what happens if you don't wax your snowboard

What Happens If You Don’t Wax Your Snowboard? [4 Hot Tips]

by Fraser

Waxing your snowboard can sometimes feel like a chore.

After all… you’ve got better things to do (sleep, eat, drink etc). I know I’ve sometimes put off waxing for way too long!

But what happens if you don’t wax your snowboard? 

The Short Answer

Failing to wax your snowboard leads to increased friction, resulting in a slower ride and reduced maneuverability. Additionally, the board's base will dry out, becoming more susceptible to damage. Regular waxing ensures optimal performance and longevity of your board.

Before we delve deeper into the issue, if you’re short on time, I have the solution for you… rub-on wax. Slap a layer on every other morning and you’re good to go!

Then keep reading and I’ll explain why a waxless board is a friction-filled disaster.

What Happens If You Don't Wax Your Snowboard?

First things first, a quick heads-up: A snowboard without wax is like a car without fuel. It might look good, but it won’t take you very far!

But there are a host of other risks associated with a wax-starved board…

1. Say Hello to Drag City

Imagine flying down the slopes, feeling the wind in your hair, and suddenly, you come to a grinding halt.

That’s the risk when you don’t wax your board!

When you don’t wax your snowboard regularly, the friction between the board and the snow increases. This results in more resistance, making it harder for you to maintain speed. 

This makes riding flat sections even harder than normal!

2. Reduced Maneuverability

Snowboarding isn’t just about speed; it’s also about carving hard and tackling tricky terrain.

Without wax, your snowboard loses its ability to respond as smoothly to your movements. Turning becomes laborious and your board resists your motions. This becomes particularly tricky when setting up for spins and jumps. 

3. Sticky Situations

Not waxing your snowboard can result in sticky situations, literally. If you’ve ever gotten stuck on the flats, you’ll know what I mean.

An unwaxed snowboard will struggle to hold speed, leaving you struggling on low inclines. I hope you’re ready for the long hike home!

4. Base Damage Alert

Your snowboard’s base takes a beating every time you hit the slopes. Wax acts as a protective shield against the elements, helping to preserve the integrity of the base.


Without regular waxing, the base becomes more susceptible to scratches, gouges, and other forms of damage. This can not only affect your board’s performance, but will become an expensive problem to fix.

Remember, prevention is always better than the cure!

Is A Factory Wax Better Than Waxing At Home?

Generally, factory wax applied when a snowboard is first produced doesn’t last as long as a proper hot wax applied at home or in a shop.

Factory wax is intended to protect the board until it’s sold and is usually good for a few rides, depending on the snow conditions.

How About Rub-On Wax?

On the other hand, rub-on wax is quick and easy to apply, making it a convenient option for a day on the slopes. However, it doesn’t penetrate the base as deeply as a hot wax, and it typically wears off faster.


So in terms of durability and overall performance, a properly applied hot wax tends to be better than both factory wax and rub-on wax. However, for quick touch-ups on the go, rub-on snowboard and ski wax can be a helpful addition to your snowboarding kit.

Do All Snowboards Need To Be Waxed?

Yes, all snowboards, regardless of their type or the material of their base, benefit from being waxed.

Waxing a snowboard reduces friction between the board and the snow, which improves glide and speed.

do all snowboards need to be waxed

It also provides a layer of protection for the base of the board, preventing it from drying out and getting damaged.

Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, waxing your snowboard regularly is an essential part of board maintenance and can enhance your overall snowboarding experience.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve explored the perils of neglecting your snowboard’s needs, I hope you’ll treat them to a hot wax. 

If your base is tired and dry, you’ll notice the difference immediately afterwards. 

Plus, waxing your board can become a sort of therapeutic weekly ritual. Remember to pick up one of these wax scrapers to remove the excess though! 

Happy riding.  

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