This is part 2 of my snowboard series on tuning your edges, if you haven’t detuned your edges properly, go read my detuning guide first.
Alright, so you’ve detuned your edges appropriately and assuming that you aren’t riding boxes and rails all day, you now need to sharpen and bevel your remaining edges. Obviously, don’t sharpen and bevel any places you’ve detuned, that would put you back at square one again.
Bevelling your edges
What is bevelling?
In simple speak, this means you’re going to reduce the angle of your edge. The below diagram should make this a little clearer for you.
This diagram shows you different bevels with your snowboard placed upside down, base facing up:
What does base bevel do?
Base bevel lifts your bottom edge away from the snow, this means there’s less contact with the snow which results in better gliding and speed. This means you’ll catch edges less easily, but it also means your board is a little less stable and precise when turning.
What does side bevel do?
Side bevel increases the grip of your edge. This is especially good for cutting into icy surfaces, but it also means you’ll need more precise control over your edges to avoid gripping into snow when you don’t want to.
What bevel angles do I want?
As you can see in the diagram above, adding a side bevel decreases the total angle of your edge and adding a base bevel increases the angle of your edge. The trick is getting the right balance between the two so that it matches the type of riding you want to do.
Warning: You can’t really un-do a bevel. You can add more bevel, but it’s really hard to make a 3 degree bevel back into a 2 degree bevel. Make sure you want that bevel angle before going too far.
Here is a good overall guide of what bevel angles you can use for what sort of riding:
Beginner – 1 to 2 degree base, 0 to 1 degree side
Intermediate – 1 degree base, 1 degree side
Freerider - 1 degree base, 1 to 2 side
Spinner - 2 degree base, 0 degree side
Boardercross – 0 to 1 degree base, 1 to 2 degree side
Halfpipe – 1 degree base, 1 degree side
Slalom Race - 0 to 0.5 degree base, 3 to 4 degree side
GS Race – 0.5 to 0.75 degree base, 2 to degree side
Super G – 1 degree base, 2 to 3 degree side
What bevel angle I’d recommend
Go with a 1 degree base, 1 degree side or a 2 degree base, 2 degree side if your tool only does 2 degree bevels. Overall a 1 degree bevel on your base and side is the most useful and well rounded bevel for riding all sorts of terrain. You can’t undo bevels, so there’s no point going further unless you intend to use this snowboard for only a specific type of riding.
Most other bevels are meant for halfpipe or racing specialists, so the only time I’d recommend another bevel angle is if you’re intending to use your snowboard as a jib/rail/box specific snowboard. If you’re intending to only hit rails and boxes exclusively, make your base bevel a 3 degree bevel to make it harder to catch edges on the rails and boxes.
How do I add a bevel to my snowboard?
It’s as simple as sharpening your snowboard like normal, but instead of leaving it at a 90 degree angle, set your edge sharpening tool to the bevel you want. See below for a guide to sharpening your edges.
Most tools will either have the number 88 or 89 on one side of the tool and 90 on the other side. 88 means using that side of the tool is a 2 degree bevel and 90 would mean that using that side doesn’t add any bevel.
You can get slightly more expensive tools that let you adjust the exact bevel angle to the degree you want, but they are a little more expensive and usually unnecessary if you’re just wanting a standard 1 or 2 degree bevel on each side.
Sharpening your snowboard’s edges
Why sharpen your edges?
Nice sharp edges help you to cut into any ice and hard snow when you turn. This means you can grip into the snow better and hold your edge while turning.
How to sharpen your edges
It’s really simple, even easier than detuning your edges. You’ll want a special edge tuning tool built to hold a file in place while you run it along your edges, as well as a gummi/diamond stone for smoothing out any really rough spots left by the file.
The tool and gummi/diamond stone will cost about $10-20 each at any ski or snowboard shop.
Here’s a video on how to use the tool to sharpen your edge:
Remember that you have to sharpen the edge that runs along the base of your snowboard first before you sharpen the edge that’s on the side of your snowboard. Also, don’t forget to check the bevel angle of your tool before using it!
Hope this guide helped you out. Thanks again to Beau for submitting this question topic!