So you've had your own board or skis for a while and you're keen to do your own snowboard or ski tuning. Where do you start?
Most people start either waxing or edging their own gear or both.
What Do You Need For Ski & Snowboard Waxing?
To get started waxing your own board or skis you're going to need a few basic items:
- A Waxing Iron — You can use a regular iron to wax your board or skis. But once used for ski or snowboard waxing it shall never see the collar of shirt again... unless you want a waxy collar. Try to get an iron without holes in the bottom — wax will get into the iron and eventually ruin it. Ideally use a proper tuning iron like this one.
- Ski & Board Wax — There are plenty of options, as far as wax goes. But keep things simple when you're starting out; just use a basic universal wax, which will be good for all snow temps. Once you're on top of things, you can start experimenting with temp waxes for cold or warm snow.
- Base Cleaner — Base cleaner is a really good item to have. Citrus based base cleaner can be used to clean up your top sheet. Using it on your bases will remove any excess old wax, dirt and oil from the chairlift towers and will prep the base ready to take wax.
- Wax Scraper — The wax scraper is, obviously, for scraping back the wax once you've ironed it and let it cool. A wider snowboard scraper is worth getting for doing snowboards but can be used on skis also.
- Tex pad — The Tex pad is like the 3M scrubbers you can get for the kitchen and is used to buff the wax after you've scrapped it back, this will make it nice and smooth and will pull some wax out of the structure in the base (more on that later).
Edge Tuning Gear
To get started doing your own edges you will need:
- A Diamond Stone — a diamond stone is a key piece of kit and can be used most often when looking after your edges. You should be able to fit it into your file guide so you can use it de-burr the edges before cutting with a file and also for after cutting to polish the edge and remove any shavings from the file. If you look after your diamond stone by using it wet and rinsing it it should last you for many years.
- File Guide — A file guide is what determines the angle you cut your edges at, the most common being 90 degree and 88 degree. If you're just a recreational rider stick with 90 degree, 88 is more suited to racing. The are number of different types of file guides. Some are all in one and some use a file guide and a clamp. You will need to buy a separate file for these, an all in one will usually come with file, look for ones that are open ended or use a file the same size as your diamond stone. This way you can change out the file for your diamond stone.
- File — If you have a file guide and clamp, you'll need a normal file, you'll use the file with the guide and clamp for cutting your edges but you can also use it for detuning your edges at the contact points if you'd like a looser feel to your board or skis. Look out for more advanced tuning guides and videos soon.