Not everyone has the luxury of surfing endless powder day after day. For the majority of snowboarders, varied snow conditions warrant top-notch maintenance of your ride. True, powder riders may rarely utilise their edges. But if you're boosting out of an icy pipe or racing down corduroy groomers, sharp edges on your snowboard become essential. Use of an edge tool allows you to sharpen and bevel your edges to achieve superior performance, specific to your discipline.
Secure your snowboard in the vice so that one edge faces the ceiling. If you do not have a vice, hold your board against a utility table, lengthwise on edge.
Slide the file provided into the slot on the side of the Swix tool. Use the slot that best indicates the side edge bevel degree you wish to achieve (either 88 degrees or 89 degrees).
Start at one end of your board and align the tool so the file is touching the board's side edge. With your hand on the file guide, ensure the arrow on the file is pointing in the direction you are planning to go.
Push or pull the tool along the entire snowboard edge with medium pressure. You will see metal shavings coming off the edge, assuring your pressure and file direction are correct.
Perform Step 4 three to five times, depending on edge dullness. Flip the board and repeat the process on the other side.
Reposition your snowboard into the vice so the base is now facing the ceiling. Again, if you are viceless, place your snowboard on a table with the base facing up.
Slide the file into the slot in the hand guide indicating your desired base edge bevel (0.5 degrees or 1 degree).
Start at one end and place the file teeth against the base edge of the board. Make sure, once again, that the arrow on the file is facing the direction you are going to proceed.
Push or pull the file, with medium pressure, along the base edge of your board. For the base edge, placing a hand on either side of the tool helps with stability. Metal shavings will indicate the correct procedure.
Repeat the pass, three to five times, to achieve desired edge sharpness. Flip the board and repeat the process on the other base edge.
Check the edge sharpness by running the flat side of your fingernail perpendicular to each edge. If your edge is sharp enough, a small shaving of your nail will peel off.
The use of a snowboard-specific vice is advised in order to achieve a professional tune. Without a vice, holding the board while pushing or pulling the file becomes cumbersome. It will take practice to achieve your own tuning technique and comfortable hand placements. Don't be discouraged if it feels awkward at first. When sharpening, do not perform too many passes on one edge. The goal is to sharpen the edge without shaving off too much metal.
While perfecting your technique, it is easy to cut yourself on the sharp edges of your snowboard. Make sure your hand placement is clear of the file and the edge before making a pass with the Swix tool.