Tuning 101: How to Tune & Take Care of Your Gear this Winter

student tuning a snowboard

Have you been out in the mountains a lot this winter season? Your skis or board probably need some TLC! Here at the Outdoor Program, we’ve definitely noticed a lot of beat-up gear at this point in the season, so it’s a good idea to check in if you haven’t yet and do some basic tuning and care for your gear to keep you out riding longer and having more fun! To get you started, read on for our basic overview and tips when it comes to tuning and taking care of your gear! 

Tuning involves three main steps:

  • Base repair
  • Edge work
  • Waxing

But how do you know what your equipment needs? Follow these three steps to keep your skis and boards in top shape!

1. Scrapes and Scratches 

tuning a snowboardRegularly inspect your gear's base for scrapes, scratches, and big holes exposing the core. Minor scrapes and scratches can be repaired at home with ptex, but big holes usually need to be repaired by a shop that can do a base weld (p.s. We can do base welds at our shop!

Learn More About At-Home Base Repair

2. Rust and Burrs

Next, you’ll also want to inspect the edges for rust and small burrs. Rust can be easily removed, but you can usually prevent rusting by keeping your equipment dry when not using it. Small burrs and sharpening are best done in the shop using a machine. You can purchase your files on your edges, but be careful not to take off too much!

examining a snowboard for rust

3. Wax

student waxing snowboardFinally, you should always finish up your tuning with a wax. It's important to wax your equipment throughout the season. This will keep your equipment adventure-ready and give you a smooth ride. 

Using an iron and waxing at home is easy, but it can be spendy and get expensive fast. Shops usually provide cheap options for a machine and hand wax. For example, it’s just $10 for a hot wax or $20 for a hand wax at our Outdoor Program shop!


As you can see, taking care of your gear is easy to start, and a lot of it can be done independently at home. Regularly tuning your gear will keep you safe and elevate your skiing or snowboarding experience! Good luck, and as always, remember to utilize us as a resource and help!

Learn More About Our Tuning Services

Check For Upcoming Tuning Clinics

About The Author

Amy Knight, she/her
Outdoor Program Coordinator, WSU Campus Recreation

Amy manages the Rental Center and Technical Training Center, which includes both our climbing gym and work at heights courses. Amy loves all the warm recreational activities, climbing, rafting, mountain biking, and backpacking. She is still working on loving the cold sports, but there’s always next year! Amy has worked in the Outdoor Industry since 2009. She loves the people that love the outdoors! She says that, “there is a scrappiness and stoke to our community that you can’t find anywhere else.”

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