How to wax snowboard yourself, and which kit is the best?

I've been snowboarding for quite some time. And, having met 'boarders from other states, I've discovered that we're vibrant but occasionally sluggish.

Most boarders would take the easiest path and pay $30 - $40 to have their snowboards waxed (or tuned), despite the fact that it's quite simple to do on our own.

Sure, the individual in the shop is an expert with a wealth of expertise. The irony is that waxing does not necessitate "professional experience." You only need a little practice to master DIY snowboard waxing. And who knows, you might even take better care of YOUR snowboard than a stranger.

How to wax snowboard yourself

This post will show you how to hot wax a snowboard using the best waxing kits available (my honest recommendation, of course).

Let's address your doubts first if you're new to snowboarding. "Why do you need to wax your  snowboard?" I'm frequently asked. Isn't the ground already slick? What's more, isn't snow already slippery?" All valid points, but...

In general, all snowboards must be hot-waxed (or tuned) on a regular basis. Snowboarding works by reducing friction between the board and the ground, but it does not eliminate it. With a protective layer of wax on the board, the residual friction might easily destroy it.

Regular waxing not only protects the base of your board but also improves your snowboarding experience. Because of the reduced friction, a properly waxed snowboard will slide more smoother and much faster.

So, how should you hot wax your snowboard? Let us investigate.

How do you wax your snowboard at home?

You'll need a snowboard wax kit from a reputable provider, or you can assemble your own waxing kit. Here are the necessary tools: An iron, wax, scraper, cloth, and a structuring brush.

Step 1: Take Off the Bindings

If possible, untie the bindings before using the hot iron. However, you should remove them completely to be safe, especially the first few times. The binding screws are the true problem, as they can conduct heat and cause structural damage to the board.

Step 2: Clean The Board

The next step is to carefully clean your board, whether it was recently used or stored in the attic until the snowboarding season. This is done to remove dirt and old wax (or muck) before applying a fresh coat, much to cleaning a bike chain before lubricating it. You can accomplish and get it done in one of two ways:

Using a scraper, apply a thin coat of hot wax to the base so that it adheres to the old muck. Then, using a scraper, quickly remove it.

Using a base cleaner: Apply a degreaser-containing base cleaning solution to the base.

Finally, use the cloth to clean (or wipe) the board. Ideally, you can use either method, but depending on the quantity and type of gunk and how hard it's adhered, you might want to use both.

Step 3: Wax Preparation

Preparing the wax just entails melting it before using it. After all, it's called the hot wax procedure.

I recommend avoiding marketing gimmicks and simply purchasing a "waxing iron" because your household iron is perfectly capable. The only catch is that it will no longer be suitable for clothing. In summary, only buy a new iron if you don't already have an old one. Of course, if you get a waxing kit, you won't have this difficulty.

Heat the iron to its lowest setting and keep the wax close by (and above the board). Hold it motionless until the wax begins to drip slowly, then move your hands around the board. Cover the corners in a straight line, then zigzag across the board to cover the middle.

Pro Tip: Get the farthest edges because they are the most prone to friction.

Step 4: Iron the base

Allow the ironing to commence. Check that the iron is not too hot (unless you have one of those fancy automatic irons). Use it in a circular motion on your board, being careful not to apply too much pressure. Even if the iron is "nearly" no longer hot, do not leave it on the surface. Keep it moving or set it aside at all times.

Allow the wax to cool.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Finally, use your scraper in a straight line and consistent action from the nose to the tail of your snowboard to achieve a smooth coat. The goal is to remove excess (unabsorbed) water so that it does not collect dirt and evens out your coating.

Again, pay close attention to the edges as you scrape.

Step 6: Set Your Base

From nose to tail, use a structuring brush in a straight line steady motion. It will remove the remaining extra wax and improve the performance and longevity of your board.

2023's Best Snowboard Wax Kits

Now for the part you've been waiting for: the greatest kits in 2023. My top picks are as follows:

1. Demon Hyper Snowboard Tuning Kit

Demon Hyper Snowboard Tuning Kit is not cheap, costing a hefty $160. But if you have the cash, it's the best and most self-contained snowboard wax kit I've ever used.

It includes a high-quality base cleaner, edge tuner, wax iron, and multi-tool with three diamond files. You can choose between a 1lb wax and a 2lb wax ($200).

This kit is ideal for any situation, whether you're waxing your board at home or tuning it on the road.

RaceWax Elite Snowboard Waxing Kit is another outstanding kit in this price range. I recommend getting whichever one is less expensive because they are both as good.

2. Demon Complete Basic Tune Kit 

Demon's Complete Basic Tune Package is the best compact waxing kit you'll ever use under $100. At only $90, it includes everything you need for waxing, from a cloth and base cleaner to an edge tuner and a wax iron.

This kit contains only roughly 0.3lbs of wax. Nonetheless, the excellent price-to-performance ratio makes it a superior and more cost-effective option when compared to competitors. Demon's snowboard wax can always be purchased later.

The Winterial Wax Item is another fantastic kit in the similar price range.

3. Grayne Snowboard Tuning and Wax Kit - Best Travel Option

I typically avoid smaller kits due to poor performance, but Grayne's Snowboard Tuning and Wax Kit pleasantly pleased me.

At little under $40, this waxing kit is an excellent travel companion, as it includes a six-piece screwdriver, an ultra-durable scraper, various tools, and a reasonable amount of wax.

When combined with Demon's Complete Basic Tune Kit for at-home use, you'll have a terrific wax set for about $130.

4. Demon Complete Plus Snowboard Wax Kit 

At around $105, the Demon Complete Plus Wax Kit has everything that the Complete Basic did and more. The $15 difference assures that no premium features are overlooked.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How frequently should I wax my snowboard?

Hot wax should be applied to snowboards every 3-4 rides. It mostly depends on how frequently you snowboard and the type of snow. Because a hot wax would perform far better on suitable snow terrain than a cold wax would.

2. What happens if I don't wax my snowboard?

If you never wax your snowboard, the increasing friction will eventually compromise the structural integrity of the snowboard, rendering it unusable. The quality of your snowboarding will deteriorate with time as well.

3. Can any wax be used to wax a snowboard?

You can't just use any wax to wax your snowboard or skis. Candle wax, for example, would either damage or render ineffective the base of your board. Use only wax designed specifically for waxing snowboards and skis.

Yes, all-temperature wax is formed of paraffin wax, the same material used to make candles. However, you should not use paraffin wax or its processed form. Learn why and how to construct your own kit in our article: How Can I Make My Own Snowboard Waxing Kit?

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