Well, the new season's starting up soon now, and I'd like to start waxing my own board(s). I know that most of the irons made for this purpose are pretty similar, but is there any specific one I should take a look at, and where would I be best off purchasing one? Are the generic ski/board wax irons on ebay fine?
I've never had a specific waxing iron. I just grabbed a $10 clothes iron from Wal-Mart. Get it hot enough to melt the wax, but not hot enough to get the wax smoking. If I had nine or ten boards, maybe I'd actually buy a dedicated waxing iron, but having only two boards, I just don't see the need.
you'll find that lots of the waxing irons out there are the same just have a different brand name, the one i have is a KUU but its identical to the dakine ones and probably ten other brands, as long as it has a temp control you should be fine
edit: this is what mine looks like except its all red, you'll find that a lot that you find are this one just re-branded, and if it looks like this you can count on it being good.
Every wax is different. Colder weather waxes are harder and need more temp to melt. Warmer the opposite. Clothing irons work fine but a waxing iron will give you temp specific setting that you can match to your wax. I ride anyhwere from mountain creek nj up to tremblant canada and I use different waxes for different temps. If you ride at the same mountain all the time you can just get the same wax and a clothes iron to do the job. Waxing irons also have curved sole plates so that excess wax is channeled aroudn and spreads more easily. I got one from eBay for $15 (one ball jay?) Have had it for 3 seasons and countless waxings.
Different irons will have different temp settings, just like different microwaves will heat food faster/slower depending on their power ratings. You'll have to do a little testing to figure out your best temp setting. I usually set mine between the wool and cotton setting. It melts the wax without causing it to smoke.
Whether the iron has holes or not, I've never had an issue. In terms of spreading the wax, again, I've never had an issue with a flat based iron.