When it comes to snowboarding, knowledge can ultimately mean power. If there is one thing you should be knowledgeable about, it’s the best snowboard wax for your board. I am going to take you today on a waxing masterclass. I will give you the fruits of my knowledge when it comes to the whys, whats, and wherefores. I will then go through my top 5 choices for the best snowboard wax.
Why Should You Wax?
Firstly, I should start by saying waxing is one of those essential steps. You must undertake it, especially if you are like me, and you want the best from your board. Wax not only offers protection to your board, but it also makes your overall ride far better.
When applying wax to the board, you will find the ride far smoother. The application of wax reduces the amount of friction between the board and the snow.
Allowing the board to dry out is not something you want to do. I can tell you from personal experience the difference is noticeable. A dried-out snowboard, will not only slow the ride, but it can also cause quicker wear on your board.
When To Wax
The frequency of waxing is not something that anyone can tell precisely. I personally only apply wax if I start to feel a slowing or dragging in my ride. You may find, however, that after a couple of days of riding, you need a fresh application.
Wax application frequency can also depend on the age of the board. For some boards, the wax will wear quicker than others.
The one thing to look out for is when you are on level terrain. If you find you are getting stuck, it’s time to wax-up.
How To Wax Your Board
Ok, so I will take you through my method when it comes to waxing. Many of you will find your preference as time goes on, but this could be a great starting guide for you. Firstly, here is what you are going to need:
- An iron
- A scourer
- A scraper (plastic)
- Base cleaner
- A structure brush
- A polishing cloth
Now, if you have all of your equipment ready and waiting, I will guide you step by step through the process:
- Removing the bindings is the very first thing you will need to do. This is done so the binding screws do not come into contact with the base.
- Cleaning the base is an essential step in this whole process. You need to remove the debris and old wax for the new wax to absorb properly. There are a few methods you can use. But, my personal favorite is the good old fashioned cloth and base cleaner method. Another popular method is the hot scrape method. This involves applying a thin layer of hot wax, before quickly removing.
- After removing the debris, wipe the base thoroughly with a clean cloth.
- Choosing the right wax for the job is also an important step. If you are sure what temperature wax you need, we will get onto that later.
- Using an iron, preferably not the one that you used for the clothes every day. Heat the wax on the base of the iron until it begins to drip onto the board. You should be focussing on getting a nice even coating on the board.
- Ironing the base is the next step. Personally, I turn the iron down, and I do this to minimize the risk of burning my pride and joy.
- Let the wax cool for around 45 minutes.
- With your scraper at a 45-degree angle, carefully scrape off any excess wax. Single motion strokes are essential for the best finish.
- Carefully use a structuring brush from nose to tail. Brushing the base removes excess wax and helps to expose the structure of the base.
Waxing For Appropriate Temperature
I instantly know that one person out there will have concluded that all snow is cold. Yet, ensuring that you have the right wax for the right temperature is essential. By doing this, you can gain optimum performance from your board.
The temperature of the snow may all be cold, but it can also fluctuate quite exponentially. The best way to judge temperature is to check the weather app on your phone. You can also look at the overnight air temperature. As a rule of thumb, this can give you a pretty good estimate of the snow temperature.
Wax packaging will show the best snow temperature ranges for that product. Wax generally falls into three categories. Cold, warm, and all temperature. An all temperature wax was my personal favorite starting as it covered all grounds.
Types Of Wax
Wax now comes in four different forms, paste, powder, liquid, and solid. For myself, solid wax is what I use most. The other three are great for emergency wax patching out on the slopes.
Wax also comes with the addition of additives. These additives and wax you choose will always depend on your experience and how far down the snowboard rabbit hole you go. These additives are below:
- Hydrocarbon – Great strong wax for beginners.
- Molybdenum – Great for dry snow and is a speed increaser.
- Fluorocarbon – Perfect for wet snow. A water-repelling wax.
My Favourites For The Slopes
My rating –
One of the most wonderful things of note with the Demon Hyper X is the sheer amount you get for your money. I was relatively happy when over a pound’s worth showed up. My initial thought was that of minor trepidation, especially when looking at the price and how much I received.
Demon Hyper X advertises itself as all temperatures. And, as all temp is something I have always been a fan of, I thought maybe this could be one of my new favorites.
There were overall two things that I was expecting from the Demon Hyper. The first was that it did stand up to it’s advertised all temp claims. The second is that it would produce some good speed.
Firstly I would like to say the application was a joy. I got so much pleasure applying the Demon Hyper X, and it spreads like Nutella on a warm day. I would also like to note, that the smell is divine, and I have over my time come across some pretty gnarly smells.
On the slopes, it turns out Demon Hyper is a lot of fun and is a joy on the powder. So far, I can say it performs in the temps I have tried it on, and the speed pick up is better than I expected.
Pros and Cons:
|Smell – The smell is fantastic, and when it comes to applying wax, this is something that for me is important.||Melting time – For some, the melting time maybe a little too fast. For myself, it took me by surprise, but for others, it may cause issues.|
|All temperature – Unlike some that state all temp, Demon Hyper lives up to its claim.|
|A large quantity – When it comes to value, you get a lot of wax for your money.|
|Easy Application – It is a joy to apply, and when wax applies easily, it puts you in a great mood.|
My rating –
One thing that I must address though is the application. The melting temperature is a little high on the hot sauce. This makes the application process a little long-winded, and I found the process a little more difficult than other waxes I have used.
A couple of great things about the super hot sauce that should not go unmentioned, are its quantity. Although the bar is only 5 ounces, the wax goes very far.
The most important thing though is its performance. Hertel’s didn’t disappoint. I found its performance on many slopes was consistent and would be ideal for the slope switcher.
Pros and Cons:
|Very affordable – The price is more than affordable, so value for money is great here.||Difficult application process – Waxing became quite a long-winded and slow process.|
|All temperature – Really performs as advertised.||Slow melting – Melted very slowly, made clumping an issue.|
|Performance- Performs well in all snow conditions.||Needed careful prep – If your prep isn’t perfect, it can have detrimental effects on the slopes.|
My rating –
When I first laid my eyes on ZumWax, my initial thoughts were that it was a roll-on deodorant. ZumWax has, in fact, created this nifty little system for easy application. I must say I was very excited to test it out.
Testing time came, and I was eager to apply straight from the tube. Unfortunately, this is something you cannot do. It is a slightly quicker process but not as quick as I had originally believed.
ZumWax, however, did not disappoint when it came to performance. That performance, however, didn’t last too long. And the need for reapplication came around far too quickly.
Zumwax was great for a day on the slopes, and I thoroughly enjoyed what I gained from it. However, this wax just doesn’t hold its own against other waxes I have used as longevity is important to me.
Pros and Cons:
|Quickish application – It does apply fairly quickly but not as fast as initially thought.||It does not last – Runs out quickly, can prove annoying to flow.|
|Has a buffer – It includes a cork buffer and adds a nice touch for application.||Hard to handle – Although it comes in what I believed was a nifty, easy application system, this was not the case.|
My rating –
Hertel Racing 739 is one of the waxes I have been using for quite some time. One of my favorite reasons to use the 739 is its easy application. And of course, as it’s Hertel, it also has a pretty nice scent too.
The 739 performance, in my opinion, is amazing. But one thing I have noticed is that although Racing 739 falls under all-weather, I find it struggles in cold temperatures. This revelation may come as a surprise to some, especially as the wax includes hygroscopic technology.
Possibly the best thing about 739 is the time it lasts. Some say that you can get seven days from one application, I am a hard hitter, and I get around five. As far as long-lasting waxes go, this has to be a personal favorite.
Pros and Cons:
|Scent – The smell is great||All temperatures – I have an issue with cold performance.|
|Performance – The level of performance in warm temperature is incredible|
|Duration – The reapply gaps with this stuff are huge.|
My rating –
Swix Biodegradable was a first for me. I had not heard much in the way of this stuff.
When it came to the application, it was simple enough to apply, although I must say there was a funky smell afoot. Swiz did, however, cover nice and easily, and the whole process was fairly quick and painless.
One of the great things of note when it comes to Swix is it is of course environmentally friendly. If environmentally friendly is what you are after, this is probably the best on the market.
Swix biodegradable does, however, leave a lot to be desired when it comes to performance. In my opinion, Swix would be best for recreational snowboarders. If you like speed from your board, then this possibly isn’t the best option for you.
Pros and Cons:
|Environmentally friendly – Exactly as it sounds.||Lacks performance – Doesn’t give you speed or light performance.|
|Easy to apply – Application is nice a simple, not an arduous process.||Scent – The smell is a little strange|
|Has a nice box – I felt bad about being harsh, so I added another pro.|
In conclusion, although I started off using the Hertel Racing 739, I must say I have found myself gravitating towards another. For me, my overall favorite is the Demon Hyper X Wax. Overall, in my opinion, this is the best snowboard wax I have found.
The Hyper X combines the joy of being sensational value for money, all-weather, high performing, and not just easy, but enjoyable to apply. Demon Hyper X would suit any beginner or experienced snowboarder. It will be filling the air with its sweet scent for a long while to come.