As athletes use their snow boards, the protective wax coating layer beneath the board that repels water begins to wear off, which exposes the board to damage and abrasion. This is the reason why waxing and tuning a snowboard is necessary. It enables you to get the best off the board and ensures the board lasts long.

Tuning includes many small clean-ups that add up to a durable and more effective snowboard. Some tuning activities include sharpening or filing the edges, waxing the bottom, etc. 

But before the actual tuning process begins, some preparations should be carried out.

Preparations for Detuning A Snowboard

  • Clear up a work surface
  • Get a Phillip headed screwdriver to remove the bindings from the board
  • Remove the bindings from off the board as this will enhance easy flipping of the board
  • Put together the sharpening file, and Ski wax 
  • Get a scraper
  • Purchase a base cleaner and brush

The Detuning Process

  1. The first step in tuning a snowboard is to sharpen its edges with the help of a file guide. This file guide keeps the file fixed in the right direction at every swipe. Endeavour to swipe the file unidirectionally.

If you are a freestyle rider, you would much rather need to smoothen or detune your board edges rather than sharpening them to prevent the sharp edges from getting stuck on rails and causing you injury.

Whether you are tuning or detuning your snowboard, it doesn’t take much time to get it done.

  1. After smoothening the edges, i.e. for a freestyle rider, you should waxen the bottom of the board. And you cannot apply new wax without first removing the old wax. To remove old wax, spray a base cleaner over the base and use a cloth wipe off the wax. 

If a suitable base cleaner isn’t available, with a hot iron, melt off the old wax and clean off the wax with a cloth. The new wax can then be applied to the board’s base depending on the type of wax available and the material type of which the board is made. 

The interplay of these two factors and how the wax can be applied are summed below.

  • If the wax is a bar wax, rub it on the board’s surface using a sponge.
  • If your board has a sintered base, hot wax is what you need. This is because hot wax penetrates much deeper into the bottom and gives an awsome gliding experience. To apply hot wax, use a specialized wax iron.
  • All-temperature wax is adaptable with varying weather conditions and can be applied manually.
  • There are also temperature specific waxes that can be applied to your snowboard to suit the prevailing weather conditions.
  • Fluorinated wax, like hot wax, is also very long lasting and increases the snowboard’s speed.
  • A snowboard with a sintered base will take more wax because of its greater porosity.

It is worthy of note that the board’s nose and tips do not matter as much as the edges when it comes to waxing. This is because these regions have reduced contact with the snow. Care should be taken to smoothen the wax over the board’s base because the smoother the bottom of the board, the faster the board’s motion when it glides.

  1. After you have applied the wax, leave it to cool, then after about 30 minutes, scrape off the excess from areas of the base of the board that have too much wax. To ensure a perfect finish, use a Scotch-Brite pad to remove any leftover wax and give a smooth texture.


Ideally, a snowboard detuning should be done at most after every 20 snowboarding sessions. This would not only lengthen the life of the board but would also increase its performance.  Detuning a snowboard doesn’t take a lot of time and, if you are able to detune your board, you would be saving your wallet $30 regularly.

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