November 27, 2021

Why Do You Sharpen a Snowboard?

Scott Kimball

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Scott Kimball

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One of the most important things with snowboards is durability, and sharpening the edges is the best way to make them last longer and stay effective.

Sharpening a snowboard is extremely important as a maintenance step for your equipment. You should sharpen your snowboard to ensure that you have fresh wax on your snowboard and sharp edges for better durability, carving, and turning in the snow. Dull edges will only hinder your board performance. 

Snowboards are usually sharpened on the edges so when you're riding down a hill, they provide maximum control for turning and carving. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of friction between the board and the snow or ice. You can learn more about sharpening your snowboarding in this guide.

If you have never sharpened a snowboard before, this guide will also teach you how to do it quickly and easily. It is a tedious task but with the right tools and approach, you can keep your board in better shape for more high-performance riding.  

Table of Contents:

Why Do You Sharpen a Snowboard?

The snowboard has many sharp edges to grip the snow and allow for precise turning and carving. You should keep these sharp edges in good shape so that you have a better riding experience.

You should sharpen the edges on your snowboard to keep it in better shape and improve the smoothness and quality of your ride. It is recommended that you use a stone or sandpaper to get rid of excess material on the edges of the board before using an electric file for better results.

The most common mistake for people with snowboards is to sharpen the edges of the board too much. They do this because they think that the sharp edge will help them turn and carve better.

It will help prevent dull edges that cannot turn or carve well and instead provide a sharper ride while riding down a slope. If you do not maintain them, they will become dull and ineffective much faster too.

There are many ways to sharpen the edges on your snowboard. You can use a metal file to do it or you can take it to a professional shop. But, it is a relatively simple process that we will explain in this guide that you can do on your own.

How Often Should You Sharpen a Snowboard?

We recommend sharpening the edges on your snowboard once a month, but it depends on how much you use your board. If you are one of those people who use their board only a few times per month then you may be able to wait even longer.

However, regular maintenance is very crucial for the life of your board. If you neglect this, you will find yourself with a lot of trouble later on in the form of cracks and breakage.

Another factor that could change how often you need to perform this maintenance is the quality of wax used on your snowboard. It helps with durability and keeping the edges in the best shape possible.

Instead, you can opt to perform regular checks of the edges on your snowboard to see the condition they are in. This is the best indicator of whether or not you should sharpen them again before your next riding experience.

What Do You Need To Sharpen a Snowboard?

To sharpen a snowboard, you need the proper equipment and sharpening tools to make the process faster and more efficient. You should also find a spacious area before you begin with a flat surface to put your board in a secure location.

Below we have listed some of the key tools you should get before you start to sharpen a snowboard.

Edge Sharpener

Edge sharpeners are the primary tool needed to properly sharpen your snowboard, and there are tons of different options available. We recommend finding a kit that includes everything together, but the best edge sharpener is a multi-side bevel tool.

If you are a beginner, it's best to start with a conventional edge sharpener because it will be easier for you to use at first. You can always upgrade later on when you get better at snowboarding.

Wax & Wax Iron

You will also need wax and a wax iron during this process as a precautionary measure. If you have edges that are not in good shape, wax is the way you will fix the problem by applying some to create more precise edges.  

Scraper

Your scraper tool is another important piece of equipment that is necessary to have when it is time to fix up your snowboard edges. If any parts of the edges are overlapping, the scraper tool will remove excess wax to avoid any burred edges that could get caught in the snow and slow you down.

Screwdriver

You will need a screwdriver to remove the bindings from your snowboard. You should never sharpen the edges or apply any wax to your board until after the bindings are removed to make the process much easier.

Nylon Brush

The nylon brush is only required if you intend on applying wax to your board as well. It is the best and most efficient way to scrub and clean the base of your snowboard to remove debris before you apply the wax for a smooth finish.

How To Sharpen a Snowboard

Now that you understand the importance of sharpening a snowboard and have all of the tools required, you should gain some knowledge on how to sharpen a snowboard too. This is a fundamental skill that can save you money by learning to do it on your own.

Below you'll find all the steps to sharpen your board correctly.

1. Remove Your Snowboard Bindings

If you want to sharpen the board, you need to remove them first before proceeding with other steps. This will give you more space to operate and make things quite a bit easier.

To remove snowboard bindings, you will need to unscrew the screw on each side of the binding. Once all four screws have been removed, you can lift your snowboard and remove it from the board.

2. Set The Angle to 90 Degrees On Your Edge Sharpener Tool

When you sharpen your snowboard, you must be precise. It can be a difficult task to get the angle just right if you are using a standard knife. But with an edge sharpener tool, you can quickly and effortlessly get the perfect angle every time.

We recommend setting the angle to 90 degrees on your edge sharpener tool so you can get the edges to the perfect level.

3. Begin Filing The Base Edges On The Snowboard

Once you have set the angle on your edge sharpener tool, you can begin filing the base edges on your snowboard. The base edges on a snowboard are those along the side of the board between the tip and tail.

You should always keep your base edges at the same angle as your side edges, but it's best to hone them down more aggressively for better grip when you're going fast or trying to turn quickly.

4. Continue Filing Edges From Tip To Tail

Move along these edges slowly and try to focus on sharp distances at a time to ensure you are getting every spot evenly. It is important to go from tip to tail slowly so you never miss an area or leave any of the edges too sharp or too dull.

5. Apply Wax If Needed

When you finish sharpening the edges, you need to determine if your board needs new wax applied before the next ride. If so, you can do this step here using your wax and wax iron.

This process is quick and you can allow the wax to dry when you finish. Always remember to use the scraper tool to remove any excess wax too so your edges stay sharp.

6. Reattach Snowboard Bindings When Complete

Once the wax dries, you can reattach the snowboard bindings to your board and start riding again with more precision and board control.

Why Do You Sharpen a Snowboard? | Today I'm OutsideWhy Do You Sharpen a Snowboard?

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About THE AUTHOR

Scott Kimball

From a young age I was introduced to fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding and more through family, friends, and scouting. After 20 years of learning and participating in these outdoor activities, I share what i've learned (and continue learning) with you.

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