Do New Snowboards Need To Be Waxed?

Snowboard wax helps boards glide smoothly over snow and ice. It creates a slick layer minimizing surface friction against frozen precipitation particles. Most riders apply fresh wax before each trip up the mountain. But what about brand new snowboards – should they get waxed straight away too before ever hitting the slopes?

We’ll compare the key pros and cons around waxing new snowboard bases. Read on for expert insight if breaking in fresh boards with an initial wax job is necessary or skips an unneeded step.

New Snowboard Base Properties

Before deciding whether to wax, first understand the chemical properties of virgin snowboard bases…

  • Constructed from ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW)
  • This wax-infused plastic features hydrophobic properties
  • The porous structure allows further wax absorption
  • Comes factory pre-waxed by manufacturers at molecular level

So fresh boards already repel some moisture and slide reasonably well owing to embedded wax and water-fearing plastic.

However, additional wax layers improve glide performance…

With WaxNo Wax
Enhanced moisture protection Minimized base drag Prevent icing adherement Smooth controlled speedShorter ride times per push Stuttering / erratic glide Potential unexpected slowing Inconsistent speed wobbles

So while factory waxing helps, Expert snowboarders still recommend adding high quality wax before riding.

The question remains whether an initial hot wax matters for new snowboards straight out of shipping packaging though…

Does the Factory Wax Sufficiently Protect Brand New Boards?

Maybe – depending on ride usage intensity.

  • Casual riders may safely rely on the pre-applied wax for a few outings before renewing
  • Those expecting to log high vertical feet or demanding conditions should wax snowboards immediately out of the wrapper

Assuming a brand new snowboard gets ridden lightly at first, the generic factory wax lasts for several short sessions typically.

But wax quickly expends sliding over snow and absorbing UV rays. Frequent or aggressive riders need increased weathering protection and reduced drag immediately.

So base your wax decision on planned riding style and mileage.

Pros of Waxing New Snowboards

Still unsure if it’s worth taking a hot iron to that pristine base? Here are tangible upsides:

1. Improves Glide Performance

New wax fills microscopic pores on the base material allowing boards to skim over powder instead of sinking in.

2. Weatherproofs Against Moisture

The hydrophobic wax compounds repel snow crystals and liquid better, preventing sluggishness.

3. Adds Layered Base Protection

More durable specialty wax shields bases against scratches and costly damage.

4. Enhances Speed Control

A slick base with minimal resistance provides more predictable acceleration and edge grip.

5. Extends Ride Time Between Pushes

Minimizing sliding friction lets boards coast longer with less rider input.

6. Reduces Icing and Clumping

Base wax impedes snow particles from glomming onto boards and slowing riders down.

Still not convinced? Keep reading…

Cons of Avoiding Wax On New Snowboards

Here are adverse consequences from skipping that inaugural wax session:

1. Drag and Resistance Builds Up

Snow crystals clinging to dry base increase friction compounding speed falls.

2. Acceleration and Glide Suffer

Sticker bases must work harder to reach momentum and coast shorter distances.

3. Icing Problems Worsen

Unpprotected bases grow susceptible to rapid snow and ice packing buildup.

4. Base Deteriorates Faster

No sacrificial wax layer leaves base vulnerable to fine scratches and cosmetic wear.

5. Speed Control Lags

Riders lose precision command over acceleration and carving expectations.

6. Wax Absorption Declines

Oxidation from UV and dirt fill porous holes instead of performance wax.

By allowing great glide then deteriorating through damage and clogging, skipping that new board wax carries a price both performance and protection wise.

Verdict: Should You Wax New Snowboards?

Given the glide benefits and base shielding that wax imparts, our recommendation stands firmly:

Yes, apply high quality hot wax onto new snowboards before hitting slopes to maximize initial performance while safeguarding base integrity.

The nominal investment of a professional tuned wax job pays off quickly in extra hours enjoying the mountain instead of fighting board friction and erratic control.

Think of that virgin base as a blank canvas awaiting an artistic coat of liquified speed!

Professional Tune Shop Vs DIY Waxing

Once deciding to wax before first tracks, choose wisely between self-service or a full spa treatment:

Pro Tune ShopDIY Waxing
Super slick mirror finish Structure buffs glide mechanics Hot irons optimally penetrate Experience ensures maximal resultSaves money but mistakes likely Cooler irons don’t activate wax fully Uneven hand application risks base burns No structure buffing machinery

While costlier, professional tuning unlocks best-in-class glide treatment. Home wax jobs still help but avoid potential mistakes downgrading base performance.

Either way, brand new snowboards prepped with a fresh wax coating ride better and last longer deferred from old age!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still seeking input deciding on debuting that new snowboard with or without wax? These answers address common questions:

Should factory wax be scraped off first?

No need since hot scraping removes the generic wax anyway before applying higher end formulations.

What temperature iron works best?

Between 135°C to 150°C maximizes wax viscosity to deeply penetrate base pores for durable adhesion.

How often must wax get renewed after break-in?

On average every few days riding. More for demanding conditions like granular snow or steep terrain.

Does wax help with icy or packed snow?

Yes! Quality temperature specific wax combats different precipitation types.

Can I apply too much wax?

Overwaxing risks slowing boards down, so keep passes minimal unless intentionally creating a thicker racing base.

How long does a tune shop wax application take?

Around 30 minutes average including edge sharpening, buffing and handling cool down stages.

Will wax prevent all potential base damage?

While reducing likelihood of superficial scratches, it cannot prevent all deeper gouging from severe impacts. Use base repair epoxy to fix any gashes.

Do eco-friendly plant based waxes work as well?

Natural waxes provide ecological production benefits but may require more frequent renewal than synthetic fluorocarbons. Test carefully in your conditions.


Fresh snowboards need love too! Before subjecting that virginal base to harsh elements, adorn it in liquified protection by expertly applying hot wax. Allow base structure full glide activation through buffing machinery as well.

Treat the bottom patiently at first while coaxing out complete performance potential through wax and regular tuning. A finely honed board over years reflects countless hours of mountain fun sliding gracefully on corduroy groomers and steep powder stashes.

So show commitment waxing often to keep boards running quick and looking pretty season over season. Both new and old planks benefit from regular TLC – don’t allow that first day out to orphan otherwise capable riders stranded walking downhill!