When Do Scratches On A Snowboard Actually Matter?


If you are an avid snowboarder, you may be wondering what aspects of your snowboard will enhance or hinder you in terms of performance and handling. There is not much to a snowboard, but you might wonder how scratches and damage on the underside will affect how you ride.

Scratches on a snowboard will matter if the scratch or gouge is deeper the 0.5mm deep. If it is deeper than this, it may affect your board’s performance regarding how it feels when you ride. If it is a shallow scratch, then it won’t affect your snowboard, and most damage can be repaired with a little DIY knowledge, wax, and some PTEX. 

This article will cover if scratches actually matter and affect the performance of your snowboard. It will also take a look at how scratches and gouges can occur and how to tell if your snowboard is worn out. Lastly, I’ll give you tips for a quick DIY scratch repair on your snowboard. 

Do scratches on a snowboard matter?

Scratches and gouges on a snowboard are inevitable, just like the snow on the mountain tops you ride on.  Some scratches matter and some do not. This all depends on how deep they run and how much damage the underside of your board has incurred. 

Shallow scratches that are 0.5mm deep or less will not cause any snowboard performance issues and won’t matter.  If they are deeper and more extensive than this and you have a few, your board’s performance will suffer. That is to say; the ride won’t be as smooth. 

How does a snowboard get scratches and gouges?

Many people wonder how snowboards even obtain scratches and gouges if you only use them when snowboarding. There are two main reasons that your board may get dinged up. Scratches can occur if you don’t own a snowboard bag and just carry it around with you when you travel, not thinking about the implications when you have to put it down wherever you are. 

The other reason is that when you are on the slopes, there are other foreign objects out there besides snow, like rocks, twigs, pebbles, and bark from wood. Remember, snowboarding takes place out in nature, so if you’re not careful, you can ride over just about anything. 

How do I tell if my snowboard is worn out?

The curve between the front tip and the rear tip (tail) of your snowboard is known as the camber. This is the part of your board that lays flat on the surface. When the camber has spring in it, the board will be able to turn easily (this is very good for freestyle moves). Flat camber is typically a sign that your board is worn out and needs to be repaired if possible or replaced. 

How to fix shallow scratches on a snowboard

The process of fixing shallow scratches and damage on the underside of your board are easier than you would think. Follow the the process below. If you need to freshen up the appearance of the top of your board, using stickers is a cool way to hide damage and personalize your board.

Items and tools you will need to fix scratches on your snowboard

  • Snowboard base cleaner
    • Check out this base cleaner on Amazon here
  • Snowboard wax
    • Check out this wax on Amazon here
  • Plastic scraper
    • Check out this scraper on Amazon here
  • Pliers and flush-cutters
    • Check out this toolset on Amazon here
  • PTEX
    • Check out this PTEX on Amazon here
  • Lighter
    • Check out this lighter on Amazon here
  • Scraper blade
    • Check out this razor on Amazon here
  • Xacto knife
    • Check out this Xacto knife on Amazon here
  • Medium grit sandpaper
    • Check out this sandpaper on Amazon here
  • Snowboard wax iron
    • Check out this wax iron on Amazon here

Step-by-step tutorial

Start by using the Xacto knife to cut away any obtrusive areas of the scratch or gauge. Make sure to cut off just the parts that are needed, not making the damage any worse.

Once this is done, you will use the scraper blade and move it over the damaged area from all angles. This will help you remove any bits and pieces that you could not get with the Xacto knife. 

The next step is to clean the board. Using your snowboard cleaner, apply a generous amount to the damaged area as well as the rest of the board. You do not want any unnecessary foreign objects flying around or getting into the crevices of the damaged area. Use any form of a cloth or rag to clean the snowboard thoroughly. 

Following that, you will then use the PTEX and burn it using the lighter. This is the same principle as burning candle wax and letting it drip. Holding the PTEX over the damaged area, set it alight, and let it burn to allow the liquid to drip and fill up the damaged area (scratch or gouge). 

Two things to keep in mind; Hold the PTEX close to the area so it burns with a blue flame creating a cleaner burn; Then overfill the gouge or scratch because it is easier to remove it than if you had to repeat the process again. 

It would be best if you then let the PTEX dry, so you should set your snowboard aside for approximately half an hour (30 minutes).

After the PTEX has dried, you will then use the scraper blade again to remove all the excess PTEX wax (you should have overfilled the damaged area; otherwise, you will have to repeat that step). With the same motion of moving the scraper blade back and forth over the damaged area and from all angles, you should be left with a board that is repaired. 

Using your sandpaper, work your way around the damaged area to roughen it up and any other areas on the underside of your board if necessary. Roughening up the bottom of your snowboard with sandpaper will allow the snowboard wax to adhere to the board quickly. 

Once complete, you will now use the wax to finish up your snowboard’s repair job, making it smooth. Using the snowboard wax iron, melt the wax and drip it generously on the bottom of your board. Make sure that the wax is spread evenly though, and all over the underside of your snowboard. Use enough wax but don’t overwax the board.

Once this is done, use the iron to spread and melt the wax evenly across the board and let it dry for approximately half an hour (30 minutes) once again. 

When the wax is cool to the touch after the appropriate time has passed, then it is ready to be scraped off with the plastic scraper.

If you would like a visual tutorial on the process, watch the following video.

Conclusion

You can scratch and damage your snowboard pretty easily, but for the most part, scratches that are no deeper than 0.5mm should not be any cause for concern and will not affect your riding in any way. 

I also pointed out that if the camber of your board does not have a spring to it, then no matter if it has scratches or not, you should probably look at getting it repaired or replaced. 

Finally, if you do have any scratches or the bottom of your board is damaged, the tutorial above is also how it will be repaired repair at a shop. You should consider it yourself if you are out on the slopes often because it is cheaper than sending it in for repairs. It’ll take you about 2 hours while you will have to leave your snowboard at the shop and wait till they get to it. 

Source list

Scratches on a snowboard.

Ski and Snowboard Base Repair

At what point does a scratch want repairing?

How do I keep a snowboard from getting scratched or dinged on a plane without a padded snowboard bag?

Ryan Conner

Outdoor enthusiast with several years of snowboarding experience in the winters and watersports activities all summer. Living within 3 hours of 4 well-known ski resorts, I get plenty of board time from Nov-March every season.

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