If you’ve spent any amount of time on a snowboard, you know how important it is to keep it clean. A clean snowboard glides more easily over the snow and is necessary for making smooth turns and controlling your speed. If this is news to you and you don’t know how to keep a well-used snowboard in good condition, here are four tips that should help.

Cleaning the Snowboard Base

A snowboard base can be cleaned with some Goo Gone or some other citrus-based cleaner. Use a soft rag to make sure you don’t scratch the finish.

If you’re not sure whether your snowboard base needs to be cleaned, take a look at the wood. If it looks dry or doesn’t have a waxy finish, it’s time to clean it. You might also decide it’s time to clean your snowboard if it simply doesn’t perform as it should, whether that means it’s going too slow or if it just doesn’t handle well anymore.

Check for Damage

Periodically check your snowboard base for any gouges, scratches, or other signs of damage. Minor scratches can be fixed with a lighter and a P-Tex candle, but anything too deep or too near the edge of the board will require a more professional touch.

Tuning Your Snowboard

A snowboard needs to be tuned or sharpened periodically, especially if it’s built up any rust or roughness around the edges. You can sharpen the metal by using an edge sharpener. Choose your edge angle – 90 degrees is good for beginners – and draw along the edge with a permanent marker. When you sharpen the edge, you’ll wear away the ink from the marker. Once the ink is gone, your edge should be sharp and ready to go.

Waxing Your Snowboard

Knowing how often to wax your snowboard will come down to how often you use it and what kind of board you have. A sintered snowboard base will be more porous and require more wax, while an extruded base will likely require a little less wax. Interestingly enough, an unwaxed sintered board will be slower than an unwaxed extruded board.