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Guide: 5 Snowboard Repairs That Are Possible

Snowboarding is fun—until you slide over a rock and damage your board. These boards cost a few hundred dollars, so damaging them can be frustrating. What should you do in that situation, and what snowboard repairs are possible?

Here are 5 snowboard repairs that are possible:

  1. Snowboard binding replacement
  2. Performance wax upgrade
  3. Snowboard tuning
  4. Snowboard base deep gouge repair
  5. Cracked snowboard edge repair

In this article, you’ll learn more about the practicality of snowboard repairs and how to bring your board to life after damage.

Can a Snowboard Be Repaired?

A snowboard can be repaired if the extent of the damage isn’t severe. Many snowboard repair shops can revitalize a badly damaged board in a few hours. DIY enthusiasts can repair slightly damaged boards at home with the right gear. 

Most of the materials needed for a small repair can be procured online or from a snowboard shop.

Can a Cracked Snowboard Be Repaired?

A crack snowboard can be repaired. You can repair medium-sized cracks around the edge at home with some DIY. On the other hand, more serious or heavier cracks can affect your board’s structural integrity unless repaired with factory-grade equipment.

If you have a small edge crack in your snowboard, we’ll cover how you can complete the repair at home later in this article.

Let’s go straight into the various repairs that are possible and how to do them.

1. Snowboard Binding Replacement

Damaged snowboard bindings put you at risk of injury when you’re out on the slopes. Replacing damaged bindings and ensuring proper tightening, angling, and alignment can help maximize your safety on the slopes.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Philips-head screwdriver
  • Multi-tool
  • Wrench/Pinch

How To Replace Your Snowboard Binding

Here are the steps to follow for your snowboard binding replacement:

Choose the Right Binding

Most bindings are equipped with different base plates, so you have to choose an option compatible with your board. Apart from the overall compatibility with your board, you should also pay attention to the size. Your boot size should be the main deciding factor here.

You may be tempted to resurrect a damaged binding, but that’s rarely a good idea. Buying new bindings is the safer approach.

Align Your Board and Binding

With the binding secured, align the slots on the mounting disc with the channels on the snowboard. Then insert the screws but don’t tighten them fully. 

You still need to adjust the bindings, so you need to allow room for it to move.

If you force the binding to move after tightening the screws, you can damage the threading on the mounting disc.

Adjust the Binding Horizontally

The next step is to move the bindings up and down the board until you get your stance width. Most snowboards come with center stances to make placement easy. However, that’s a solution that doesn’t work for everyone. 

If you’re a beginner, it’s best to set your feet to line up just slightly away from your shoulders. With such a setup, you can initiate turns with your shoulders like a pro instead of lowering your center of gravity to use your hips.

Set Your Angles

Your level of skill and type of snowboarding should be the main determinants of the angle you choose. If you engage in slaloms, it’s best to angle both feet towards the front of the board. 

When doing freestyles, keep your toes pointed away from each other. For beginners, it’s best to go with the “Duck Stance.” 

Tighten the Screws on Your Binding

With the angles sorted, you can tighten the screws on your binding. If you’re unsure about your stance after the binding is secure, have someone more experienced take a look before you get started. You should only hit the slopes if the stance feels comfortable.

2. Performance Wax Upgrade

If you notice your board looks white and dry, it’s time to repair it with a wax treatment. Such dry boards are slower on flat sections, affecting your snowboarding experience.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Cloth
  • Structuring Brush
  • Scraper
  • Iron
  • Wax

How To Complete the Performance Wax Upgrade

Here are the steps to follow for your performance wax upgrade:

Remove the Bindings on the Board

You need to fully remove the bindings and the screws before you proceed. If the binding screws come in contact with the hot wax iron, they’ll conduct heat and possibly cause more damage to your board. Keep the screws safe after removal. You don’t want to lose them on a busy work surface.

Clean the Snowboard Base

Proper cleaning helps make sure that all old wax and any tacked-on dirt are removed. The board will absorb the fresh wax a lot better this way. You can clean the board with a base cleaner and cloth. Alternatively, you can adopt the hot scrape method.  

In the hot scrape method, you have to use a hot iron to apply a thin layer of hot wax to the board and then scrape it off as the wax is still warm to get rid of all dirt and grime from the board’s pores. Once you’re done, wipe the base with a cloth to get rid of any remaining residue.

Pick Your Snowboarding Wax

Snowboard waxes come in different temperature ratings. The configurations refer to the temperature of the snow you’ll be riding. So, cold wax for cold snow and warm wax for warm snow. If you’re in doubt about the temperature you’ll be riding in, you can go with all-temperature wax.

Melt the Wax

You can melt the wax with a standard clothes iron, but snowboard repair shops have specific waxing iron. The downside with using your clothes iron for this job is that you can’t use it on your clothes again!

Follow these steps to melt the wax:

  1. Warm up the iron until it’s at medium heat.
  2. Hold the wax against the iron until the wax starts to melt and drip slowly downwards.
  3. Direct the dripping wax onto the board and move it around the board’s edges and across the middle.
  4. Aim for an even coating of wax across the board. The board’s edges should get the bulk of the attention as they are often the driest part.

Iron the Snowboard Base

With the base covered in wax, place the iron on it and move it around in a systematic circular motion. Cover the entire surface, but pay attention and keep the board moving fast so that the base won’t get too hot. If you leave the iron in one spot for too long, you’ll end up damaging the base permanently.

Allow the Wax To Cool and Scrape Off Any Excesses

After ironing the board, allow the wax to cool down and set for around 20–30 minutes. Once it has cooled down, use the plastic scraper to carefully remove all excess wax. 

Hold it at a 45-degree angle and work carefully from nose to tail. Maintain long, continuous strokes to ensure a smooth base.

Apply the Finishing Touches

Check the rails to get rid of any wax left on them. Removing the wax is important because it can render your edges ineffective. The notched end of your scraper is the best tool to use here.

The final touch to complete the job is to brush the snowboard base from nose to tail to remove excess wax using a structuring brush. Removing the excess wax will expose the structure of the base and ensure your board can run faster and smoother.

3. Snowboard Tuning

Are your rides feeling bumpier than normal on your chosen surface? Your snowboard may need tuning. Tuning your snowboard will make your rides smoother and improve your overall experience out on the slopes.

Snowboard tuning incorporates three different repairs: 

Base Repair

Base damage is relatively common in snowboarding. Riding over rock with a thin cover of snow is the usual culprit. Once the damage happens, you’ll notice a significant difference in how your snowboard glides. So, it’s important to repair the board as quickly as possible.

Here’s a video on how you can complete this:

Tools you’ll need:

  • Razorblade
  • Wire brush
  • Lighter
  • P-Tex candle
  • Metal scraper
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean towels
  • Base cleaner

Edge Work

Your snowboard edges will drag and slow you down on firm snow if they have lots of rust or burrs. With this aspect of the repair, you can remove all such abrasions and help your snowboard perform optimally.

Here’s a short video to help you here:

Tools you’ll need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gummy stone
  • Diamond stone
  • Clean towels

Waxing

We already talked about waxing above. It’s usually the final step in snowboard tuning, so if you’re yet to wax your snowboard, now is a good time.

One thing to keep in mind about waxing: you don’t have to wait until your board starts to underperform. Ideally, you should wax your board every 3–4 outings.

4. Snowboard Base Deep Gouge Repair

You can repair deep gouges under your snowboard. The process will take a bit longer than standard base repair, but in the end, you’ll have your board ready to go. We’ll look at the steps you can take to achieve that, but first:

Assess the Damage

While you can complete this repair job at home most of the time, the damage may be harder to deal with in certain situations. For example, while it’s easy to repair a mid-depth gouge, you’ll need to visit a repair shop if the damage reaches the snowboard core. You’ll also need professional help if the gouge takes out some part of the edge.

Similarly, if you’re using an old snowboard already repaired multiple times, you’ll need to take it to a shop to get it ground and smoothened.

If the gouge falls within the DIY range as described above, you’ll need to have the following tools on hand to complete the repair.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Razorblade
  • Wire brush
  • Butane lighter or propane torch (your household candle can also work)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Base cleaner
  • Metal scraper
  • Clean towels
  • Polyethylene repair candle
  • Snowboard Vise

With your tools in place, it’s time to start the repair.

Prepare the Snowboard Base

Turn the snowboard base upwards and secure it in a vise to hold it in place. If you don’t have a vise, you can use two raised blocks, a stack of books, or some wood to support the board as you work on it. Go over the damaged portion and remove all remnants of base material around the hole.

The metal scraper will come in handy here, but you can also use a razor blade. 

Brush off any dirt or debris around the area, get rid of any dirt, and wax with a base cleaner. Allow the base cleaner to dry completely, then use rubbing alcohol and a clean towel to remove any remaining base cleaner.

Fill the Gouge With P-Tex

Polyethylene repair candle, commonly known as P-Tex, is the main ingredient when filling serious gouges on a snowboard. The first step to using it is to light up one tip of the P-Tex candle and then wait for the flaming. It takes a while to get going, so just wait a few minutes.

As the tip burns, it’ll generate black carbon flakes. Don’t allow the residue to get into the board base, as it’ll reduce the bonding ability of the P-Tex. You can achieve this by allowing the candle dripping to fall onto your metal scraper and then roll the tip around until it’s clear and without any carbon.

Instead of big and yellow, a low and blue flame will also help you keep the molten P-Tex carbon-free. Once you’ve accumulated a decent size of molten P-Tex candle, you can move it to the gouge.

Here’s what you should do next:

  1. Hold the candle very close to the surface and then allow it to slowly flow into the hole.
  2. Begin at the far corner of the board, and allow it to pool in the middle. You can overfill the P-Tex because it’ll shrink as it cools down.
  3. Turn off the flame once satisfied with the overall covering. Otherwise, burn the second round of P-Tex and turn off the flame.
  4. Wait 15–20 minutes to allow the P-Tex to cool down.
  5. Remove all excessive P-Tex material sticking up too much above the base of your board using a sharp, 90-degree edge metal scraper.
  6. You should hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle and work with overlapping strokes to remove the material.
  7. Once the P-Tex is smooth across the base with no bumps, you can go ahead and hit the mountain.

5. Cracked Snowboard Edge Repair

You can easily crack your snowboard edge from a harsh impact while riding. It can also crack from just falling off your hand. As soon as the edge cracks, your board will quickly deteriorate as water can seep in and damage the board’s core.

Fortunately, you can repair the board’s edge and prevent damage.  

Tools you’ll need:

  • Hammer
  • Cold chisel or flathead screwdriver
  • Fishing nails
  • Flexible epoxy
  • C-clamps
  • P-Tex
  • Sandpaper

Here’s what you should do:

Straighten Out the Edge 

The first step of the repair process is to pound the edge if it’s bent out of shape. You can do it with a flathead screwdriver and a hammer or a cold chisel. Depending on the level of damage, it might take a while to correct the bend. Take your time with it.

Dry Out the Board

You have to ensure the board is free of moisture before you start working on it. Keep it at room temperature to dry out gradually and prevent trapping in moisture with your repairs. Drying under the sun or any other such harsh methods will cause warping.

Open up the sidewall and base around the broken edge using small fishing nails. Leave the nails in and ensure there’s enough room to allow glue.

Glue up the Board

Any kind of epoxy can do the job here, but it’s best to use flexible options.

The WEST SYSTEM G/Flex Epoxy from Amazon.com is a good one. It’s easy to apply, thanks to the patterned tip.

  1. Spread a good amount of epoxy in the open edge.
  2. Heat it with a hairdryer to liquefy it. The liquid will seep into the core.
  3. Heat the board’s topside, sidewall, and base with the dryer until the epoxy stops bubbling. Pay attention to avoid melting the top sheet or base.

Clamp and Allow Epoxy To Cure

Remove the nails and sandwich the board’s sidewall with some C-clamps and scrapers. Pay attention to avoid excessive tightening and prevent dimpling of the board.

Allow the epoxy to cure overnight. Sand off any excess epoxy the next day and fix any significant scratches using P-Tex as we’ve already described above.

Sources

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