The bottom surface of a snowboard is just about the only thing that stands between a glorious ride down the mountain on your board and an inglorious ride down the slope on your behind. Snowboard bottoms are made from a durable type of low-friction polyurethane called P-Tex, which is covered with a slick wax surface. Although P-Tex is relatively strong, your board will still suffer dings and gouges over time. Refinishing your board is a fairly intense two-step process that requires patching any holes in the P-Tex and then covering the surface with a new layer of snowboard wax.
Secure your snowboard in place with a vise.
Trim away any loose material or excess wax along the edge of the gouge with a razor blade.
Clean the gouge area with rubbing alcohol or with specialized snowboard base cleaner.
Allow the base cleaner to dry completely before proceeding. This typically takes 20 to 60 minutes.
Light one side of the P-Tex repair candle with a butane lighter or propane.
Remove any black flakes of carbon that appear at the tip of the candle by allowing them to drip onto a metal scraper or other surface.
Hold your P-Tex candle to the surface of the board so that the molten P-Tex fills in the gouged area. Fill the gouge so that it overflows slightly, as the P-Tex will shrink as it cools off.
Wait 15 minutes for the P-Tex to cool.
Scrape away any excess P-Tex with a sharpened metal scraper.
Sand the surface with medium grade sandpaper. Once the base of the board is relatively flat, you're ready to apply a coat of wax to the board.
Wax the Board
Place your snowboard face-down on a tarp, sheet or other surface that you don't mind spilling excess wax on.
Hold a bar of snowboard wax against a hot iron set to medium heat.
Drip the melting wax onto the surface of the snowboard. Apply a thin layer of wax evenly across the bottom of the board.
Scrape any excess wax away using a plastic scraper.
Polish the bottom of the board with a scouring pad until the surface is even and smooth.
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Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.