How To Sharpen Snowboard Edges? It’s easier than you might think!

Ever felt intimidated to learn how to sharpen snowboard edges? Me too. But it is actually much easier than you might think, and I will break it down step by step for you here.

Once you learn how to do it (and realize that you can’t really screw anything up) that fear and trepidation will cease to exist. So keeping reading and in no time, you’ll be sharpening your edges and making those sweet turns out on the mountain!

Tools you’ll need

First thing you’ll need tool wise is a sharpening tool, file and/or different types of stone files. You’ll probably use all of them throughout the process, so it will be good to have them all by your side from the beginning.

The sharpening tool comes with a preset guide that helps make it dummy proof to sharpen your edges. The file and stone files are a little more art than science and will require a steady hand, but after a little bit of practice, you’ll be great at it!

 

 

Let’s break down how to sharpen

Step 1. Wipe down your edges with a citrus based cleaning solution and rag. (be careful not to catch any part of your fingers on any gauged edges)

Step 2. For beginners, take a black permanent marker (like a Sharpie, etc) and draw a line on the side and bottom edge to cover up it. That way, you will know you are done once you have removed the line by sharpening.

Step 3. Most beginners will sharpen their edges at a 90 degree angle. As you get more advanced, you may want to change that up to 87, 88, or 89.

Step 4. Take your guided edge tool (red picture shown above). There should be an arrow on the stone that fits inside the tool that shows you which direction to go when sharpening your edges. You will want to sharpen only the concave edges (meaning those that touch a flat surface if you lay your board face up on a flat surface)

Run the guided tool, always in the same direction that it shows from nose to tail of the board in single strokes multiple times until it runs smooth or you have removed all the black marker from the edges. It’s normal to feel some “sticking” as it catches on gashes, gauges or “burrs” on the edges. You’ll be removing these as you sharpen.

Once it is sharp, you will know by running your finger nail over it. If the edge scrapes off a thin layer of your nail, you know its sharp!

Step 5. You can then take an edge rubber and polish your edges to complete the edging process.

Step 6. This is an extra step, but you could also take your big file and detune the edges that are not the concave edges (meaning the ones that don’t lay flat on a surface when laid down. Mostly around the nose and tail of the board). I’ll go into more detail on this in a future post that will be about detuning your snowboard edges (or removing sharpness from them)…so stay tuned for that!

Should I sharpen my edges?

This is up to you, but I say a resounding, Yes! First, it removes any rust you may have built up on your edges if you put it away in storage before the edges were dry. Secondly, having sharp edges on your snowboard allow you to carve and make turns without washing out and falling. You can make nice, tight turns with sharp edges compared to not sharp edges.

If you don’t want to learn to sharpen your edges on your own, then I would recommend you get it tuned by your local snowboard shop. An edge tuning can be very inexpensive (in the $15-$30 range) and again, it will keep your board in excellent condition.

Last thing I’ll say about why to get your edges sharpened is for the safety factor of it. You don’t want to lose your edge on an icy groomer sending you flying into other riders, or onto the hard packed snow or even into a thicket of trees. Your body will thank you later!

 

 

 

 

 

So give sharpening your snowboard a try! You’ll be glad you did.

If you are a regular reader of my posts, you should already know that you’ll hear “give it a try” from me on almost everything I write. Learning new skills is really what snowboarding is all about!

Snowboarding pioneers that created this so called sport did just that. They tried different boards, set ups, and tricks to making this amazing activity what it is today. So why not follow in their footsteps and give sharpening your board on your own a try.

The more I’ve learned about how to maintain my board and about snowboarding in general, the more I’ve fallen in love with it more and more each and every year. Very empowering to know that you don’t have to take your board to a shop for every day maintenance items.

As always, thanks for reading. Hope you can apply what you’ve learned to your snowboard life. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to leave them below and I’ll get back to you. See you on the mountain!

 

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Comments

  1. Hey there! Thanks for sharing this informative and easy to understand tutorial about sharpening the edge’s of a snowboard. I am quite bad at snowboarding but I have a friend who has decided to try it this year. I will show them this information since sharpening the edges can help. I think. Or do you recommend that they start snowboarding for a couple of years before worrying about sharpening the edges of their snowboard?

    Hope this makes sense,

    Marlinda

    1. Great question, Marlinda! If they rent a board as they are trying it out, the edges will be sharp and if they buy a new board they will also be sharp. In my opinion, you always want to have sharp edges when you are riding, especially when you are learning. It’s difficult enough to learn to ride on its own, let alone if you are riding on dull edges.

      Based on how many times someone goes snowboarding each year, that will determine how often to sharpen the edges. If they just go a couple times a year, than sharpening once a year can be fine.

      f they go many times, than they may want to sharpen their edges 3-5 times a year. Hope that helps and hope your friend falls in love with snowboarding!

  2. This is such a great article. I have always wanted to give a try to snowboard because my colleagues (teachers) are always inviting me to go upstate New York. I will be passing on this information to my friends and will bookmark it. The pictures that you have on your post are making me want to go with them during the winter break! Your valuable tips can definitely help all snowboarders! Good Job.

    1. Thank you so much Victor! You absolutely should give it a try! It’s addicting once you get up and stay up on a snowboard.

      Thanks for sharing with your friends that could find my tips useful. I appreciate it! Let me know if there are any other questions I can help answer.

  3. Hi

    Thank you, You are so right, it looks really easy to do.

    The tip to use a sharpie, brilliant idea, saves having to guess when to stop.

    I will share this article with friends that I know would really appreciate this useful and helpful tips you have shared here.

    I think that you have answered my questions already but I am sure that when my friend comes over he will have questions because snowboarding is his second name. lol

    Many thanks

    Jennifer

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you found it informative and answering questions you didn’t even know you had 🙂 Feel free to have your friend send along any questions he has! I’m here to help.

  4. I like your article purely based on the fact that I didn’t even know you can tune a Snowboard Edge

    So I learnt something, it’s well written, highly informative with broken down steps to guide someone like myself who’s never done it before. 

    Looking forward to more of your post in the future.

    Davan

    1. Thanks, Davan! I love hearing that people like articles based on the educational factor. Let me know if you have any questions come up and I welcome your continued readership of my site! Thanks again!

  5. Thanks for the informative post on sharpening snowboard edges! I always felt intimidated too when it comes to sharpening snowboard edges, not knowing I could ever come across a post like this. I know it would require a steady hand to use the different types of stone files.

    Kudos for the snowboard sharpening steps! As you mentioned in your post, learning new skills is simply what snowboarding is all about. And as you always encouraged in most of your posts, giving it a try will always work it out in most cases.

    1. Thanks, Israel! Sharpening your snowboard edges can take a steady hand, but like I mentioned in my post, you can’t really screw your board up. Do give it a try once and I bet the intimidation factor will diminish!

      Let me know if you have any questions I can help answer!

  6. Hi great article on sharpening my board. It sure would save some money if I did it myself. I have a few questions. 

    You said as a beginner we will probably be sharpening at a 90 degree angle. Is there a big difference between 87, 88, 89 and 90 degrees?

    Do I have to sharpen it? I like to go a bit slower. Will sharpening the edges make me go faster?

    Can I ruin my board if I go to deep or make a mistake?

    Thanks for your article and I look forward to your reply!

    1. Hi Karin, thanks for reading over my article! Great questions.

      Sharpening at less than 90 degrees (like 89 degrees) is used for more aggressive turning or carving which would be for more advanced riders and for hard pact snow. If you go less than 89, that level of precision is more what racers will do. So there is a difference in what angle you use while sharpening.

      Sharpening your edges will give you more speed in your turns and carving, so if you like to go slowly you don’t need them to be super sharp. However, you still need to sharpen them from time to time so that they keep their edge in turns, otherwise, you may fall if they slide out from not being sharp enough to grab the snow. Also sharpening keeps rust off of them which is a good thing.

      If you use the guide tool while sharpening, you can’t really go too deep. You’ll only go to deep if you keep running the file and guide continuously even past when you feel it running smoothly.

      Even then, it only takes off a thin layer of edge at every stroke, so you should be fine. I guess in theory, you could file down the edges so much that its not good for the board, but in my opinion, it would take a lot to ruin it….and if you use the marker technique I shared, you will know exactly when the top layer of metal edge has been scraped off.

      Let me know if this answers your questions and if there are any others I can answer for you!

      Cheers,

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