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Do I Need To Wax A New Snowboard Before Riding It?

Getting a new snowboard is one of the happiest days for any snowboarder. There is nothing like picking up a new snowboard and heading to the slopes. You may be asking yourself, do I need to wax a new snowboard before riding it the first time?

Do snowboards come waxed from the factory? Will you hurt it by not waxing it? Are the edges sharpened or do they need a full tune before you ride it the first time?

The quick answer is that you should get your snowboard waxed before using it. It does come with a wax and tune from the factory so you won’t hurt it by riding on it right away.

Do I Need To Wax A New Snowboard?

All new snowboards are waxed and tuned at the factory before being shipped. The main purpose of this wax is to protect the snowboard base during shipping. This wax is the cheapest wax the snowboard manufacturer could find and they apply it as quickly and cheaply as possible.

The wax seals the base of the snowboard and keeps water from getting into the core. Many snowboards have wood cores and wood doesn’t like water. The wax also provides a slippery surface to glide over the snow. Wax protects your snowboard and makes it perform better.

Some snowboard manufacturers put more care into their factory wax than others. If you read snowboarding forums or Reddit you will see a thousand answers for which snowboards come waxed good and which don’t. For every post saying one manufacturer is good, there is another who said the opposite.

The best thing to do is either have your snowboard waxed at a ski shop or wax your snowboard yourself (it’s easy). This way you will have fresh wax that is correct for your snow conditions.

You can’t overdo snowboard waxing. There is no such thing as getting too much wax into your bases.

How do you wax a brand new snowboard?

The easiest way to wax a new snowboard is to take it to a snowboard shop. The next easiest way is to wax it yourself. Snowboards aren’t cheap so a few extras dollars for wax when you buy that snowboard is a small price to protect it from water intrusion and make it perform better.

If you want to wax a snowboard yourself, it’s easy. The essentials are an iron (a clothes iron without steam works), a scraper, and wax. Swix makes really good wax and tools for snowboard tuning. The below video gives a quick lesson on how to wax a snowboard. They mention using a specific waxing iron. It can be done with a clothes iron. I waxed mine with one for years growing up. As long as the temperature can be adjusted low and there aren’t a ton of steam holes on the iron you are good.

Do you need to tune a new snowboard?

Snowboards are sharpened at the factory as part of the assembly process. The edges will have a basic tune on them. Many advanced snowboarders prefer some bevel and shape to their edges. They will tune new snowboards before skiing them to get their preferred edge profile. As a beginner to an intermediate snowboarder, you won’t notice the difference if your edges have a bevel or not. If you have to ask whether a new snowboard needs its edges sharpened than the answer is no.

How to tell if a snowboard needs wax?

Snowboards need to be waxed when the base dries out and has no wax in it anymore. You will see areas of white chalky appearance in the base where it has no wax. These areas form along the edges and spread into the middle. When there is no wax your snowboard bottom will feel rough and dry. When they have wax they will feel smooth and slick. You might notice that your snowboard also starts sticking to the snow when it needs to be waxed.

There is no overdoing wax on your snowboard. There is no such thing as waxing it too much. Not enough wax can damage a snowboard when water gets into the wood cores. When in doubt, add more wax. You’ll never be wrong.

How often should I wax my snowboard?

There is a giant range of opinions on this. Some people say you should wax your snowboard after every 6 to 8 hours of snowboarding. That is 1 long day of riding. Most people do not wax their snowboard that often. Every 5 to 10 days snowboarding during the winter is a good interval.

Many people get a wax and tune at the start of the season and don’t touch their snowboard for the rest of the winter. If your someone who only snowboards a few days a winter that can be enough.

Once you get to spring boarding where sap and other junk start floating up in the melting snow you need to wax more often. If you snowboard somewhere with high junk content in the snow you might need to scrape and wax after every session. If the snow is cleaner with less tree sap then you can do it every few snowboarding days. Look at your snowboard at the end of the day and see if there is sap or other residue building up on the bottom.

snowboarder on steep chute at Boyne Highlands

Final Words

Congratulations on getting a new snowboard. If you are wondering do I need to wax a new snowboard? Yes, you should so go get it the wax job it deserves. Your snowboard will perform better with the correct wax for your snow conditions. It will have a solid layer of wax soaked into the bases to protect it from water. If you are in a super hurry and can’t make it before your next snowboarding day, go ahead and ride it once and take it afterward. I hope you have fun with your new snowboard.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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