May 8, 2006
After my adventure to Wisp on Friday and riding around on the slopes, I saw something I had never seen before. Leaves that had blown up from the forrest and onto the slopes. Plus in many places thin spots I had ridden across simply to get to the bottom of the trail. Anyway by the end of the day I noticed that my two boards had black colored dirt/mulched leaves and other bits of soil like material ingrained into the wax of the board.
I tried rubbing it out while I was ono the slopes or hoping that riding down a non-dirty slope would help, but it didn't. Even taking my board off and rubbing it with my hand/glove didn't help. Finally when I got home I took my fingernail and was able to scratch across the wax and remove the dirty. Unfortunately it appears that this dirt has embedded itself in the wax so I'm assuming taking it into a shop and letting them sand down off all of the recent wax is the only way to fix this? Is this something I can do here at home with a certain grain of sand paper?
The Scotchbrite pad is your friend.
With or without Simple Green/ citrus cleaner.
Don't sand it. Either use a base cleaner to strip off all the dirty wax, or hot iron and scrape. Either way, you will need to rewax afterwards. If you're not comfortable doing this stuff, then bring it to a shop.
I use a special citrus base cleaner, which strips the wax nicely. Various other solvents will work, but you have to be very careful or you'll damage the base. Simple Green will get surface dirt off, but will not strip the dirty wax.
Ah yes... another thing you can use preventatively, as well as to add a little speed on ultra-mushy days, is literally dish soap. There was a great article in March's Snowboarder regarding various household products that improve riding and board longevity.
My buddy had that happen last year and his base is mostly white. By the time he was done riding on the last day of the season his bhoard was a dirty blackish brown. Base cleaner and a fresh coat of wax cleaned it right up so don't sweat it.
As for dish soap, I have never heard of that before. Does that leave a trail of soapy bubble as you rip down the slope?
The dirt is an oil from the snowmaking systems. You wouldn't notice it until the snow begins to melt and then in the spring time it is left on the top. Anyway, Scotch brite will take some of but the problem is it is not in you base. Swix makes a base cleaner that will break it up. You must hot wax it right away. All base cleaners (even the citrus based ones) strip everything out of the base. The base is left unprotected and will dry out. The important thing is to hot wax the board after you clean it. DO NOT use any solvents like Goof Off. They are to harsh for you base material. If you go to a shop get a stone grind tune up. That will fix everything.
Willi's Ski and Snowboards
Actually I highly doubt what I got was the oil from the manmade snow. Rather this came as a direct result of riding down Wisp Trail last year at Wisp a week before the closed. The trail had a few spots where the snow had melted so bad that there was a path about 3' wide and even that was litered with rotted leaves and a bit of soil. I think it's that rotted leaves, soil, soot-like substance that got ground into my wax.