spray on snowboard wax

Why Spray On Snowboard Wax Sucks! (And 3 Alternatives)

by Ben

If you came here looking for the best spray on snowboard wax, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. 

Why? 

Because there is no such thing!

Spray on snowboard wax sucks. Allow me to explain myself…

Does Spray On Ski Wax Work?

Put simply. 

No. 

To put it more fairly, it does… but for a very short time. 

Let’s think about how wax helps skis and snowboards glide more smoothly.

Using the traditional hot wax method, the pores in the P-tex base expand under heat, allowing wax to absorb into the material. This is then locked into the base as the base wax cools. When riding, this reduces the surface tension between the snow and the base, therefore increasing speed. 

The hot wax will also fill in any scrapes or inconsistencies in the base, avoiding any unwanted friction. 

Why Spray On Wax Doesn't Work

When spray on ski wax is used, there is no heat applied and no resistance applied. The P-tex base is therefore at it’s least absorptive state. Spraying on a liquid wax will therefore do little more than coat the very outer surface of the base. 

As you can imagine, as soon as your base meets the snow on the slopes, this layer is coming right off! 

This is the case for both skis and snowboards as the bases are generally made from the same material. 

Is There A Better Alternative?

Yes.

Obviously the optimal wax treatment for your snowboard or skis is a full hot wax. However, this process can be expensive when done for you and time-consuming when done yourself. 

I’m guessing this is why you were looking into a spray on alternative? 

I’m with you on this one. 

A great solution to all of the above is rub-on wax. The friction built up by applying the wax is enough to partially open the base structures to allow wax absorption. If you finish off with a cork polish, this also generates heat, allowing the wax to penetrate deeper into the base. 

These are the best rub on snowboard waxes. Here is a detailed discussion on whether rub on snowboard wax is worth itThe second article also explains how to apply the wax. 

Is Spray On Wax Ever Worth Using?

Some people use spray on wax when riding artificial snow fields. Even then, it’s recommended to only do so on top of a fresh layer of hot wax or rub-on wax.

Additionally, some ski or snowboard racers may spray a fresh coat of wax on their bases at the top of each run. However, you can bet your bottom dollar they already have a fresh coat of traditional wax on first.

There is no clear evidence that spray-on wax makes any additional difference – however hot wax and rub-on wax are scientifically proven. 

I think it’s therefore fair to say that spray on wax is not worth it. 

Wrapping Up

Hopefully that helped.

If there are any “spray-on ski wax” fans out there, by all means argue your case in the comments!

Until then, I remain unconvinced. If your snowboard or skis are in need of some fresh wax, I recommend getting a full hot wax or some well-rated rub-on wax. 

Happy riding!

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