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Ultra Scaled

Snowboard Tuning and Maintenance Tips

Ultra Scaled

When you buy a snowboard, you don’t want to wear it out too quickly. You want the board to last season after season, and the only way to ensure this happens, is to do a snowboard tune up and maintain it regularly.

In this post, the snowboard maintenance tips we’ll cover include:

Snowboard tuning supplies you’ll need:

  • 10” Mill Bastard File
  • File Guide
  • Scraper or Razor blade
  • P-Tex Repair Candle
  • Optional: Vise or something to hold the board

Don’t worry, snowboards don’t require a ton of maintenance, and most of it will become second-nature once you’ve done it a few times. Let’s dive in!

How To Dry Off A Snowboard

It’s important to properly dry off your snowboard when returning from the ski resort.

A wet board that isn’t dried off properly, leads to rusted edges, which decreases the performance of the snowboard and corrosion to the metal edge. You can remove rust easily with a gummy stone, file, fine sandpaper, or a base grind. These simple tips will keep your edges rust free.

To dry off your snowboard: Lay the board upside down on the bindings to allow the snow to melt and the water to drain off the board.

To avoid rusted edges, DO NOT:

  • Lay your board flat on its base or on its side when it’s drying. This will trap moisture and rust edges
  • Set your board upright because water will drain down the board and rust nose or tail
  • Put your wet board in a board bag

How to Wax a Snowboard

Waxing your snowboard is one of the things you’ll do most often to keep it in top-tier shape. If you want to do this yourself, check out our article “How to Wax a Snowboard at Home“, otherwise, find a reputable snowboard shop that can help you wax your snowboard every few rides.

How to Detune Snowboard Edges

Detuning an edge helps to allow the board to smoothly transition from edge to edge without the sharp new edge catching. You want your edges to land in the middle of the spectrum of detuned and sharpened for the ideal ride.

Riders who want to make sure they’re constantly detuning their board are those who are buttering, doing flat ground spin tricks, or sliding on rails and boxes. However, be careful because if you detune more than 2” from the contact points you cannot bring the edge back. This will affect the board’s edge permanently. 

To detune your snowboard edges you’ll need:

  • 10” Mill Bastard File
  • File Guide

Step 1: Locate the main contact point on a snowboard. This is the part of the board that is most often coming into contact with the snow underneath. To find the main contact point, put the board on its side, look toward the tip or tail (where the board is starting to upturn) and you’ll see a line where the sidewall ends and another piece starts.

Step 2: From the contact points inward, dull the edge 1”-2”. To do this, hold the file at a 10-15 degree angle and lightly run the file down the edge.

How to Use a Snowboard Edge Sharpener

The board’s edges should be sharpened when there are nicks, burrs, rust, or the edge is dull. If your board is showing any of these signs–your edges need to be sharpened! 

A properly sharpened edge will take off some of your fingernail when scraped against it. A smooth sharp edge will increase the overall carving performance of a snowboard as well as edge hold on hard packed snow and icy conditions. Sharpening the edges helps to keep your board in top shape and give you a smoother ride. 

You can definitely do this maintenance at home, but bringing it to a shop with an edge/base grinding machine is the best option. Full-service snowboard tuning shops will have an edge sharpening machine. If you have a Never Summer board, feel free to bring it in or contact info@neversummer.com to send it back to the factory to have the edges sharpened for you.

If you want to sharpen your edges at home, here’s how:

Step 1: Place the file in the guide.

Step 2: Using longer strokes, file down the edge with the teeth running perpendicular to the edge, taking out any nicks, burrs, or rust.

How To Do a P-Tex Repair on a Snowboard

When you hear riders talking about p-tex, they’re referring to the material used for a ski or snowboards base, and it’s short for polyethylene. Riders use p-tex to repair a rock gouge in their board.

Don’t worry if it happens to you, a rock gouge doesn’t necessarily mean this is the end of your board’s life. All you need to do is use p-tex to fill the hole, wax over it, and you’re ready to get back on the mountain.

What you’ll need for a P-Tex snowboard repair:

  • P-Tex Candle (black/graphite for black bases; clear for white/colored bases)
  • Metal Scraper
  • Razorblade or Flat Surform
  • Lighter or Handheld Propane Torch
  • Small Flathead Screwdriver
  • Optional: Vise or something to hold the board

Step 1: Lay board base side up and if your bindings are keeping the board from laying flat, make sure to take them off.

Step 2: Clean out any wax, dirt, etc. from the gouge by taking the corner of the screwdriver head and scrapping out. This will help rough up the gouge and allow P-Tex to stick. A piece of  60-80 grit sandpaper will also work.

Step 3: Place the metal scraper next to the gouge and light the P-Tex candle. With the lit candle, let the wax drip onto the  metal scraper until carbon (these are little black flakes in clear candles) runs out and then transfer it to the gouge until filled. The smaller the flame, the less carbon builds up.

Step 4: Let P-Tex drip cool and flush with a new razor blade or a Surform replacement blade.

Step 5: Put hot wax over the repair.

If you don’t want to fix a rock gouge yourself, you can take your snowboard for a full tune-up at a full-service snowboard shop. If your board is a Never Summer, you can bring it into the factory or contact info@neversummer.com to arrange for it to be sent in where we’ll give you a full snowboard tune.

How To Repair Minor Top-Sheet Tears or Chips on a Snowboard

If you ride your board enough, it’s inevitable you’ll run into a top-sheet tear or a chip on your board. These can happen when getting on or off a chair lift and hitting another rider or skiers metal edge or the board falling over when set upright. Don’t worry, top chips are not extensive damage to your board, and are very easy to fix. 

To repair minor tears or chips on your board, you’ll need:

  • Devcon 2-Ton Clear Epoxy/24 hour cure
    • Available at any hardware store
  • Quick grip or simple c-clamp this would only take 1 or 2 C-clamps
    • Available at any hardware store.
  • 2-4’’ to 6″ pieces of plastic or metal
  • Duct tape
  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • File, sandpaper, or Dremel tool

Step 1: Place Duct tape on top-sheet and base on the damaged area(just slightly above top-sheet to create an epoxy dam) to keep any excess glue from running on the board.

Step 2: Place board on its side and lift up the top-sheet slice.

Step 3: Mix epoxy with coffee stirrer.

Step 4: Dab epoxy into a separate area with a coffee stirrer or popsicle stick. Run the heat gun or hair dryer in quick sweeps over the area, to loosen epoxy, helping it to seep in.

Step 5: Place metal, plastic, or thin wood pieces on the base and on the top sheet directly over the area. (This keeps clamps from damaging the board. Tip: Put packaging tape around the pieces you’re putting clamps on. This keeps the glue from sticking to pieces).

Step 6: Tighten clamps over the most extensive part of separation. It’s generally best to use several clamps. For most top-sheet repairs, 3 clamps will suffice.

Step 7: Let the epoxy cure (a.k.a. harden) for 24 hrs, then take off clamps, duct tape, and buff  down excess glue with file, sandpaper or Dremel tool.

Your snowboard can last for years if you treat it right—and while this may seem like a lot of work up front, chances are you’re not going to be doing these repairs on a regular basis. Rock gouges happen every so often and you won’t always be dealing with top sheet tears or at all. You’ll most often be drying your board and waxing it, which are the easiest types of maintenance and require the smallest time commitment.

If you’re ready to get a board, check out Never Summers collection here.

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