Whether you’re new to snowboarding or have been at it for a while, it’s important to understand how wax affects your snowboard, and to use it religiously.
To put it simply, it improves your glide over the snow and protects your board from degrading oxidation that works away at your board and cuts down on how long it will last. Wax protects from four types of friction: wet, dirt, static and kinetic. Some of these are prevented by the wax itself and the process of brushing it into the board, others from the protective additives in the wax.
Waxing your board regularly is critical because your board (while it may seem hard) acts more like a sponge, soaking up the wax that isn’t lost on the hills. It must be applied and brushed off to prevent damage from snow crystals which are especially prevalent in fresh snow.
You don’t want to lose speed or damage your board because you used the wrong wax. So, which wax is right for your board?
Understand Your Options
Different types of wax exist for different boarders. Most boarders start with hydrocarbon waxes, which are made of a variety of hydrocarbons that are combined to reduce friction and increase glide smoothness. Molybdenum (or moly) waxes and graphite waxes have an additive that combats static that could slow your pact. These additives also repel dirt. Fluorocarbon waxes add special hydrocarbons where hydrogen atoms are replaced with fluorine ones. It repels water and increases speed and overall glide in wetter snow.
Waxes also come with a variety of temperature ratings, which are based on the air temperature during your ride, not the temperature of the snow. Pay attention to these ratings for maximum performance.
Know Your Board and Style
Think about your board and your riding style. Do you stunt ride? Are you a racer? Are you just a casual snowboarder who’s in it for pleasure? Understanding your riding style and knowing your board will help determine which wax is best for you.
If you’re a beginner, start with a basic hydrocarbon wax that has a wide range of uses and will give you some protection. If you’re in it for speed, make sure you pay close attention to temperature ratings, and go with a higher class of wax with a fluorocarbon additive for high performance racing.
Ask an Expert
If you’re not sure, ask an expert. Check your local pro shop or someone who provides lessons in your area.
Whatever wax you go with, make sure you learn the proper application techniques and use it regularly. It’ll increase the lifespan of your board and make your overall experience more positive.Be careful who you trust. Going to a general sporting goods store would be like asking a birth injury lawyer for advice when you should be talking to a motorcycle attorney. It’s just not the same, and they’ll probably give advice based on sale price rather than performance.