Whether you own a snowboard or you’re looking to buy one, you may have wondered how long a snowboard will last, and whilst this may seem like an ambiguous question, there are some general rules that can be applied to determine a snowboards longevity.
A snowboard will last between 80-100 days of riding. After this time period the board can still be used however it will not ride in the same way it used to. The decline in the ride quality of the board will drop off quicker past the 100-day mark. Important factors that will affect this are the style of riding and how well the board is maintained.
How long a manufacturer says a snowboard will last and how long a snowboard actually lasts are two different things, and it’s important to remember the actual lifetime of a board will depend on a number of factors. This post will look at this in a bit more depth and highlight a few ways to get the most life out of your snowboard.
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Factors That Affect How Long A Snowboard Will Last
Asking how long a snowboard lasts might seem like a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type question and whilst snowboards don’t have an expiry date, they do have a shelf life and at some stage will need replacing.
There’s no way to predict exactly how long your snowboard will last but we can make some good predictions, taking into consideration the following 2 factors.
1. Snowboarding Style
The amount of days riding that most companies give their boards is about 100 days and this is quite accurate for some riders, but this doesn’t take into account all the different styles of riding.
If you’re a park rider who hits jumps and big drops all day long, then it’s not unlikely you’ll snap your snowboard within a season. This style of riding means pushing the board to its limits and with each big drop, the internal structure of the board gradually weakens. With this type of riding, snapped boards aren’t uncommon with some people going through multiple boards in a season. This type of rider can expect to replace their board within 100 days.
If you’re someone who likes to keep things a bit more casual, rides gentle slopes and groomers all day, avoiding rocks and big drops, a snowboard can last a lifetime (particularly if you ride within the board’s weight range). However, the ride quality will still deteriorate over time, and if you bought your board 20-30 years ago, it’s probably time for an upgrade simply because newer boards are a lot easier and more fun to ride. If this type of style resonates with you and you’re keeping a well-maintained board you can expect your deck to last well past 200 days.
Fairly Advanced Snowboarder
For a snowboarder who is fairly advanced and might ride stumps and ice once in while, a snowboard can last 100 – 200 days, providing they’re only hitting rocks occasionally. It can’t be emphasized enough, rocks and snowboards don’t go well together.
If you’re a very advanced snowboarder who pushes their deck to the limits on a daily basis and is a heavy jibber spending a lot of their time jumping, sliding, or riding on top of objects like boxes and rails, a snowboard could last 50-100 days heavy riding.
2. Quality of Snowboard
When you buy a brand new deck you know exactly what you’re getting, its fresh off the production line with no previous user history.
On the flip side if you buy a second-hand board then you could be rolling the dice as to how many days your board will survive. For this reason its crucial to give the board a thorough examination before handing over your hard-earned cash. Try and get as much info from the seller as possible and use your intuition to see if they’re being 100% straight with you, if unsure walk away, there’s plenty of second-hand decks out there.
Of course some superficial scratches and wear and tear is to be expected, but deep gauges in the board whether repaired or not should be a red flag.
A deep cut or gauge in the board is an indicator as to how hard the board has been ridden by the previous owner, if there are several shots that cut to the base of the snowboard then you know that you shouldn’t expect several years of riding from it.
Ascertaining the year of a snowboard will also help you know what materials they’re made out of and how robust you can expect them to be.
3. How Well the Snowboard is Maintained
Boards that aren’t well looked after off the slopes won’t last as long, its as simple as that.
Looking after your snowboard and keeping it in good condition will help ensure your board has a healthy lifespan.
There are a few golden rules when it comes to snowboard maintenance and following a few basic steps can go a long way in ensuring your board stays in tip-top condition and thus lasts longer.
Regular Waxing: To protect your board from the snow moisture, a good rule of thumb is to wax your board every 3 days when riding, this will help protect the base and therefore make it last longer.
Store Your Snowboard Properly: This factor is often overlooked, but can significantly affect how long your board lasts. Store your board somewhere dry (avoid storing in damp conditions) and indoors. Never store your snowboard on cement and instead, hang it on a wall using strong supports.
Sharpen Your Board as Needed: Check your board for dullness between rides, the sides and base edges will require regular sharpening, how often depends on the snow softness it was used on. If your a hands-on kinda person you can do it yourself with a whetstone and file, failing that you can always take your board to a snowboard shop where they’ll have a machine specifically for sharpening your board.
When Should I Replace My Snowboard?
You should 100% replace your snowboard if it snaps, breaks, has irreparable holes, or some kind of issue causing the entire top sheet to come off. Minimize these serious issues by avoiding rocks and hard, jagged surfaces as these are your snowboard’s worst enemy.
Major damage aside, you can ride your board for as long as you want to as long as it’s safe and suits your riding style. The board’s performance will deteriorate over time but that doesn’t mean to say it won’t be rideable.
New technology and advancement in snowboards may help your riding and make your life somewhat easier but unless your board is seriously damaged, unsafe, or is affecting your performance you don’t have to replace it, you can ride your snowboard until it gives out.
Having said that, maybe you’re just bored of your current board and ready to try something else, in which case you always sell your current board before its too far gone and get some decent coin for it to put towards a new one.