Originally Posted by shitty shredder
So I have a new theory based on some recent unscientific experimenting.
The reason wax feels faster is because you waxed previously. Wax picks up gunk and makes you slow. So you need to wax again to get rid of that gunk.
That's why people can say they never wax at all and feel no difference, and others say there is a huge difference if you go too long without waxing. Both are correct.
If you go waxless and use your edges a lot, you'll notice that your edges don't accumulate that white film after a few days. Some people think that this means your base is dry and you need to wax. This makes no sense, because it scratches off and leaves a film of gunk on your fingernail. It's that gunk that is slowing you down and requiring you to get another wax.
That makes a lot of sense.
However, the problem with not waxing is that the gouges in your board will be the only things channeling water when you're flatbasing. If all of your gouges are tip to tail gouges then you'll be fine... it's the horizontal gouges that'll slow you down.
What wax does is fill in the horizontal gouges. Then you HAVE to go over it with a stiff nylon brush tip to tail
. That'll open up a ton of micro channels that are moving in the direction you want the board to move.
In other words, you want all of your grooves on the board to be tip to tail so that everything gets channeled tip to tail..
Tires have a similar principle but they're trying to accomplish the opposite of what we are. Tires WANT traction, suction, friction, etc. That's why the more "winter" or "all weather" the tire is, the more noticeable the horizontal grooves are. We want LESS friction, not more. If you have a ton of heelside stops and pick up some rocks while you're doing it then you need the wax to build in some vertical grooves and get rid of the horizontal ones. IF all you do is fill in the scratches with the wax and have a perfectly flat base then you'll have too much suction.. .there won't be anywhere for the water/snow to go. Although to be fair, the point of "scraping" the wax is that you'll naturally get some vertical grooves at the ends of your scraper. (that's why you always scrape from tip to tail).
Waxing without using a brush afterwards will absolutely slow you down because it'll create suction. Suction is the enemy. It's worst when things are slushy because the water can cause suction much more readily than the snow can.
If you're on an unwaxed base that doesn't have any horizontal gashes then you're fine, especially if it's a higher end base that already has micro channels built into it.
Some sintered bases don't come with any microchannels built in or ground in.. so you'll need to add wax and then add in the channels yourself with a brush.
Disclaimer: this is knowledge from my skiing, not snowboarding, but I imagine that for snowboarding it would be even more true considering the increased surface area.