The best way to protect your snowboard from rust

December 12, 2014

Extend your snowboard's lifespan by removing rust from the edges with these simple tricks.

The best way to protect your snowboard from rust

Over the course of the season, your snowboard will face a lot of hardships, no matter how well you look after it. Different weather conditions throughout the season (and the rigours of travel and storing your board) can all lead to rust along your snowboard's edge. Here's how to remove rust from your snowboard so you can get the most out of the season's runs.

Is rust really a problem?

Let's state the obvious first: rust is not good. It looks ugly, it causes unwanted friction on the snow's surface which slows you down, it leaves rusty red on your gloves whenever you do grab tricks, and ultimately, if it's left to fester, it will claim your board. As Neil Young says, “rust never sleeps.”

Why is this happening to me?

Knowing how rust happens will help you prevent it in the future. Basically, the worst combination is leaving your board wet, in the open air, and exposed to salty conditions. So, finishing your run and putting your board on your car's rack for a long drive home down the highway is a recipe for rust. Simple things like wiping your board dry, getting a snowboard bag or carrier or, at the very least, wiping your board again when you return home can all help prevent rust from happening.

How can I get the rust off?

However, preventing rust in the future is not the same as getting rid of the rust you have now. To get rid of the rust on your ride, you'll need a lubricant and an abrasive surface.

  • If your rust problems are minor, try a wet rag, and wipe the edges. This may be enough to take off light spots of rust.
  • If your rust is moderate, try spraying some WD-40 and using a fine-grit kitchen scrubbing pad, rubbing the edges lightly.
  • If your rust is extreme, pick up a gummy stone or diamond stone from your local shop and run it along your edges.

If all of the above fails, you could also bring your board into the local snowboard shop and have an expert tune your edges, which will grind off the rust as the edges get re-set.

Remember, after going after your rusty edges, you'll probably want to wax your base again, to make sure you hit the slopes with a smooth surface.

Is my snowboard going to be okay?

An ounce of prevention can prevent a pound of rust. Keep your board clean and dry and check it regularly to make sure your edges aren't rotting out on you. If you do get some rust, it's not the end of the world (or your season). Just follow the above tips and you'll have a few different techniques for how to remove rust from your snowboard, and you'll be hitting the hill again with edges that feel as good as new.

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