Choosing the right wax

Posted on Tuesday 1st February, 2011 Times Viewed: 4316
We are going to be working on a more regular basis with the guys from Jib Tuning so to kick this off here is a sweet article about choosing the right wax.



Words: Ollie Johnstone
What wax should I use on my board?
With many waxes on the market, it is too easy to get lost with the choices.
Whether your jibbing, free riding, booting off kickers or straight lining dry-slopes there is always a wax to suit and improve how you love to slide.

Why do we need wax?
When you slide over the snow it creates friction and in warm temperatures will create a pool of fluid between the snow and your base. The pool of fluid creates suction and stops your board sliding effectively. Wax will allow your base to slide freely, creating friction to melt the snow then repelling the liquid. In low temperatures or dry-slopes there is no or very little liquid created so we use a hard cold temp or graphite wax to repel and protect against the friction.

Click to view full image Click to view full image

STEP ONE

Rub-on or Iron?
This purely depends on how much time you want to spend fixing your kit. We always recommend iron-on waxes as this will penetrate deeper into the base pores which will result in a longer lasting and more protective application.

Rub-on waxes are a good alternative, they generally are bars/blocks just like iron-on waxes yet softer, just make sure you spend time polishing and buffing the wax into the base or it wont last long.

Paste Waxes are also available that usually come in the form of pots that have an applicator for literally spreading the paste onto your base and polishing it in (think of it as moisturising, *my girlfriend suggested*). These are a quick fix for better gliding but don’t last very long and will not help protect the life of your bases, try to always have a wax coat underneath when using these to keep your bases fresh and nourished.

STEP TWO

Which wax type?
There are mainly three different types of waxes, each has its own advantages and disadvantages so choose carefully.

Fluorinated waxes are chemical additive waxes that repel liquids (as well as dirt) extremely well. This results in the wax being very fast and is usually used as a racing wax that suits warmer snow temperatures. Constant use of this wax on its own will dry out and block up the pores in your bases. The chemicals can be harmful to the environment and users who constantly use them. More sensitive to different temperatures (basically you have to know exactly what the temperature will be then choose the exact fluoro temp wax). These waxes burn off very quickly so be prepared to keep applying them.

Hydrocarbon waxes are used as a layer wax but also good on their own as they nourish the base and prevents it from drying out, especially out of season between holidays. They are longer lasting than fluorinated waxes. For example, if you want to use a fluorinated wax for the speed then put a hydrocarbon wax layer in first and then apply the fluorinated wax. This will protect your base and when the flouro wax burns off you still have a good wax layer to slide on. These waxes are perfect for users who want a long lasting wax for holiday and then come back and just leave their kit to one side until next time.

Eco waxes. In many resorts there is a growing concern of the chemicals used in waxes and what impacts they are making. Potentially harmful not only to people applying the wax but also to the environment by the chemicals eventually making their way into the streams and rivers from the mountains. With eco waxes there are no nasty chemicals that harm the environment or the user as well as reduced packaging. Luckily the growing popularity of eco waxes is resulting in research and development making them faster, though still not as fast as fluorinated waxes. We have tried many types of eco waxes and unfortunately there are some which do smell like rotting corpses when they are melted, nothing a good mask wouldn’t cover, but we would recommend Bluebird wax for its very fast properties, sweet smell and long lasting all mountain performance. Its so good even Travis Rice insists his snowboards have this wax as well as other pro riders. (we are now using this wax as a layer option in our own workshop due to the great customer feedback).

STEP THREE

What temperature wax should I go for?
Waxes are made and measured for specific snow temperatures. Its very difficult for the British market to know exactly what temperature wax we need as we wont know until we get there. However unless your competing in the X-Games, US Open, etc where every split second counts, you can afford to be a little more vague with the temperatures. Think a little about what you have experienced in the past, freestyle parks are generally compact and half pipes are usually icy. In the afternoons the snow can get slushy and warm but the mornings are compact and icy. Just try to remember this simple rule:
Warmer snow is wet = Softer wax to repel liquid.
Colder snow is dry and icy = Harder wax to repel friction.
Anything in between can be classed as universal. If you do go for universal then please give an eco wax a try.
Now im sure many of you are thinking what about dry-slopes?. Lower temperature (icy) conditions produce very little or no liquid for the wax to repel, in this case its job is to protect and repel friction. So for dry-slopes with Dendix, Snowflex or other types of artificial “plastic” matting, the friction on your base will be high so just like icy conditions you need a hard wax (hardest you can find). If you can find a hard wax with a graphite additive (graphite reduces static build up) then thats even better for dry-slopes in the summertime or with a poorly maintained sprinkler systems. Its a pain in the butt to iron on and scrape off but the results are well worth it.

Summary
I have tried my best to keep it simple in this article, there are many theories behind waxing and they change depending on who you speak too and all are valid. The best way to find out what suits you is to be experimental. Don't be afraid to try out new waxes and new techniques. For me personally i like to start out with a soft wax ironed on and scraped off straight away to act as a key/base layer then add a mid layer of all temp eco wax with a final top coat of a fast fluoro. This suits me as I love to go as fast as possible for a few days to burn off the excitement of being back on the white stuff and once the fluoro has gone i’m usually in the mood to spend the rest of the time jibbing around and just having fun.

Heads up and keep sliding!

Click to view full image


Check out there website

If you would like any other features to be added by Jib Tuning please leave a comment below.
Back to the Features homepage
Comments (331)  
  Page: 1 of 23   Next  
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:28)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:27)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:26)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:26)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
 rakngurusi (13/11/2014 @ 02:26)
Try www.snowboarding.com for the best information on snowboarding event and best holiday deals.
  Page: 1 of 23   Next  
Would you like to comment?
Join GONEboarding.co.uk for a free account, or log-in if you're already a member.
Get our Newsletter
Your E-mail Address
More Details
Find us on Facebook
© 2001-2017 GONEboarding.co.uk