How to Use a Clothes Iron for Snowboard Waxing

How to Use a Clothes Iron for Snowboard Waxing
Snowboard waxing is one of the least glamorous parts of riding, but it's a fact of life if you want to have your board riding as smooth and fast as possible. While any shop tech will tell you to purchase a waxing iron for home waxing, many riders choose to save the cash for the next lift ticket and recycle an old clothes iron for the job. You'll have to be a bit more careful, but the clothes iron will get it done.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snowboard
  • Snowboard vices, sawhorses or workbench
  • Clothes iron
  • Alcohol
  • Paper or cloth towel
  • Wax
  • Plastic scraper
  • Metal file
  • Nylon or metal brush
Step 1
Place the board on a clear work surface or in vices with the base facing up.
Step 2
Warm the iron. Give it five minutes or so to heat up, and keep it at a low heat to begin with.
Step 3
Prepare your board. While the iron is heating, wipe away any dirt, dust and debris from the snowboard's base using a cloth or paper towel dampened with alcohol. Let it dry before proceeding with waxing.
Step 4
Adjust the temperature. The most crucial part about using a clothes iron is preheating it and carefully finding the right temperature. Since the clothes iron isn't designed to deliver a regulated temperature the way a waxing iron is, you'll need to experiment by applying your wax to the iron to find that perfect temperature where it melts without overheating and smoking. Gradually increase temperature until you've got it right.
Step 5
Hold the iron upside down, and hover it about two or three inches over the base. The pointed end of the iron should be facing down at the base. Slowly apply the wax to the hot iron surface, and allow it to drip down off the end and on to the board. Cover the whole base generously with drops of wax.
Step 6
Turn the iron over, like you're ironing your favorite pair of chinos, and begin to iron the wax out. You want to move steadily, so the iron doesn't scorch your base, and iron in one direction up the base. When you're finished, the board should have a very light, even coat of wax from tip to tail. By the time you reach the tip of the board with the iron, the tail area should appear dry.
Step 7
Take a break and let the wax cool for about half an hour. While you're waiting, make yourself useful and check out your plastic scraper to make sure the scraping edge is a clean, 90-degree edge. If not, file it down with a metal file to create a proper edge. Also, once the iron has cooled, scrape any wax off, so that you can slip the iron back next to the ironing board without tipping anyone else in the house off.
Step 8
Scrape off all the wax that you see on the base. Hold the scraper steady at about a 45-degree angle, and slide it from the tip down to the tail. Use long, powerful scrapes, and remove all of the excess wax. Bear in mind that the wax your board needed has been absorbed, so you're not actually undoing your waxing job by scraping it off. Also, check the edges, and get any wax off them.
Step 9
Throw down the finishing touches. To give your board optimum ride quality, brush the base with your metal or nylon brush. Move from tip to tail, and brush the whole base several times. Now, just pray for a generous dump of snow and prepare to take advantage.

Tips & Warnings

Wax in a ventilated place.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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