I’ve heard this question come up a few times now so thought I’d write a quick post to discuss whether or not you need to wax a new snowboard.
The answer, as is typically the case, is yes and no.
Are Snowboards Already Waxed?
Snowboards do come waxed, which would seem to suggest that they don’t need waxing straight after you buy them.
However they come with what is known as a factory wax which, to the best of my knowledge, is like a rub on or spray wax (as opposed to a hot wax).
Is the Factory Wax Enough to Use my Snowboard Straight Away?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
Does this guy ever give a straight answer!?
Let me clarify – whether or not you go straight out on your new snowboard without waxing will depend on both the state of the wax on the board and how you personally like your board to perform.
It will also depend on how many days your first trip with your new board will be and finally it will depend on whether you have an extruded or sintered base.
- The State of the Factory Wax
- Your Personal Expectations
- The Length of your First Trip with Your New Board
- Extruded or Sintered Base
The State of the Factory Wax
Because your board may have been sitting in a shop or warehouse for sometime after the manufacturer applied the factory wax that wax may have dried out somewhat.
How dry it is will depend on:
- how long it’s been since leaving the factory;
- whether or not it has a protective plastic wrapping around it;
- whether or not the retailer has put stickers on it;
- as well as the atmospheric conditions of the shop or warehouse where the board is being stored.
Whatever the conditions the board has been kept in you can tell whether or not the base has dried out simply by inspecting the base.
If you see cloudy white patches on the base then it is showing signs of being dry and it is probably worth giving it a good hot wax. That said, this doesn’t mean you can’t take it out as is but it probably isn’t going to perform at its best and you will need a wax sooner rather than later anyway.
Your Personal Expectations
If you like your ride hard and fast
you ride where there are a lot of flat patches where you need that extra speed of a good wax to traverse
if you are extra careful about wanting to protect your base
……………then you might want to give your new board an initial hot wax before taking out.
On the other hand if you don’t need a super fast base – say you are a freestyle rider who doesn’t necessarily want a quick base – and you can’t wait to get your board out there then you might want to ride your board for a bit before you go for the wax.
The Length of Your First Trip with Your New Board
If your first outing with your new toy is going to be a brief one – like 1 or 2 days on the mountain then your need for a wax before you get started isn’t as crucial.
However, if you are going for a week-long trip or longer then it may pay to go for that hot wax. You are probably going to need to get it done at some point during your trip so why not get your board into the best possible condition from day 1.
Extruded or Sintered Base
A fresh wax on an extruded base won’t be as noticeable as a fresh wax on a sintered base.
A sintered base generally requires waxing more often but it will also show a greater increase in performance after a good wax job than an extruded base. So if the factory wax job is not that good or is drying out you are going to notice it more on a sintered base.
An extruded base, on the other hand, won’t show as much improvement after a wax so it may not be as pertinent to get this done straight away.
In fact I’ve bought boards with extruded bases and not waxed it for 10 days of riding – this might be a bit long for some but you don’t notice too much difference from a wax on an extruded base.
On the other hand I would personally get a sintered base waxed before using it the first time.
Thanks for Reading
I hope this post has helped you to decide whether or not you’ll get your new board waxed or not. As you can see above there are a number of situations where I wouldn’t and would get a wax job done before using a new board for the first time.
What’s your opinion on waxing a snowboard before using it? Are there any other factors here that I have missed? Any opinions and/or questions very welcome in the comments section below.
Check out the link below to learn about how often you should wax your snowboard.