Introduction: How to Setup and Wax a Gnarly Snowboard

There is absolutely nothing better than flying down a Colorado mountain on a snowboard! I am going to describe how to setup and wax a snowboard so anyone can be ready to ride in minutes.

Setting up and waxing a snowboard are essential to being able to get out on that mountain and ride like the wind. I will be able to explain how to put on bindings and which type of stance can suit you as a rider. You will learn how to select the right wax for your type of riding and the way to properly put it on the board. Also I will cover adding the finishing touch, a stomp pad, which will make getting on and off the lifts easier. After completion the reader will feel good about having a well setup board for their specific needs and skill level.

Step 1: RETRIEVE the Following Materials.

Materials List (Figure 1)
• Snowboard deck you wish to setup.
• Bindings that fit your riding style and have all the bolts needed to setup.
• Binding disc.
• Philips wrench that fits the binding bolts.
• Leash.
• Hot iron.
• Wax.
• Scraper.
• Edger.
• Table to perform the waxing on.
• If necessary a sheet to put down to catch wax shavings.
• Stomp pad.
When selecting a board this should be an extensive operation. Following is selection information on different board types.

Board Size (Figure 2)
For the size of the board when you stand it straight up it should come between your nose and your chin. If you plan on riding in the powder mostly a longer board should be considered, however, if you are going to hang out in the park all day a shorter board can be desirable.

Board Type
The brand you choose will fall mostly on your opinion. Every manufacturer will provide guidelines for what riding style each deck is designed. If you are a beginner rider it would not be wise to purchase a pipe board so be sure to match up the board you want with your abilities.

Binding Type (Figure 3)
The most important thing with bindings is to first check that the bindings you are looking at will fit the boot you wear. If you want fast release of boots and bindings you can purchase types like these, however, if you want a firmer hold a more traditional binding will suit your needs.

Wax Type (Figure 4)
Wax type will depend mainly on where you are riding. Waxes function best in the temperature ranges put on the box. If you are riding in a cold climate be sure to buy a low degree wax but if you are cruising in a warm area buy that type.

Step 2: DECIDE How You Want to Set Up Your Stance.

Nowadays riders have a variety of choices. As you notice on your board there are many different hole patterns and the bindings themselves have a turntable option. As a rider you should find which stance feels the most comfortable to you. Following are some general observations.

Park Riders
You will generally want to go for a slight angle or straight on both feet for your foot stance (Figure 1 and 2). This will help 180’s feel more comfortable because one leg will not be cocked in a different position. Also many park riders today prefer a wider stance for air tricks (Figure 4).

Free Riders
You will want to take your front binding and angle it a slight amount out from your stance (Figure 3). This will make carving snow a lot easier. The width of your stance should simply be whatever feels best.

Step 3: PUT the Bindings on the Board the Way You Have Chosen and Make Sure the Holes Match Up With Your Desired Stance.

Different board types have different hole patterns so look at your board and find a width that you like and will also line up with the hole pattern.  My board is a Burton and has an eight hole pattern (Figure 1).

Step 4: SCREW in the Screws to the Binding and Make Sure They Are Very Secure.

The last thing you want is to lose a binding while your speeding down a mountain!

Step 5: ATTACH a Leash to the Front Bindings.

This is a safety requirement at all mountains. If the bindings were to fail while riding on the lift a leash acts as a last minute backup to prevent the board from falling on riders below.

Step 6: PUT the Board in the Desired Waxing Position.

The bottom of the board should be up and if necessary place down a sheet because this job will get messy!

Step 7: HEAT Up the Iron by Plugging It in and Turning It On.

WARNING: Contact with a hot iron can cause severe burns so be careful not to touch it to skin. When putting the iron down be sure it is not near to anything flammable as it could start a fire.

Step 8: TOUCH the Wax to the Iron and As It Begins to Melt Zigzag It Across the Bottom of Your Board.

Do this from tip to tip of the board. Do not be worried about putting too much on because you can simply scrape it away later. Unless you bought some expensive wax!

Step 9: SPREAD the Wax on the Board by Rubbing the Iron Over the Drops.

Be sure to cover all areas of the board with hot wax. Keep moving iron to avoid burning the board.

Step 10: UNPLUG and Set Aside Iron Allowing the Wax to Cool for a Few Minutes.

Do not touch the iron until it has fully cooled!

Step 11: SCRAPE Away the Excess Wax With a Scraper.

To do this pull the scraper towards you in long and even strokes. If you are inside do not get to crazy or you will be finding wax shavings all around your house!

Step 12: RUN the Edger Along the Sides of the Board.

Use a slow forward motion curving around the nose and tail. Edges should feel slightly sharp, not round. You will not need to do this if the board is new but if it is used this is a good idea because you will be able to carve in the snow better.


Any loose wax shavings on the floor can simply be vacuumed up.

Step 14: STICK the Stomp Pad on the Place You Desire.

Most people prefer to put it next to their back binding. This way your boot can grip the board and rest against the back binding for support.

Step 15: GET TO THE MOUNTAIN (Most Important Step!)

After completion of these steps you should be ready to either learn how to snowboard or return back to the mountain. If your board starts feeling slow just start at step six and work through step thirteen to rewax and edge. Enjoy and always be a safe rider!