If the toe straps on your bindings are broken or just aren’t doing it for you, I would highly recommend that you swap on some Burton toe straps. It’s a quick and easy mod and it will make your bindings much better. The straps I’m talking about are called Burton Gettagrip Capstraps. You can get them for around $40. These bad boys hug the toes of your boots like nothing else. I’m talking total contact with less of that painful, uneven pressure you get from other toe straps (I mean you, Union). Check the video for a quick tutorial.
Ever hit the slopes a little too hard and ended up flat on your face? I have. Typically, a few things can contribute to this. You should ask yourself: is it slush season? are you even on snow? and, what’s your wax situation? I’m going to focus on wax, because the other two should be easy to correct if you have waxing down. The steps for doing a good hot wax are simple if you have everything you need and are in the right environment. You should find a table in a well lit area and cover it and the surrounding area in newspaper. Don’t do this in a place where pink wax might stick to and ruin something, because it will stick to everything. If you got that, then here’s what you’ll need:
- Clothes iron or Waxing iron
- Hot wax
- Plastic scraper
- Wire brush
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Paper Towels
- Gummy Stone (optional/recommended – get one here)
1: Prep/Gummy Stone
I like taking my bindings off before waxing because its easier to work with the board. If not, you should at least loosen the screws so the heat doesn’t mess with the mounting holes. You should make sure you have the right temperature wax. Hot wax can be all temperature (more versatile, good all around) or temperature specific (faster if the conditions are right). It’s a preference for you. I like temperature specific wax because I re-wax my board a few times a season anyway. Also, if you have a gummy stone, the first thing you want to do is rub that thing all up and down the rails of your board. This will remove any rust, dings, burrs, or rough patches in your rails…as long as it’s nothing serious. This will make some metal shavings so after that..
2: Clean Your Base
Take your rubbing alcohol, get it on some paper towels and rub it all over the base of your board. This will clean off any dirt that could get stuck in the fresh wax. Wait for this to dry for about 15 minutes. Once you’re sure its dry..
3: Drip the Wax
Heat your iron up. For an average clothes iron, the right setting is the lowest one. On my iron, it’s called “synthetics.” It could be called “wool” on others. For a fancy waxing iron, the temperature should be set to whatever it says on the wax you’re using. Between 250-270 degrees Fahrenheit is a safe bet if you don’t know what else to do. Drip the wax up and down the base until you have some pretty dense coverage. You’ll probably have to move the iron back and forth a bunch of times.
4: Spread the Wax
After you drip a good amount of wax, you need to spread it all out. Run your iron slowly across your base. Keep it moving though, or you risk burning your base! A good pace is around an inch per second. If your iron is a little hot you may have to move it faster, so keep an eye on it. A few slow passes with the iron and you should have a pretty smooth layer of wax. Leave this to dry and harden for 45 minutes to an hour.
5: Scrape the Wax
After the wax is cool and hard, you need to scrape it all off. Hot wax doesn’t work if it’s just on your base. The heat from the iron actually makes it go into the pores in the base, and any left on the base surface will make you go slower! So, take your plastic scraper and really put some effort into it. Your arms might get tired but you should try to scrape as much wax off as possible.
6: Brush It
After you do a bunch of scraping, take your wire brush and brush your base. You don’t need to be super aggressive with this, just enough to take off the last thin layer of wax. Brush until it seems like no more wax is coming off. A good way to check if there’s any wax still on the base is to run your fingernails down it. If you have any wax under your nails, brush a little more. It doesn’t need to be spotless though so no need to go nuts.
That’s it! Check out the video up top to see it happen.