So its early season and you’re hammering some off-piste turns when you suddenly feel a strong scrape and pull underfoot accompanied by the unnerving sound of metal on rock. Worried about the damage you have inflicted you unclip at the bottom of the run to check out your snowboard. To your relief, the rock didn’t scrape all the way through to the board’s core although there are some rather unpleasant gouges in the P-Tex.
The best way to repair your base is to take it to a shop to be tuned by people who are well trained and have access to the proper equipment. They can fix up core-shots with a base weld, fill any gouges with a P-Tex gun and finish it all off with a base grind. This is vital for larger gouges and core shots. However, if you can’t afford to get your board to a shop and are looking for a more temporary base repair on the fly, smaller scrapes can be repaired relatively quickly and simply at home.
You will need:
- A P-Tex candle, which are really cheap and typically available in clear or black varieties
- A lighter
- A metal scraper (metal is best for base repairs while plastic is best for waxing)
- A razor blade or craft knife
The first step is to clean out the wound. A base cleaner solvent that you would use before waxing should do the trick. Remember to wait around 15 minutes after using the solvent to allow it to fully evaporate off otherwise the P-Tex will not adhere well to your base. Next, grab your knife and trim off any bits of base material that are sticking up or out from the gouge. Then, carefully etch a crosshatch pattern into the gouge. This creates little ridges for the P-Tex to settle in and should lead to a stronger adhesion.
When the wound is prepped, light your P-Tex candle directly with a lighter until it burns on its own. Place your scraper near the gouge to catch any unwanted drips. At first the candle will burn with an orange flame and any drips will be laden with soot and should not be used. Once the candle burns with a blue flame, you can carefully drip P-Tex into the gouge. Make sure your workspace is well ventilated and be careful not to drip the P-Tex onto your skin, as this stuff isn’t pleasant! Once the P-Tex cools it will shrink slightly and you should continue to top it up until the gouge is filled level with the rest of the base.
After 20 minutes or so once the P-Tex has fully cooled it’s time to scrape it. Hold your metal scraper at a 45-degree angle (facing away from you) and slowly pull it towards you over the P-Tex patch. Slowly shave off thin layers until it sits nice and flush with your base. At this point you can use some sandpaper to further smoothen the patch if you choose.
And that’s all there is to it! Once repaired, the gouge is now ready for a fresh wax coating (for some tips on how to do a perfect hot-wax check out our recent waxing how-to).
Repairing your board with a P-Tex candle is a cheap and simple method, perfect for when you can’t get your board to a tuning shop. Over time, the P-Tex patch is likely to contract and will eventually pop out so these repairs should only really be a temporary solution to keep your base nice and fast.