How To Repair Your Ski/Snowboard Base – P-Tex Tutorial

Continuing my series on maintaining your equipment, today I’m going to show you how to repair your ski/snowboard base.

Huh? What’s the base?

The base is the bottom of your ski/snowboard, it’s the part that glides across the snow.

Why should I repair my base?

You’ll get lots of dings and damage from rocks, trees, rails and lots of other obstacles at ski resorts. Everytime your base gets damaged, it affects how your skis/snowboard glides across the snow. More damage means less glide, which means you travel slower.

You can’t really avoid getting the occasional scratch/ding in your base, so we need to know how to repair the holes when it happens.

P-Tex Candle Stick

P-Tex Candle Stick

What do I use to repair my base?

P-tex is used to repair your base. It’s the same material your base is made from and it often comes in a thin candle stick form. The p-tex is melted into any gouges or scratches in your snowboard to fill in gaps and make your base smooth again.

You can buy p-tex in a variety of hardnesses and shapes, but you’ll generally find that most shops only sell the standard candle stick of p-tex. It shouldn’t cost more than $5-10 for a few sticks of p-tex.

Does it matter if my base is Sintered or Extruded?

Not really. If you’re not familiar with base materials, ski and snowboard bases are made up of 2 types of different types of p-tex, either sintered or extruded. Without getting technical, sintered bases are found on higher end gear and extruded bases are found on cheaper models.

Sintered is more expensive because it’s more durable, it glides better and it holds wax better.

Generally, you’d be advised to repair a base with the same materials it’s been crafted with, but you can’t actually buy sintered p-tex to fix your base. All p-tex repairs are done with extruded p-tex because it’s not possible to use sintered p-tex unless you own your own snowboard factory with some very expensive tools.

Will the repair be as strong as the original?

Nope, it’s a make do fix. It will generally fix any small scratches, but you’ll find that large gouges or scrapes can be a pain to repair because the p-tex keeps falling out and exposing the hole again.

Don’t worry too much if this keeps happening. Snowboards & skis are meant to get used and replaced eventually, p-tex is just a quick fix to help extend the life of your skis/snowboard, but you’ll still need new gear eventually.

How do I p-tex my ski/snowboard?

Here’s a quick how-to video that will take you through the process of using p-tex on your ski/snowboard.

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  1. Awesome! I have a huge gouge in my board, I need to do this

  2. Thanks for this! just one question though, how do i know when i need to start using p-tex? I just got my first new board and after just 2 hours and riding and some rails i already have a few scratches (they are very narrow but not too shallow either). It just seems a little early to start with base repairs right after my boards maiden voyage.

    • Oh man, I missed this comment, sorry about that!

      With p-tex, if it’s a big, deep, long scratch, that’s when you start looking to fill it in with p-tex, otherwise most other scratches aren’t worth the trouble. My board has tons of smaller scratches which I’ve never fixed up because it honestly doesn’t affect my riding at all.

  3. What if the whole base is starting to peel off the wood?

    • In that case your best bet is taking your board to a professional race tuning shop (I find the ski shops tend to have more experience with hardcore tuning like this) and see if they can do anything about glueing your board back together.

      However do note that if you whole base is peeling off it may not be something you can fix and it may be time to get a new board.

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