How NOT to Wax Your Snowboard
Waxing a snowboard does two things: makes it go faster and protects it—the best of both fun and function.
Wax acts as a sealant for the base of the board, and regularly waxing will increase performance as well as the life of the board and prevent it from drying out. It also protects it from gouges and dents.
In other words, live fast and (don't let your board) die young.
Putting on way too much wax
Waxing a snowboard is easy, as long as you have the right gear. A snowboard-specific iron and wax appropriate to the temperature. If you're also sharpening, use an edge file instead of a straight file unless you know what you're doing.
Gear aside, the biggest mistake most people make is applying too much wax. You're not pouring a pint. Luckily, it's not a very serious mistake. If you put on too much, you'll end up scraping and wasting tons of wax.
Instead, put just enough drops that you can reach all edges while making a squiggly S-shape with your iron.
Doing it like you're ironing a shirt
The only way you could royally screw up your board when ironing is by overheating it.
Ideally, you should get all your wax spread out in ONE pass—but this is easier said than done and takes some practice. The whole board should take a 10-second pass, tip-to-tail. It's not like ironing a shirt.
How do you prevent burning your board?
Use your five senses! If you see or smell smoke, you're burning it. Feel the top sheet. It shouldn't be hot to the point it hurts to hold your finger there.
Remember, burning the board is the only way you could damage your board permanently while waxing it, so keep your temperature low when starting and be attentive.
Relying only on rub-on
Rub-on is good for one or two runs.
Rub-on wax is a temporary solution you can carry to the mountain. It's not a replacement for keeping a waxing kit—or going to the shop—and breaking out the iron once in a while.