

How Do You Keep a Snowboard in Good Condition?

To keep a snowboard in good condition, it’s essential to keep it properly maintained and repaired. You’ll also want to store your board in a clean, dry, and safe location during the off-season. 

And though it’s not always possible, you may want to choose to ride on slopes with few natural hazards like rocks or steep embankments. That way, you’re less likely to break or damage your board while carving some snow.

Can You Leave a Snowboard Outside?

You shouldn’t leave a snowboard outside because that’s a great way to shorten the lifespan of your board. Even though snowboards are encased in durable plastics and fiberglass, these materials degrade and grow thin over time. 

Ice and snow can accelerate the rate at which a snowboard decomposes, so it’s vital to keep your board as dry and moisture-free as possible. It’s also a great idea to avoid leaving your snowboard outside during the summer season.

Whether you’re cleaning out your garage or just hoping to create some additional storage space in your home, it’s never wise to leave a snowboard out in the sun or on the lawn. UV radiation can cause the board’s laminate top sheet to separate. 

Additionally, your lawn’s slope can slowly alter your snowboard’s expertly crafted shape. That’s why it’s best to hang your board in a clean, dry area between sessions.

Conclusion

High-quality snowboards are bound to be pricier than beginner-level options. So naturally, snowboarders often find themselves wondering, “How do I keep my snowboard in good condition?” The answer to this question is trifold: Maintenance, repair, and storage.

Keeping your board clean and waxed is one of the most effective ways to repel general wear, but scratches and chips do happen. In addition, it’s crucial to repair damage as soon as you spot it, as long-term damage can lead to core rot. Finally, storing your board off the ground and in a clean, dry place is crucial to extending its lifespan.

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