Skiers and snowboarders have come a long way. Nearly two decades ago, they were at each other’s throats because each one thought that only their sport belonged on the trails and slopes. Skiers hated snowboarders because of how new and simple their sport was, and snowboarders hated skiers because skiers were protective of their slopes and chair lifts. Skiers even banned snowboarders from many places for the first decade. But no matter what sport you practice now, the rivalry is nowhere near as fierce. The rivalry between these two sports has calmed down so much that I can even put skis and snowboards in the same sentence. Skiers and snowboarders love their skis and snowboards very much. It is how they can practice their hobby in the first place. But if you love something, you should keep it well maintained and repair it whenever it breaks down. But when should they do so? How often should you wax your skis, and how often should you wax your snowboard? And what about tuning?

How Often Should You Wax Your Skis?

The first time you take your skis along to the snow, they should already be waxed. Not waxing your skis will cause an insurmountable amount of damage to them from the environment, the terrain, and the sun. When it comes to ski waxing, the average skier will usually answer that you have to wax your skis every three to five skiing sessions. However, that is just an average. The real answer depends on the amount you ski, how long you ski for, and the quality of the wax you use.

If you use a higher quality wax as more expensive and designed to last longer, you won’t have to reapply wax for at least five days to a whole week of skiing sessions. When I say skiing sessions, I mean the days that you actively ski. If you wax your skis on Monday and don’t ski until next Wednesday, you do not have to reapply the wax. The wax has not been used yet, so it is still fresh. But if it takes more than a month or two to finally start skiing, then you should scrape off the old unused wax and reapply with fresh wax, just in case.

But you may not want to wait the entire week. Applying fresh wax on your skis is a great way to keep up their performance and make it simple for you to glide with your skis whenever you come across hard snow. If you need to perform a ski waxing, but you’re not at your house or in an area where you could do it manually, you can always hire a winter sports equipment store to do it for you.

Also, if you’re the type of skier who loves to go over difficult terrains, then you should reapply your wax more often. 

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Skis?

how often should you tune your skis

Before I tell you how often you need to sharpen your skis, let’s go over what a ski sharpening is. When you take your skis in for sharpening, it is because the edges of the skis are now dull from use. It does not mean that your skis are broken, or they are poorly made. Just like a chef’s knife naturally dulls with use and must be resharpened, the same concept applies to the edges of your skis. When your skis are properly sharpened, it’s easier for you to stop or slow down while in motion, there is less resistance, and you will be able to glide faster on the snow. Sharpening the edges will also prevent rust from building on the metal edges. Many people forget that rust develops when water sits on metal. Snow is a form of water, so you must do everything you can to prevent rust from ruining your skis. 

Ski sharpening on a professional level should happen once a year or perhaps twice. A winter equipment store should be able to sharpen your skis professional, but you might have to make an appointment. You can also lightly sharpen your skis by yourself if you have the right tools. You can use an edge filer to keep your skis in Tip-Top shape. Filing off your edges can be done every one to two skiing sessions. We don’t have enough time to file or sharpen the edges of your skis, then you take it to a winter sports store for sharpening but not a complete sharpening like you should do once a year. 

How Often Should You Tune Your Skis?

So what happens when you take your skis in for a tuning? When you request a tuning for your skis, a professional ski tuning will take them back and do what they need to put your skis back in Tip-Top shape. The skis’ base is checked and repaired, the edges of the skis are sharpened, and the old wax on your skin is removed, and a new fresh layer of wax is applied. 

If you are strapped for cash, and you cannot pay for tuning for your skis, then you will be delighted to learn you can perform the tuning by yourself. Tuning your skis is a skill that you can practice at. But we do suggest that before you tune your well made expensive skis for the first time, you should practice on a pair of old skis lying around the house. You can also purchase an old pair of skis on the Internet or off of Craigslist to practice on. 

To maintain your skis’ structural integrity, they must be tuned every 18 to 22 skiing days. This is more than enough time for your edges to become dull, your wax to wear out, and some damage to happen to the base. If you take them in sooner than usual, it will be a waste of your money because the edges of your skis will still be sharp, and you haven’t skied enough to require any base repairs.

How Often Should You Wax Your Snowboard?

Now that I have gone over when a skier should wax their skis and sharpen its edges, now it is time to learn how often you should wax your snowboard. Just like skis, the snowboard should be waxed every 3 to 5 snowboarding sessions. Waxing does the same thing for snowboards as it does for skis. 

A fresh coat of wax helps the snowboard glide smoothly over the ice and makes the snowboard more aerodynamic when you are performing tricks. It also protects a snowboard from drying out. A beginner snowboarder might not tell the difference between a snowboard with wax on it and a snowboard that does not, but an advanced snowboarder will definitely be able to do so. 

They will notice that their snowboard does not move as smoothly as it would if there was a coat of wax on the bottom. Since there is no wax on a snowboard, there is far more friction between the snowboard and the snow. A snowboarder will not be able to speed up as fast as they usually would. 

Snowboard waxing is just as important as ski waxing. You can never wait too long to wax your snowboard or allow dirty wax to lay on your snowboard.

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Snowboard?

how often should you sharpen your snowboard

Skis and snowboards have many similarities when it comes to their upkeep, and keeping your snowboard edges sharp is just as important as keeping your skis edges sharp. Just like sharp ski edges, a sharp snowboard edge makes it easier for snowboarders to maintain their speed and reach their maximum speed. When you were using your snowboard to slide across the snow, the sharpened edges have less traction with the snow, so their movement is smoother. 

As a general rule, you should sharpen the edges of your snowboard at least once a week. If you snowboard is on the older side, you may have to do it twice a week.

Just as I explained with skis, there are two types of sharpening for sharpening the edges of your snowboard. There’s a deep sharp knee that you must do once or twice a year, depending on how much you skied that year. And then there is the casual maintenance sharpening what you must do every week. 

Many winter sports equipment stores have snowboard sharpening services, but if you practice at sharpening your own snowboard, you can do it yourself. Once you are used to sharpening your snowboard, it will only take about 25 minutes. So it would actually take longer for you to pack up your snowboard, put in the car, drive down to the winter sports store, have them sharpen it, return home, then go pick it up and drive back home than it would be to just do it yourself.

When Should You Tune Your Snowboard?

Just like skis, a snowboard should be tuned about every 20 snowboarding sessions. You will notice when your snowboard needs to be tuned when the edges start to look chipped and worn out. Another way you know that your snowboard needs to be tuned is how bumpy your board’s movement is when you slide down the snow. The fresh wax will begin to harden, and the rough terrain will chip it away. Plus, the rocky movement of the snowboard will force you to concentrate harder in order for you to keep your balance. But the 20 days rule is a general rule, and those who snowboard across difficult terrain and engage in cross country skiing should turn their snowboards even sooner. 

Snowboard tuning involves three different steps: base repair, and sharpening, and applying a new layer of wax. If you read the section about tuning your skis, you will see that this is the exact type of tuning work that goes into maintaining skis. 

What to know about waxing

Waxing your snowboard or skis properly will take a whole afternoon. It is a time-consuming process but a necessary one. So if you have a ski or snowboarding trip coming up and you have not removed the old wax from your equipment and replace it with new wax, get it done before the night before you have to leave. Nothing is worse than packing your schedule with important things to do and then performing a terrible job because you took too long and waited until the last minute.

But if you really don’t have much time, a good idea would be to leave one day early and arrived at the resort or hotel sooner than what was planned. After you have rested and unloading your stuff into your room, you can take your skis or snowboard and search for a turning service. If there is no service like that in the hotel where you are staying, then there definitely should be some around the local area.

Conclusion

You must always make time to maintain and handle your skis or snowboard. These pieces of equipment cost hundreds of dollars, so if you neglect them and forget to take care of them, you’re only punishing yourself in your wallet. As I said above, if you do not have time to sharpen your edges or apply wax on your own time, you could always take your keys or your snowboard to a winter sports store and have them do it for you. And don’t forget to have your skis and snowboard professionally sharpen once or twice a year. If you buy a new pair of skis or a snowboard, you may not have to sharpen the edges. But check for yourself and see how dull or sharp the edges are. If you are unsure if your snowboard needs maintenance or not, you can always ask a skier or snowboarder For And no forget that you can learn to tune your skis and snowboard yourself, it will take some practice, and you may have to buy more equipment, but you’ll be able to do it yourself which will save you money in the long run.


Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.