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Waxy Scratch Repair

CoolMike

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Howdy All.

Sunday was my first day out on the slopes for the season, and I excitedly grabbed my brand new snowboard set up and ran through the parking lot at Bretton Woods. 10 steps later I tripped and fell and slid hard on top of my new snowboard.

The core is not exposed. The base has long scratches across the grain in both of the contact points just outside the bindings. The scrapes run to the edges of the board. The edges are fine thankfully.

I brought it to my local ski shop today. I talked to the guy who does all the tuning and he said that he has seen worse. He said he would just ride on it rather than tune it up. He thought maybe I should rub out / smooth out the scratches with some scotch-brite. Another rider who works there came by and said he would just ride on it too.

My problem is this is my new board and I'm still in that honeymoon period with it. I'd like to fix it up a little bit so in a few weeks when I hit the slopes again it feels 'like new'. For what its worth I did ride the damaged board all day at BW and had fun. It was good on the soft snow on the edges of the trails. It wasn't as good as I was hoping on the ice patches.

I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how to treat this thing. I work at a startup with access to lots of basic equipment so I should be able to figure this out. My current plan is to hit the factory tuned wax base with a heat gun and then brush the scratches out with a nice stiff nylon brush. I'm not sure what temp to hit the base with yet but our heat guns are adjustable and calibrated so I can set to any temp that seems likely to soften the wax.

In case it matters the snowboard is a 2012/2013 Atomic Alibi Renu that I got for 150 bucks from an online retailer. It has a sintered base. I was told the Alibi was Atomic's top of the line snowboard back when they were still making boards a few years ago. It is replacing my 2010 Burton Mayhem which I enjoy carving with but which has seen better days at this point (its got about 45 days on it but has been through a lot of tough hits plus one summer in my humid basement which caused some problems).

When I purchased the board I was pretty excited about the price but now I see some nicely reviewed 2013 Rossignol boards on sale for similar prices and I'm thinking perhaps the board wasn't the budget smart slam-dunk I thought it was.

Sorry for the wall of text!

1. What would you suggest to fix up my banged up brand new board?
2. What do you think of the atomic alibi? Good deal? Good board? Link: http://www.levelninesports.com/Atomic-2012-Alibi-Renu-Snowboard

Thanks!
 

ScottySkis

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My local shop only charged me $10 for major P tex job I should did it last season but though it was going to be expensive, skiing last year with major scratch was not fun.
 

drjeff

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The plain and simple reality is that with any scratch/scrape, regardless of the direction it goes up/down/across the base, that unless it is a true core shot or has done significant damage to the metal of the edge, about 99% of the general skiing/riding population WON'T notice any difference in the performance of their skis/board.

Don't worry about it. When it's time to get your board tuned by a shop, have then stone grind the board and more than likely the "problem" will be solved. Just remember, the end DESIRED result of most decent tunes IS to have some form of base structure (read as small scratches in essence) in the base to allow for the surface tension that is created as the friction of your board sliding over the snow melts a small amount of the snow and allows you to slide on a thin film of water down the hill. If a base is perfectly smooth, and running flat on the snow surface, that surface tension that gets created will slow you down, which is what you don't want!

As somebody who's tuned their own gear for decades, if I can't see the core and then edge is in good shape, then any "damage" can wait until its time for a stone grind, which I usually have done about every 20-25 days on the hill. Even if you wax your board, that wax that you iron into the base and the scratch will just keep that scratch filled completely for a few runs before some of that softer wax wears away. It's not a big deal
 

Cornhead

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My local shop only charged me $10 for major P tex job I should did it last season but though it was going to be expensive, skiing last year with major scratch was not fun.
Ha, calling that 1/4" wide core shot a scratch is pretty funny.
 

CoolMike

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Crummy Damage Picture.jpg

I've attached a picture. It doesn't really do it justice. The scratch on the right of the picture where you can see a little bit of the base coming up is roughly representative of the longer scratches. I have a few scratches like that running all the way across the nose. The tail actually seems OK with a few dozen minor scratches that are much less deep.

Today I used some scotch bright to smooth out some of the scrapes. It felt smoother at the end. I will probably brush it down with a thick nylon brush later this afternoon to grove the wax a little bit since I think I smoothed it out too much.

This being just my second snowboard and being my new baby I'm still taking suggestions. Right now the plan is to put 4-5 more days on it as is this December and re-evaluate. I may rub some wax in and see how that feels for the next time I ride. I will probably have it ground, waxed, and re-tuned before my January Sunday River trip or at least before my big Utah trip in February.

Thanks to all who replied. Now that you've seen a crummy photo of a 'scratch' what do you think?
 

planb420

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None of the pictured damage will effect the ride quality, as long as its not a core shot that would cause potential delam your in the clear. You might have to be a bit more dillagent in removing excess wax when rewaxing it but who dosnt take the extra TLC in that step anyhow. I would reccomend NOT using a heat gun!!!!! If its too hot or left in one spot to long it could heat up the core too much and cause delam inside the board or even effect wax absorbtion by effectivly closing some of the pores in the base! DONT DO IT! I have a Burton Roadsoda thats a few seasons old with over 100 days on it and the base looks MUCH worse than this and its still a go to board.
 

Sky

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I liken this to the feeling that your car runs better after a nice wash / wax job. :> Sorry for your emotional pain. The board looks cranky, but I'm sure the shop's guidance and the guidance from the forum is spot on. Scotch-Brite, brush and wax...and enjoy!
 

CoolMike

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Thanks to all for the feedback.

I gave it a good scotchbrite rub and brushed it out this week and it looks and feels better to me.

I actually don't have any wax that I apply myself: I typically get the full tune up at the start of the season and one quick wax during the season at a local shop.

I think I'm going to buy some gear and do the good old plastic scrape and hot wax treatment over the next few weeks. I've got no snowboarding plans until the second week of December so I've got some time.

The car wash analogy is decent. To me it felt more like that first scratch on a brand new car: it doesn't change the value (everyone gets a few and they fill in nice if needed) but it means your car isn't truly brand new any more. For me it was sad because I essentially scratched the paint immediately after driving the car off the lot.
 

C-Rex

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You're fine, man, really. I know it sucks to scuff up your new baby but its nothing to worry about. At the end of the season you can get a base grind and it'll look brand new. Actually, the texture may help break suction and make your board a little faster, who knows?

That said, if I had seen you run and trip in the parking lot like you described, I'd have laughed for a week. No offense but it sounded hilarious. I always say a good digger is only worth it if someone gets a good chuckle out of it. Thanks for sharing.
 

planb420

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I would totally invest in your own waxing gear, I love nothing more than tuning my own setups. Far too many times have I spent the $40-$60 for a full tune and gotten back a much less than stellar job, like extra wax on the top sheets, on the base UNSCRAPED??, and shitty file jobs. (or maybe I'm just too picky) If you do it yourself its something you can do much more often to keep yourself going strong and getting your days worth outta every trip to the mountain, as well as being able to catch bad things much sooner and monitor how they progress or if it stays the same. This also is a much more cost effective way to do it, especially if you ride 80+ days a season like I do. My friends are always commenting on how much better I glide than them, and it also pays dividens in the park as I de-tune my own edges to where I like...rather than some guy just just winging it. Taking care of your equipment is almost a pride thing for me with how often I ride and the caliber/number of boards I have. All to often when a board or ski's are taken to a shop they are RUSHED through the process due to the sheer volumes they get and many of the details are missed (Although I'm sure they are some techs out there that take extra special care of your equipment, I'd bet they are far and few between). It also helps to have a board tuning buddy like Peter here in this picture and some safety materials on hand.... :) wax1.jpg
 

CoolMike

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You're fine, man, really. I know it sucks to scuff up your new baby but its nothing to worry about. At the end of the season you can get a base grind and it'll look brand new. Actually, the texture may help break suction and make your board a little faster, who knows?

That said, if I had seen you run and trip in the parking lot like you described, I'd have laughed for a week. No offense but it sounded hilarious. I always say a good digger is only worth it if someone gets a good chuckle out of it. Thanks for sharing.

Believe me, I am aware of how ridiculous I looked. I was more or less walking briefly, then started to trip, then tried to save myself from falling for 4-6 hurried half-running and completely out of control steps. After a half dozen steps my feet couldn't keep up with the rest of me and down I went. Picture a baby deer running through the woods and onto a newly frozen lake.
 

CoolMike

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I would totally invest in your own waxing gear. . .

I'm going to try getting the waxing set up this year for myself. Any recommendations on a basic set up? I have or can make a nice work bench for the work, but I haven't started looking into waxes, irons, or really anything else.

The general procedure if your edges are still as sharp as you like would be simply: scrape all the surface wax off with a scraper, drizzle new wax on using the iron, iron the wax smoothly and evenly, scrape off excess wax(?), brush in grooves, and call it a day?

Thanks!
 

planb420

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My setup is about as basic as it gets as far as my "Board Vice" goes, my "vice" is simply one 6ft long 2x4 with 2 milk crates attached, and to keep the top sheet undamaged I have placed old kitchen towels over the edges of the milk crates where it contacts the board.
:dontknow:
There are many ways to wax your board but I'll write up just a general waxing for riding. (other kinds are like a hot scape or waxing the base for storage).

The Gear you will need: Plastic scraper(s) always best to have more than one (one with a notch for cleaning wax off the edges is ideal but not nessessary, a also dont use metal ones), Gummy Stone (red) to debur edges, cork brush, nylon bristled brush (texture brush), Waxing Iron (NOT A HOUSEHOLD ONE...will work but not nearly as well) trust me and invest your money here...usually about 40-60 bucks for a decent one, Swix "scotch brite" pads, Murphys Citruis Oil Soap spray (base cleaner), and wax (user preference).

The Process:
Step one: Remove Bindings and ALL HARDWARE (i.e. if its a burton channel remove the sliders) if you dont the metal will heat up once the iron is applied and cause you base to pucker...not the end of the world but it will make things harder to scrape later on.

Step two: Clean the top sheet, channel, inserts from tip to tail with the Murphys and some paper towel.

Step Three: Now flip the board its time to inspect the base/edges and give the base a good prep. Iwill visually check all the edges to look for seperations or gaps. (found one early enough a few seasons ago to have burton replace the board for no charge, so this can pay off) I will also check for deep scratches/core shots (areas of missing ptex all the way to the wood core). Once the inspection is done I will take the nylon brush and brush the entire base tip to tail to remove sand and other imbedded debris.

Step Four: Take your gummy stone to the edges and run it flat along the base edge around the entire board to remove the small burrs that develope while riding, then do the same on the sidewall edge laying it on the edge at the same angle and running it along the edge the same as the base. (This is also the time I would de-tune the edges, but thats for another post) Once you have de-burred your edges run your paper towel with some Murphys on it to clean up the shavings.

Step Five: Lightly spray the base with the Murphys and wipe tip to tail in a firm back an forth motion. This should remove any loose wax particles and any other unwanted particulate on your base before you add you new wax and lock it in the pores. MAKE SURE TO LET THE BASE COMPLETELY DRY OUT from the Murphys before you move on to the next step!!

Step Six: Now its time for the wax, I like to take the bar and do a quick rub down from tip to tail to ensure coverage. Then you take the Iron and melt the wax in a dripping fashion over the base. Make sure you concentrate the majority of the wax along the edges as they are what gets used the most when riding. Dont go crazy in the drip stage...remember whatever extra you put on not only do you have to scrape off but its also lost cost interms of wax. (it will take you a few times to get the perfect amount) When I wax my boards I tend to do a wax blend..... I rub on some Lib Tech Bananna Wax and drip on a very little bit, then I drip apply my Swix Snowboard FX wax over the entire board. (all in the same step so in the next it is melted into the base together) Apply wax to the curved tip and tail sparingly as its a pain in the ass to scrape off later.)

Step Seven: Use your iron to melt the wax into the base from tip to tail (DO NOT move the iron in an edge to edge motion...ONLY TIP TO TAIL) PRO TIP: DONT LEAVE THE IRON IN ONE PLACE OR WORK ONE SPOT TOO LONG, as this could burn the base and close the pores in that spot forever, it could also lead to delam in your board...both suck SO DONT DO IT!

Step Eight: Patience........let the board sit as long as you can, this allows the pores in the base to close and lock in the wax you just worked so hard to lay into it. I prefer to let it sit over night to be sure, but if your in a hurry you can just find a cool spot in your house and place it there for a few hours before moving on.

Step Nine: Scrape and Scrape and Scrape.....and just when you think your done SCRAPE AGAIN!!!!!! Seriously you will hate yourself if you dont get it all so keep going till nothing comes off. When scraping vary the edge your using on your scraper as the miniscule edge variences will keep you from removing the wax efficently (as the edges dull they can be resharpened with a dremel tool). DO THIS TIP TO TAIL AS WELL! (the reason this is stressed is because the board texture runs from tip to tail and you want to maintain that structure as much as possible through this process). If you have a scraper with the notch use it to clean the wax off all edges, if not then use the skinny edge to clean off the rails.

Step Ten: The finish, once all has been scraped off then take your Nylon/Texture brush and use it in a Tip to Tail motion to re-structure your base as well as cleaning wax debris out of said texture. I then like to take my cork brush and with firm even pressure I wipe from Tip to Tail to work in any remaining bits of wax that went unchecked in the earlier steps. (this brush creates friction and helps to melt and distribute the leftover wax into the base, the base should have almost a glossy look) Once the cork brush done I then take a Swix "scotch brite pad" and gently wipe from Tip to Tail to re-lay the texture back into the base. (this texture is key to breaking the suction between your board and the thin layer of water formed beneath it while riding.)

Step Eleven: Remount and ENJOY THAT SHIT!:thumbup:
 

planb420

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Hopefully that helps...feel free to shoot any questions you may have. I may or may not have remembered it all LOL...also sorry for any misspellings.....LOL
:idea:
 

RootDKJ

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You want those types of scratches. They provide channels for the water to move through. Wax your board often and take care of the edges. Take it in once a year if you want for a pro tune.
 

CoolMike

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Update: I got my second day of riding with this new board on Sunday and had a blast!

After the scotch brite and stiff nylon brush finish it was faster than any board I've ridden before and made for some fun carving.

I spent the day at Crotched Mountain. The snow was a really nice popcorn texture with 3" of popcorn spread over every open trail. I got 17 sweet runs in and then watched the patriots game in the bar at the lodge.

Moral of the story: Be careful in the parking lot but don't worry about some dings and dents in your new board.
 
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