It doesn’t matter if you’re sixteen or sixty, when you bring a new snowboard or set of skis home you have to lay out your new gear on the floor and admire it.
After your new gear buzz wears off and you’ve come back down to earth from your powder daydreams, you’ll probably be wondering what you need to do to make sure your new gear performs as well as it did in your fantasies. To help answer that question, the ASO Mammoth team has pulled together our combined experience from working at the best ski and snowboard gear shop in Mammoth Lakes and listed it here. Before you go back to admiring your new gear, check out our guide below!
What a Factory Wax Is and What it Isn’t
If this is the first time you’ve bought gear, then you may hear that it comes with a factory wax and assume that you don’t need another one before you hit the slopes. The reality is that you may very well need another wax though.
Factory waxes are applied by manufactures in order to keep gear from drying out while it’s on display. As a result, there are a wide range of things that could affect the factory wax like the length of time a board or set of skis was on display or whether there was plastic wrap or stickers applied. Plus, factory waxes could vary in quality based on the manufacture.
As a result, a factory wax is a legitimate wax, but it’s not a guarantee that you don’t need to wax your gear before your first trip to the mountain.
Consider Waxing Your New Gear
You should at least consider waxing your new gear ahead of your first visit to the mountain. Chances are that you’ll get a better wax from a ski shop than the manufacture, and there’s nothing worse than being excited for your first day riding new gear and ending up disappointed. If the wax on the board looks cloudy or dry then definitely get it waxed, and if you don’t get it waxed ahead of your first ride then plan on visiting a ski shop soon after. If you’re on the mountain and you feel your board or skis catching on the snow or sliding un-evenly, then you’ll know that you’re due for a tune-up soon!
Edges Will Wear Themselves Down, but You Can Speed It Up with a De-Tuning
Like a factory wax, manufactures do a basic tune-up on the edges of skis and snowboards before they’re sent off to be sold. However, some manufactures err on the side of making edges too sharp before sending them out. As a result, if you take a board or set of skis out on the mountain without de-tuning the edges then they may grab ice and snow too quickly for a comfortable ride.
Fortunately, edges will wear down as they’re ridden. They may not wear down fast enough for you to enjoy your first day on new gear, so it’s in your best interest to de-tune your edges before your first day on the snow.
Your safest bet is to take your new skis or snowboard to a trusted ski shop ahead of your first visit to the mountain. If you don’t, then your wax may be a little uneven and your edges could
catch faster than you’re used to. You’ll be looking at your new gear after you bring it home anyways, so take some time to examine the edges and wax before you make your decision!