Nothing is more fun for a snowboarder than cutting through the snow easily and fast without the board sticking to the snow. Having a responsive board makes you feel in control and gives you the confidence to maximize your slope experience.
Sharpened snowboard edges improve overall board performance, allowing you to make the most of your snowboarding experience. The ability to ride with razor-sharp snowboard edges is dependent on your skill level and riding style. If you’re riding fast and using a lot of the board’s edges, sharp edges are ideal.
The sharpness of your board edges is a decision you make by yourself and how sharp you prefer it to be. But also need to know how to tell when it needs sharpening.
Snowboards and Sharp Edges – What You Need To Know!
Sharpening your edges optimizes your snowboard performance. Thus, they need to be dealt with correctly.
You need to know a few things to avoid a board that hampers your performance and causes possible safety issues.
1. Reasons Why You Sharpen Your Snowboard’s Edges
Sharp edges are essential if you like riding fast and using your edges to carve.
If you’re into freestyle mountain riding, sharpening your edges will give you a much smoother ride.
The sharpness of your snowboard edges gives you the confidence to perform maneuvers such as making turns and increases the overall board performance when traveling through hard-packed snow and icy terrain.
Like any other tool, snowboard maintenance is key. There are many ways to keep your board in good condition, and one of them is by sharpening the edges.
Sharpening your board’s edges reduces the energy used in performing moves, which helps to keep you safe and makes the board more responsive.
It prevents unpredictable board action and increases the board’s longevity.
2. How Sharp Should Your Snowboard Edges Be?
A snowboard edge should be sharp. However, you don’t need a snowboard edge that cuts through your gloves when you hold it.
When moving your fingernails across a well-sharpened snowboard edge, they should shave tiny particles off your fingernails.
The sharpness of your snowboard edge is a personal preference, but it is good to keep your board in shape.
A sharp edge may make you catch an edge a little easier, especially in the park. If you find yourself only riding park, having super sharp edges will not be your priority.
However, if you like riding down the mountain at fast speeds and making quick turns, you’re going to want to have sharp edges to allow you to execute these maneuvers.
After sharpening your board, our article on techniques for snowboarding faster will help you.
3. When To Sharpen Your Snowboard Edges?
You can feel the sharpness of your edges by gently running your fingertips across the edges of your snowboard.
If you feel the edges are dull, rusty, burred, rough, nicked, or have any visible scratches, it’s time to sharpen them up!
The edges of your board become blunt naturally from riding around the mountains and may develop scratches and nicks from hitting hard objects such as rocks.
Edges may also get rusty when exposed to water and air in humid environments.
Riding a snowboard that has nicked or scratched edges can make it hard to manage and control the board, especially if you enjoy the thrill of gliding down steeper slopes.
To solve the problem, read our article on repairing a snowboard with chipped edges.
4. When Is the Best Time to Sharpen Your Snowboard Edges?
If you are new to snowboarding and have just purchased a snowboard, you should be less concerned about your edges.
New snowboard edges are pre-sharpened from the factory, and subsequent sharpening will depend on how frequently or extensively you use them.
You can sharpen your edges more regularly if you are a regular and enthusiastic snowboarder or an avid professional racer. If not, do it once a year.
To tell when it’s time to sharpen your board’s edges, run your fingernail over the board’s edges. A sharp edge will scrape tiny bits off your fingernails.
5. What Will Happen When You Fail To Sharpen Your Board’s edges?
If you have checked your snowboard edges and realized the edges are rounded, scratched, or dull, it’s time to sharpen them.
Failing to sharpen your snowboard’s edges gives you difficulty performing turns and other maneuvers.
Your board becomes unpredictable, and maintaining balance becomes a challenge. Your edges give you control at high speed.
When going down the hill with dull edges at high speed, your board can slide out, leaving you at risk for injury.
Additionally, you will need to use more energy to make the board curve, and riding on hard-packed snow will be an additional task.
Dull edges make it difficult to ride through icy conditions as your board has no way of digging into the ice to maintain control.
This is why it’s essential to tune your board before riding on ice.
6. How To Correctly Sharpen And Keep Your Snowboard’s Edges Sharp?
You should take your board to a skilled snowboard repair shop, where they use both tools and hand methods to sharpen your snowboard’s edges perfectly.
However, this can also be done at home with some practice, saving you both time and money.
To do this, you’ll need to find a steady setup where you can place your board to get to work.
But first, let’s go over the tools you’ll need to sharpen the edges of your snowboard.
Tools Used In Sharpening Your Snowboard’s Edges
You can either buy all the following tools individually or purchase a snowboard sharpening kit, which is likely to contain everything you need.
- Snowboard edge tuner (found online or at your local board shop)
- One nylon brush
- Wax iron
- Plastic scraper
Suggested Process To Sharpen Your Snowboard Edges
- Set up a workshop. This could be a workshop bench or even a dining table. Remember to remove your snowboard bindings and lay the board on the table with the edges slightly off the bench surface.
- Use a marker to mark lines across the edges that need to be sharpened.
- Start filling your edges in one direction from the board’s base edge. Your sharpener should be directed from the board’s nose towards its tail. Keep the base flat and position the guide against the side edge.
- Apply slight pressure to the file as you pull it along the board’s edges.
- Once you have sharpened both base edges, you can switch the turner to the side edge. Apply gentle pressure to the file as you begin to file from the broader spot near the nose towards the opposite wide area near the tail.
- You can use a sharpening stone to smoothen sticking points across the edges, such as burrs or nicks. Rerun your file against the edges, and if you can do it effortlessly, your sharpening is perfect.
- Feel the edges with your fingertips to check if the sharpness is enough. If your foundation is free from nicks and feels clean, you’re done.
To finish up, use your nylon brush to scrub through any places you feel you could have missed. Your snowboard should now be ready to hit the slopes!
And just in case while fixing the bindings back you get confused about which one goes where, our article will help you distinguish between left and right snowboard bindings.
Sharpening your board should be a personal decision made to reflect your riding style.
Sharp edges are great if you like riding fast down the mountain, using your edges for control.
Your board responsiveness affects your performance, and keeping your board’s edges sharp increases your riding experience and keeps you safe, particularly in hard-pack snow and ice.
If riding park is more your style, then frequent sharpening may not be needed.
If you are new to sports and snowboarding in winter, frequent sharpening is unnecessary.