Proper Snowboard Maintenance
If you've just gotten into snowboarding, there are certain things that change as soon as you buy your own gear. One of the most important things to remember is that upkeep and maintenance are vital to the well being of your gear and its performance out there on the mountain. You want to make sure that at all times you give your gear the attention it deserves. If not you will be looking at buying a brand new set in no time, and it's not an inexpensive proposition to replace gear annually.
Cleaning Your Board
The easiest and first thing you should do with your gear is to keep your board clean. Every time you return from the mountain make sure you clean you give it a quick clean down. While it's at times acceptable to leave your board dirty between outings during the midst of boarding season, you should never store your board dirty. If you won't be going back up the mountain again for a few weeks or the season is winding down, you should take the time to ensure a full cleaning.
Citrus based cleaning solvents can be found in most board shops, though common household cleaners without any corrosive chemicals can be used as well. Citrus cleaners are good for this type of cleaning because they remove the dirt as a cleaning solvent and dissolve much of the excess wax residue left from the season. You'll want to prime it for the next waxing, so ensure you have it nice and clean before putting your board away.
After cleaning the excess wax off of the board, it's time to see to any repairs that might have come to your attention over the season, small things you haven't gotten to yet. Check your edges for any dull or burred surfaces in need of filing. Likewise, check the base for any damage. You should have a basic kit to repair small bits of damage quickly such as a p-tex candle. However, if your damage is too substantial to fix yourself or you just don't feel comfortable fixing it yourself, you should take your board to a pro-shop and have them see to the damage.
When you've finally cleaned and repaired your board back to good, working condition, it's time for a nice hot waxing. To do it on your own, you'll only need a scraper, an iron, and wax. There are specialty snowboarding irons available that are probably better choices than household irons, but those household items will still get the job done. You'll basically apply the wax generously to the base and edges of your board with the iron. Make sure to keep it as even as possible and scrape away any excess when you're done.
If all of that work sounds a little too daunting for you, there are plenty of stores that will do it for you. The repairs might be costly, but a waxing generally only costs about $20. They have all the materials and equipment ready to do it quickly and efficiently without you worrying about an even wax.
If you take the right amount of time every year to maintain your board, you can ensure that your snowboarding gear lasts you for years. It's a pricey sport to get started in, but good maintenance can go a long way towards minimizing future cost.