A snowboard that is perfectly tuned and maintained is the hidden secret ingredient behind achieving maximum speed, control and responsiveness while carving down the slopes. The good folk over at Utah’s Canyon Sports explain that proper snowboard tunes can dramatically improve board grip, stability, and smoothness across all terrain and conditions. Whether you are a die-hard rider who hits the mountain every weekend or just an occasional snowboarder, understanding the core basics of snowboard tuning is absolutely essential knowledge.
Understanding Why Proper Tuning Truly Matters
Tuning refers to the full range of adjustments and maintenance tasks performed on a snowboard to optimize both its structural integrity and peak functionality. Tuning involves key procedures like sharpening the metal edges, waxing the board base, inspecting all mounting hardware, and more.
A well-tuned board grips snow far better, rides faster, carves deeper and smoother turns, and provides unmatched stability and control. In contrast, dull edges are far more prone to slipping out and causing wipeouts. A dry, unwaxed base drags and slows you down. And loose bindings from unsecured hardware could unexpectedly release your feet as you ride.
Assembling Your Complete Snowboard Tuning Toolkit
In order to properly tune your own snowboard, you’ll need to assemble a few key tools. Start with a set of diamond sharpening stones in varying grits for edge work. Have at least one flat file solely dedicated for de-burring the base edges. Invest in an edge sharpening guide system to help ensure you achieve optimal edge bevel angles.
For waxing, you’ll need waxing irons, a plastic scraper, nylon & brass brushes and the wax bars themselves. Secure your board in a vise or on a mounted workbench when tuning. Also have quality hex wrenches on hand to tighten any loose binding hardware. With the right gear, you’ll be fully equipped to tune like a seasoned pro.
Mastering the Subtle Art of Edge Sharpening
Keeping your edges sharpened evenly across the length of the board is truly vital for providing the grip and control needed for aggressive carving, stability at speed, and quick stops. Use edge guides and take long, smooth passes with your diamonds stones to methodically remove any nicks, dents, or dull spots along the edge. Apply added pressure on especially dull sections, but be cautious not to over-sharpen. Finish up by polishing the edges with a fine stone to remove any microscopic burrs.
Pre-Wax Base Preparation Tips
Before applying wax, secure the board in your vise and use a diamond file to lightly detune and smooth the sharp contact point areas to avoid catching edges. Thoroughly scrape away all dirt, oil and old wax residue with a plastic scraper and stiff nylon brush. Fill any deeper gouges or scratches in the base with epoxy and allow time to fully cure. Lightly sand the epoxy patches with fine grit sandpaper until flush with the base.
Applying Wax for Superior Performance
Once the base is prepped, firmly press the wax against the base while ironing to melt and evenly distribute a very thin layer. Use your scraper to thoroughly remove any excess wax. Then use the stiff nylon brush to deep clean and rough up the base, helping it better absorb wax. Finish by buffing the base with a soft horsehair brush to bring out a polished sheen.
With these pro tuning tips, you’ll be equipped to achieve a buttery smooth ride all season long. Keep those edges razor sharp, base waxed, and hardware firmly secured on a regular basis. Your finely tuned board will reward you with unmatched stability, control, and speed over any terrain or conditions.