Winter is almost with us. How prepared are you for skiing?
Is your board ready?
Getting your board ready for skiing enhances your confidence.
There’s no better feeling than that of down-sloping on a sharp and fresh-edged snowboard. I always enjoy seeing my snowboard shredding snow particles out of the way for me.
The rush you feel when speeding down the slope with chilling air blowing around gives you an exciting experience like no other.
However, this exhilarating experience is limited by the sharpness of your snowboard’s edges.
Still reading? Awesome! In this article, you’ll learn how to sharpen snowboard edges.
Why Do You Need To Sharpen Your Snowboard?
With time, you may start noticing that your snowboard isn’t as responsive as before.
This is a clear indication to begin sharpening the edges of your snowboard.
Continuous use causes wear and tear of the snowboard edges, so grab your brain buckets, folks, as we explore why you should sharpen your snowboard.
Having your snowboard edges sharpened plays a critical role in its performance. Sharpened edges help you to pick up speed and improve braking.
The smooth edges of your snowboard mean there’s less friction, which translates to better performance at high speeds.
Consider this–how does it feel to cut a piece of steak with a dull knife compared to a razor-sharp blade?
The sharp knife delivers better performance and makes the work twice as easy. The same principle applies when riding a snowboard with sharp edges; the one with blunt edges makes skiing twice as hard.
High-speed maneuvers during snowboarding are critical for safety and performance.
Sharp snowboard edges help you better control the snowboard due to the low friction of smooth edges. In addition, thin and smooth edges allow you to make sharp turns or carves when streaking down the slope.
It goes without saying that skiing on a mountain with a snowboard with dull edges isn’t a good idea. But, on the other side, you run the risk of being badly injured or even worse when riding a snowboard with blunt edges.
Many people do not think of the safety features of a sharpened snowboard. Imagine you’re coming down the slope at high speeds, and you encounter a sharp corner–with a dull snowboard; expect the worse.
This is an unwanted situation for any skier, but sharp snowboard edges give you better control and the ability to make quick maneuvers.
Ultimately, you get to have a good time outside using a snowboard with sharp edges than the opposite. Therefore, it’s better to have your snowboard edges ready for your favorite sport to avoid any misfortune on the mountain slope.
Have you run your fingers along the edges of your snowboard and found it dull, but you’ve no idea where to start your maintenance?
Fear not. We’ve got your back. Follow this guide on how to sharpen snowboard edges.
Many people choose the shorter route by taking their snowboard to a repair shop for edge sharpening. While this plan works, learning how to sharpen snowboard edges saves you the cost and trouble of taking tedious trips to the repair shop.
Keep reading to discover that sharpening your snowboard isn’t tricky at all. Once you fathom how to sharpen snowboard edges, you might actually enjoy doing it.
However, you should know that sharpening a snowboard is time-consuming. Therefore, ensure that you take enough time to do this work without rushing as rushing causes errors and half-jobs.
Get your snowboard edges to the right level of sharpness in this straightforward guide.
Tools and materials
Before going further, you need to have the necessary tools and material to sharpen your snowboard correctly.
The following tools will help you do a great job:
- A file: Choose an edge file that has an angle guide.
- Screwdriver: To help remove bindings.
- Wax iron
- Diamond sharpening stone
In extreme cases, consider a snowboard tuning kit as they contain all the necessary tools and materials to do the job. Fortunately, these kits also have convenient details for how to sharpen snowboard edges.
Apart from these tools and materials, you also need to have a good workstation. A good surface should be around three-quarters of the overall length of your snowboard.
Consider sharpening your snowboard in the garage or backyard. Shaving edges and then using the wax creates a lot of mess, so you are better off sharpening in an open space for easier cleaning.
Once you gather all the tools and materials you need, you can follow this step-by-step guide on how to sharpen snowboard edges.
Where to Sharpen?
Knowing where to sharpen your snowboard is the first step to doing a good job. Only sharpen the parts that touch the snow. Sharpening these parts helps you avoid getting cuts on your snowboard from rough edges when speeding down the slopes.
Having several coarse diamond sharpening stones (300 grit) helps get you clean edge repairs. These stones remove any nicks on the board from when snowboarding down the mountain. In addition, the sharpening stone removes uneven damages for proper filing.
Good work with the diamond stone removes any curled burrs on the board. Ensure that you thoroughly pass the sharpening stone across the base edge and lightly along the beveling.
Remember to only pass the stone lightly along the snowboard’s bevel area–not the bevel itself.
Caution! Sharpening the ends of your snowboard only ruins it making it unusable. In addition, sharpening the ends introduces twitchiness when riding.
Take the bindings off by removing the screws. When riding, screws can suck debris onto the base of your snowboard, making it lumpy.
Lumpy bases make waxing difficult because they eliminate the flatness and smoothness of the base. So be careful when removing bindings!
Using The Correct Angle Of The Edge Sharpener
Ensure that you continuously adjust the edge tuner of your snowboard. Use an appropriate angle (90 degrees) to work along.
The 90-degree angle works best for beginners as it is comfortable enough to get the job done correctly. If you are a pro, you can alternate angles between 87 to 89 degrees.
The principle behind adjusting angles is that the smaller the angle, the bigger the bite on your snowboard. Therefore, this technique works best for firmly packed snow and when participating in a competition.
Filing The Snowboard
The ideal filing technique of your snowboard is using a one-direction motion. Please don’t use a back-and-forth motion as it does more damage to your board.
Using the back and forth method creates nicks on the board. Also, use a sharpener that has direction indicators as a guide for proper filing.
By now, you may be curious about the purpose of the marker. Markers are essential before you start filing.
Run the marker along the edges of your board to guide you on where you should file to keep you on track.
Here are detailed steps to follow when filing.
- Start with the base edge of the snowboard. Ensure that the sharpener points from the nose to the tail of the snowboard and the base are flat.
- Do not use excessive pressure. Instead, put light pressure on the file as you work on the snowboard’s edge. Remember to stroke in one direction only and overlap the strokes.
- After you finish sharpening all the base edges, you can change the tuner to a side-edge position and draw a clear line along the edge using your marker. Then, begin filing from the nose towards the tail. Again, ensure that you consistently follow the markings you’ve made and that the file is flush with the snowboard.
- Go over the edges repeatedly where any nicks or burrs are using the sharpening stone.
- While applying light pressure on the file, run it down from nose to tail of the board’s edges. If it runs smoothly, then you are already there!
After you are done filing, check for sharpness by gently running your fingers along the board’s edges. Check all edges for maximum sharpness.
Should You Wax Your Skateboard After Sharpening It?
After sharpening, waxing your snowboard is an essential step for someone who loves efficiency, performance, and protecting their snowboard.
Waxing goes a long way in protecting your snowboard against base burn and improves durability. You can go ahead and wax the snowboard’s edge. It minimizes wear and tear for a smoother glide over the snow.
Sharpening also improves the performance of the snowboard by reducing friction. You’ll definitely experience smooth rides with a waxed snowboard.
An adequately sharpened and waxed snowboard is every rider’s dream! The smooth and faster accelerations, easier maneuvering, and better control enhance your experience.
Can I Pay Someone To Do It For Me?
Yes, you can pay someone if you don’t mind the cost and trouble of having to go to repair shops and waiting! Repair shops offer sharpening and waxing services to many people who don’t know how to go about this task.
There is a downside of paying someone to sharpen your snowboard, though, because repair shops use a lot of grit and wax to get your snowboard in excellent shape.
Sharpening snowboard edges requires time and dedication, and not all repair shops will dedicate the necessary time to your snowboard. Therefore, the best choice is to learn how to sharpen snowboard edges yourself.
Knowing how to sharpen snowboard edges is satisfying. Riding downslope using your freshly sharpened board and immediately feeling the difference in its performance instills a sense of satisfaction.
Sharp edges on your snowboard not only increase its efficiency but also improve its safety. You are unlikely to miss expert maneuvers when you use a snowboard with a sharp edge.
Enhancing control of the snowboard also increases your chances of winning a competition.
By learning how to sharpen snowboard edges, you can always adjust the sharpness to your preferences. Also, unlike paying someone to do it for you, sharpening the edges by yourself allows you to explore other techniques and tools for better performance.