Spring is upon us, and although that means flowers blooming, birds chirping, and warmer weather, it also means we are nearing the end of snowboarding season (tear). When this time of the year comes, most riders will haphazardly toss their boards aside and not think about them again until that next snowfall comes. While most of you may think there is nothing wrong with that, this practice can eventually lead to some serious problems come next season: warping, delamination, and rusting, just to name a few. Thankfully, there are a few quick and simple steps you can take to prevent this from happening. It will be a good six months at least until most of us can enjoy the pleasures of fresh-fallen snow again, so when you store your board, you want to make sure you do it right.
Last February, the SpareFoot team actually took a little trip up to the mountains of Park City, UT (just outside of Salt Lake City) to test out our slope skills. Not too many of us had our own equipment, so we sought out a ski and snowboard rental shop that could provide for our then 30-person company; Ski ‘N See came through in the clutch.
These guys were great and really knew what they were talking about, which is why I reached out to them when I was asked to write this article. I called and spoke with manager Tom Ostendorf, and asked him to give me all the details about how to properly store a snowboard.
“It all starts with a good tune,” he said. “The first thing you want to do is take off the bindings. That way, there is no tension on the board while it is in storage.”
Taking off the bindings will also make the board easier to work with as you move through the next few steps.
“Next, you want to fix any damage to the board, sharpen the edges, and then put on a fresh new coat of wax.”
Sharpening the edges will remove any rust that has accumulated on your last few runs, while the wax will prevent it from drying out over the summer. To avoid making a mess, make sure the wax is dry before you place it anywhere.
Depending on how hard you ride and how much ice was on the slopes, you may not need that much wax. Tom told me that he can get away with putting wax on just two to three times a season, but regardless, make sure you add a fresh layer before you put it away.
Tom also recommended using either Swix Wax or Slick Willy’s wax for your board. His crew uses Swix, but apparently Slick Willy’s is used by the French national skiing team–so you know it must be good stuff.
I was curious if position mattered when storing a snowboard–according to Tom, it doesn’t.
“Position shouldn’t matter really; we store ours vertically. We have over 300 boards so there isn’t really room for anything else.”
He added that laying boards flat may not be a bad idea if you have room, but to avoid hard surfaces. Instead, find a nice carpeted area or use something to provide cushioning for the board.
“You also want to make sure you store your board in a cool place,” he said. “If it is exposed to any excessive amount of heat, that could melt the wax or affect the camber (bend) of the board.”
I cleverly suggested a climate-controlled self-storage unit for such a thing–Tom said that would be perfect.
When you bought your first snowboard, you made an investment. Take the necessary steps to protect that investment during the summer months, and you’ll also get the huge benefit of knowing that your snowboard will be ready to go when opening day comes around again!
Image courtesy of SnowboardingDays.com