How to Tune a Snowboard

How to Tune a Snowboard
Some snowboard for years without knowing the basics of tuning. Maybe you don't tune your board often, or maybe it's simply easier and more cost-effective to take the board to a repair shop. You'd be surprised by how easy and straightforward tuning actually is. Though the initial costs can be significant, the money you'll save in repair shop tunes will quickly cover the expense. Here's a look at the basics.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Edges

Things You’ll Need:
  • Workbench and/or vices Deburring stone Gummy stone Edge tool or mill bastard file Razor blade Base cleaner and rag P-tex Torch or lighter Snowboard wax (match weather conditions where you ride) Iron Metal scraper Plastic scraper Scrubbie pad or wire brush
  • Workbench and/or vices
  • Deburring stone
  • Gummy stone
  • Edge tool or mill bastard file
  • Razor blade
  • Base cleaner and rag
  • P-tex
  • Torch or lighter
  • Snowboard wax (match weather conditions where you ride)
  • Iron
  • Metal scraper
  • Plastic scraper
  • Scrubbie pad or wire brush
Step 1
Take off the bindings to allow the board to sit flat. This is optional but will make the tuning process easier.
Step 2
Insert board into snowboard vices. Again, this is optional, but will simplify the process.
Step 3
Remove rust. If there's any rust on the edges, use a gummy stone or steel wool to take it off.
Step 4
Deburr your edges. Rub a diamond stone or other deburring stone on your edges to take out all the little nicks and imperfections. Remember to do the toeside and heelside bottom and side effective edges.
Step 5
Sharpen the edges. For easiest application, use an edge tool or file with guide; set the bevel as desired and use long, one-directional strokes from tip to tail. Sharpen bottom edges, then side edges.
Step 6
Touch up edges with a gummy stone. Use a deburring stone first, if sharpening has left any burrs in the edges. Then polish off the job with a gummy stone. Feel each edge to make sure it's sharp and smooth.

Scratch Repair

Step 1
Assess your base. Look for deep scratches that need to be filled in. If you have any gouges or core shots that extend beyond the P-tex into the fiberglass or core, consider taking the board in for professional repair--these are beyond the scope of a basic tune-up. If you have only shallow, cosmetic scratches that barely touch the P-tex, consider skipping to waxing. These aren't necessarily worth fixing. For standard scratches in the P-tex, proceed to the next steps.
Step 2
Remove any loose P-tex strings and shards with a razor blade.
Step 3
Clean the base and scratched areas with a rag and base cleaner. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Step 4
Light your P-tex repair candle. Use a torch, lighter or candle to light the P-tex. Once it's flaming, drip off any black carbon flakes.
Step 5
Hold P-tex directly over the scratch(es) and let it drip in. Overfill the scratch slightly to allow for settling. Allow 15 to 20 minutes or so for cooling.
Step 6
Scrape off excess P-tex with a metal scraper. Hold at a 45-degree angle and scrape in one direction.
Step 7
Touch up with sandpaper. If needed, smooth and blend the repair in using a fine-grain sandpaper.

Wax

Step 1
Heat your iron and hold wax to it. Drip wax over the full base of your board.
Step 2
Rub iron up and down the base to apply wax and even it out. Allow 20 minutes or so for drying and cooling.
Step 3
Scrape off excess wax with plastic scraper.
Step 4
Rub a scrubbie pad or wire brush down the base to touch up.
Step 5
Reinstall your bindings and you're ready to ride.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you have a sintered base, the above P-tex repair may not hold. Take the board to the shop or use a harder P-tex material applied with an iron or pistol.
 
Perform in well-ventilated area. Do not let your iron sit in one spot on the snowboard. Maintain a blue flame on the P-tex candle and don't let any black carbon get into your repair.
 
Perform in well-ventilated area.
 
Do not let your iron sit in one spot on the snowboard.
 
Maintain a blue flame on the P-tex candle and don't let any black carbon get into your repair.

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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