How To Detune Snowboard Edges – Because they won’t detune themselves.

One of my previous posts shared about how to sharpen your snowboard edges to make sure your board has sharp edges for any riding conditions. Well, on this article I am going to share a bit of the opposite. How to detune snowboard edges or in other words, how to de-sharpen them.

You may be wondering why in the world I would be giving advice to sharpen your edges one day and then de-sharpen them the next. And that’s a valid question…if I was talking about the same edges for each task. However, I am not talking about the same edges.

Just as you would use socks to cover your feet and gloves to cover you hands, so your snowboard edges need different types of maintenance and care.

So let’s dive in and go over what it means to detune, why in the world you would want to do so, should you even do so, and how to go about getting it done so you can get back out to riding!

What Does It Mean To Detune Your Edges?

When you detune your edges, it means you are rounding off the edges with a file (pictured below). Contrary to how you sharpen the rest of the edges of the snowboard that are in contact with the snow, detuning your edges is rounding off the edges of the board at the contact points that don’t touch the snow.

So in the simplest terms, those are the edges on the nose and tail of the snowboard. You don’t need these areas to be sharp for most of your riding, and actually it can be better to have them a little more dull than the rest of the edges. I’ll tell you why…next.

Why Do People Detune The Edges?

The main reason for detuning your snowboard edges at the nose and the tail is to reduce your chances of catching those edges while riding.

To get even more specific, if you want to ride rails or boxes in the snowboard park, you’ll want to have those edges be dulled so that you don’t catch them on those trick features and end up on your butt, back, or head!

You want your board to glide easily along a rail or box and not have it catch on the nose or tail. This helps keep you from taking bad spills on these features that can cause serious injuries.

So, you may ask “what if I’m not riding in the parks?”

Even if you never ride the park, you may still want to detune to make your board a little less catchy on the snow. If you are not riding in the park and you don’t want to detune your board, it will get dulled up naturally as you keep riding it. But you may also find in your riding, you want all the edges to be sharp in which case you would not want to detune your board.

So as I usually say, give it a try. See how it feels, but just know that if you round off and detune your edges, there really isn’t any going back.

Should You?

This is up to you and what type of riding you’re planning on doing. As I mentioned, if you are riding rails and boxes in the park, I would highly recommend detuning your nose and tail edges. If not, it’s up to you. Since the contact points of the edges you are detuning are typically not touching the snow, it shouldn’t be a problem to detune the nose and tail, even if you never ride in the park.

Another question people have is if they should detune a brand new board? I would say, do not detune the edges that are going to be touching the snow, as you will be happy you have sharp edges if you hit hard packed snow or ice (your butt and wrists will thank you as you’ll be staying upright longer).

However, you should detune the nose and tail if you are going to be park riding or if you don’t want to catch your nose or tail edges as you’re riding.

Tools You’ll Need

Take It One Step At A time

Step 1. First thing you want to do is give your nose and tail sides and bottom edges a once over with your file. This is to remove any burrs or gashes from your edges.

  • A once over isn’t needed for brand new boards that you just took out of the plastic wrap

Keep the file at a 45 degree (so in between parallel and perpendicular to the edge) and run it in the same direction along the edge.

Step 2. The widest part of your board is called the contact point. Find that and start an inch or so behind the contact point and move towards nose or tail with each stroke of the file, always filing in one direction.

Round out the edges of both side and bottom edges by again running the file at a 45 degree angle and always going in the same direction.

Step 3. Wipe down your nose and tail edges with a cloth to remove any excess metal particles you removed when detuning.

Step 4. Take your gummy or diamond stone, rub down the edges you just went over to get out any additional burrs that are hiding from your handiwork.

Step 5. You could lightly detune the whole board if you wish, by going over all the edges as described above (with only one or two passes of the file for each portion of the board), but as I shared earlier, I don’t think this is something you want to do if you are a not a park only rider.

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It’s Ride Time!

Now get out there and ride, ride, ride! Your edges are now sharp where they need to be and detuned where they shouldn’t. You’re now ready for park riding, pow riding, groomer riding, and everything in between. Keep shredding, and I’ll see you out on the mountain!


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