Are you planning to spend your next winter snowboarding in one of those ethereal towns that sit surrounding a mountain?
Naturally, you need to know all the proper usage and maintenance of your snowboards. To protect both you and your snowboard while you are on ice.
Can snowboards get waterlogged?
Snowboards are mainly made of wood and layers of fiberglass. If the outer layer gets damaged by trees and rocks poking from under the ice it makes it easier for water to seep through and soak into the board. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a snowboard to be waterlogged.
To understand why a snowboard may get waterlogged, we must know the materials that go into making one.
Traditionally snowboards are made of wood as their core to help keep the shape and also enable good vibration damping. And as it is cheaper compared to alternatives such as carbon and aluminum which can also be used for the base.
Then fiberglass is layered to help keep it stiff and prevent it from deforming while snowboarding. Resin is also used between the fiberglass sheet to hold them together and make them sturdy.
Core weakens when the board collides with large stones or parts of trees protruding from the surface of the snow, the gouge may reach the core of the board.
Damages of this sort allow the water to soak the wooden core which makes it rot and swell. Swelling then causes the layers to delaminate meaning the layers start to separate.
So, a number of things like slushy snow, collisions with hard edges, delayed maintenance can cause snowboards to get waterlogged.
How to know when your snowboard is waterlogged?
Here are some ways to identify if your snowboard is waterlogged and needs to be taken to the shop:
- When rust begins appearing on the edges of the snowboard.
- The snowboard will begin to swell and also delaminate the top layers which are signs that the board is waterlogged.
- When the core of the snowboard begins to show signs of rotting from within the board.
It is important to keep an eye on the condition of your snowboard to ensure your safety since a rotting snowboard can break when met with immense pressure or force.
How do you fix a waterlogged snowboard?
When you begin to notice even the smallest signs of wear and tear in your snowboard’s appearance, that might lead you to believe it is waterlogged. It is important at this stage to fix it before the board becomes ruined beyond repair or you meet an accident.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix your snowboard after it gets waterlogged:
Dry the snowboard
You need to wipe the surfaces of the board with a microfiber cloth and leave it to dry in the sun. Flip sides to dry it equally on both sides. However, don’t dry for too long.
Re-laminate the board
You need to begin by mixing Epoxy in a small cup till it is one color. Fill the edges where it had de-laminated and gaps have appeared and with the help of two pieces of metal on each side and a metal clamp, hold the core and upper sheets together for 24 hours.
Then take off the clamp and metal pieces after it’s completely dry.
Fill and smooth out gouges
If there are any deep gauges left. Melt T-Pex with a candle and overfill the gouges and let it cool and dry completely.
Getting rid of leftover Epoxy and T-Pex
Here you need to take a metal filer and razor/scraper and start to scrape away the excess Epoxy and T-Pex that had been leftover on the board after it had cooled and hardened. And finish it by gently filing away the rough edges.
Waxing the board
Start by rubbing sandpaper on the surface of the board to ensure the wax has something to grip. Use an iron and wax to melt the wax and pour it all over the board. Run the iron over the board to ensure the wax seeps in. Once it cools and hardens, scrape away the excess wax.
Is it bad to snowboard when it’s wet?
It isn’t necessarily bad to snowboard when it’s wet. Snowboarding while it’s raining or right after rain even has a few advantages. The slopes will be far less crowded and the rain tends to soften the snow which will make it easier to maneuver the board and make sharper turns.
That being said, you need to keep the temperature in mind and if it’s a temperature you can endure. Because there is a risk of hypothermia which can cause your body to lose heat quickly and cause dangerously low body temperature.
To prevent this, you need to make sure your snowboarding gears are warm and are completely waterproof. Or else you will be soaked from head to toe. Your board needs to be waxed properly with no deep gouges.
Despite all the protection you need to understand your own limits. Wet clothes and the rain might cause fatigue faster than normal. And if you become tired, there will be chances of mistakes which may lead to unfortunate accidents.
Can you use a snowboard on the water?
It is possible to use a snowboard for wakeboarding. But you need to make a few alterations. You need to take the boots for snowboarding and replace them with wakeboarding bindings.
Here is how to change the boots for bindings properly.
You need to start by unscrewing and removing the boot screws. Next, position the wakeboard bindings and screw them down in place. Pull to see if it sits securely and finally test it out on the water.
Even though this is possible, try to be precautious to avoid accidents. Because they are designed for two different sports and vary in design and flexibility.
Do snowboards float?
Snowboards can float.
On flatter terrain, it is easy to get stuck. And the best way to avoid this is by staying on top of the snow. In order to do that you need to use the float of your board and also speed.
You need to maintain your momentum going to continue the float. And if your board flows well, you can go slower and stay on top of the powder.
But if your board doesn’t float well, you have to sit on the tail of your board and keep up your speed to avoid diving into the powder.
How do I know if my snowboard is in good condition?
Every snowboarder tries to keep their boards at it’s very best. Here are some of the things to look out for and see if it’s time for repair.
- Vertical cracks in the sidewalk.
- Gap appearing between the sidewall and the top sheet.
- Subtle lumps and cracks on the outside of the bindings on the nose and tail.
- Inconsistencies in the top sheet indicate cracks in the core.
- Dye-cut pieces are coming up.
If you can’t find these problems in your boards, it can mean that the board is in pretty great condition. However, to be absolutely certain, you can take it to the shop for a closer inspection.
When should you replace your snowboard?
A snowboard needs to be replaced when it begins to show signs of irreparable wear and tear. This may depend on many factors like how many rides you have taken it out on, the place where you ride, and also your skills.
Generally, if you ride over hard surfaces and collide against hard surfaces, wear and tear will begin to appear faster, and therefore the board will need to be replaced.
However, in most cases, if you take proper care of your board, it should last you up to 100 smooth and high-quality rides.
How long should a snowboard last?
This depends greatly on how many days you have taken it riding. An average snowboard lasts a rider between 150 to 200 days of riding as long as they handle their board well and avoid grinding the base on hard surfaces like rocks.
A rider should expect a minimum of about 100 days high quality riding from a brand-new board. From that point forward, general wear and tears like damaged core and broken rails may start to appear.
Snowboarding is a great winter sport. Every sport has cons, but surely the pros can outweigh them. Don’t let the worries about wear and tear stop you from trying out a new sport. So, grab your gear and embark on a snowboarding trip with your friends.
However, keep in mind that safety always comes first. So, ensure that both you and your snowboard are in the perfect condition to glide atop snowy mountains.