Getting tired of being left behind on the slopes? Is your snowboard starting to feel sluggish and unresponsive? This could be a sign that your snowboard needs a good wax. Check out our snowboarding holidays here.

Waxing is fairly simple to do at home and only requires a few tools, products and skills that anyone can learn. You will also be saving money by not handing your board into a shop for maintenance. The results are well worth it and could be immediate with you zipping across the snow faster than ever and pulling off the tricks that make snowboarding so much fun. Find out how to start waxing for yourself.

Which wax should I choose?

We begin in the snowboard shop. There is a fairly simple choice when it comes to wax: hot, cold or multipurpose (or universal). The differences are self-explanatory: cold is best for cold weather, hot is for warmer weather and multipurpose is the all rounder wax is probably best recommended to those who are going to the mountains for more casual sport rather than to be ultra competitive.

Take a look at the packet for temperature ranges and do some research about your resort. Match the two up for maximum effect and the correct choice of wax.

How often should I wax my board?

You can usually tell when your board is ready for renewal from its performance. For the heavy user this could be every three days or so but it is possible to get through an entire week-long ski break without the need to re-wax. A lot depends on the conditions you are riding in, how often you use your board and the type of board you own. If you are a hardcore boarder then rewaxing every 3-4 times you have been out in the powder is a good rule of thumb.

The tools for the job

While out buying your wax make sure you have buy the following tools in order to carry out your snowboard enhancement at home:

An iron (specialist waxing irons are great but the iron you use for your clothes will also work. If you do decide to choose a normal iron then don’t expect to be able to use it to remove creases from your shirt in the future. It can get a little messy).
Good, clean cloth.
A structuring brush.

You are now all set to go. Find a space in your house that is well aired, put some sheets down to avoid making a mess and get ready to wax. This will only take an hour or so.Check out more ski essentials here.

Step 1: Remove bindings and clean

Put your board on a workbench above the ground. You will be using a hot iron on your board so make sure bindings and any small parts have been detached or are well out of the way of danger. Next, get a cloth with a little alcohol on it to remove all the dust and dirt that has built up on your board since the last waxing. You might also need a small wire brush to get rid of the stubborn bits of mountain you brought back from your holiday. After you are finished, give your board a little time to dry.

Step 2: Melt and distribute the wax

Turn on your iron and set it to a normal temperature, not too hot and not too cool. Once it is heated up, hold your wax next to the iron so that it starts to slowly melt and drop onto your board below. Go lengthwise up the board trying to distribute the wax evenly. Make sure that there are no spaces less than 5cm apart where some wax hasn't been dropped. Don't forget the edges either. Keep going until you are happy.

Step 3: Time to get ironing

For many this is the fun part. You can either put your iron directly onto the board or hover above to try and spread the wax. You may want to try the latter first as it is less likely to cause any damage such as blistering and your iron will suffer from less mess as well.

Go from one end of the board to the other then try side to side as the wax spreads out. Add more wax if an area doesn't seem to be covered. Do not overdo it and heat the wax too much. It should start to dry a few seconds after you start concentrating on another area. Once you are satisfied that you have evenly and fully covered your board with wax, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and do something else for around an hour. This will give your board time to dry. Do not be tempted to put your board outside to hurry up the drying process as this may prevent the wax from fully filling the pores in your board.

Step 4: Making it smooth

The final stage is to make your board as aerodynamic as possible by removing any excess wax created by your efforts. No one is perfect so don't worry if there are a few blobs around after the board has dried. Take your plastic scraper or similar tool (plastic is recommended to prevent damage). Go across your board from the end to remove wax that stands out or is loose on your board. Once you've been through this stage the structuring brush will make sure any other stray pieces of wax are removed. If you have not been able to get hold of a specialist brush then something that has stiff nylon for bristles should do the job instead. Alternatively, mild sandpaper can work but be gentle with it.

Take your time over this stage as it really can have an impact on your board’s performance. However, you should be able to get all the brushing finished in around 20 strokes.

Anyone can do it

Congratulations you have just waxed your first snowboard. You will get better every time you do it and many find the process quite relaxing and zen. If you are in a hurry then your local shop can do the job for you at a price but waxing is all part of the experience of being a snowboarder. Enjoy your new found speed and agility on the slopes and do not forget you will need to do it all again in a week or so.