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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
❄ Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistol Review.

❄ Brand:
Skimender,
❄ Model: RP360 (Au/NZ 230v),
❄ Price: $Au369 ($US249.95) RRP,
❄ Sticks: 11.5mm x 190mm 100% pure hi-density polyethylene @$Au6.50 ($US5) per 10,
❄ Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8.


I have been doing repairs on Snowboards and Ski's for around 10 years now just from home. Initially I starting out just doing the sons and my boards as well as the wife's and daughters skis. So around 35 years ago I used to work in the surfboard industry for a number of years and gained a little bit of expertise with fibreglassing and repairs in this Industry. Doing Ski/Snowboard repairs sort of started out as a hobby doing my own gear but has grown into and enjoyable past time now. You get pretty rewarding satisfaction doing all your own tuning and consequently seeing how well it performs on the mountain. I decided about 6 years ago to put an add out to do wax/edges/base repairs for others and it has now grown year after year to around 50 customers just in my local City.

Now here's the big problem we have living in Australia, the local availability of snowboarding/skiing repair equipment is practically non existent compared with what's available in Europe and the US of A. As a result everything has to be purchased from overseas and shipped to Australia. Acquiring high quality gear ie ToKo, Swix, Diaface etc, needs to be almost 100% purchased from overseas.

I'd say now, I have around $4 to $5k of repair gear, racks and workshop setup. This is mainly as I have to stock up with bulk supplies of different temperature specific wax, a large variety of professional guides, 6 different ToKo vices/platforms as well as always having to have new Irons/ diamond stones/guides etc in storage for emergency in case something breaks down in the middle of season with jobs on hand.

I tend to do a fair few repairs and tunes of people buying boards that have been left in the garage for a number of years accumulating rust and having a fair bit of a base battering over their troubled history. So repairing bases is a common thing that occurs. I have used Ptex candles for a number of years and they work okay but they still don't look as good as what a Ptex gun can achieve. I noticed down a Rhythm at Cooma, NSW in their repair Workshop they use Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistols and after speaking with the staff there they recommended them as pretty good.


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So, I looked into them and no surprises, you can only buy them overseas. I've grabbed gear from Tognar Toolworks in the past and they are really good store. So I ordered one in with a big batch 40 x Ptex sticks (plus the guns 6 sticks) in black and clear. Tognar have a really fantastic tracking service via USPS and you can see your parcel moving to your house and it only took 8 days from Oregon, USA to NSW, Australia. Now delivery is not cheap at $Au100 but it's the premium; insured, tracked, signed, express delivery so you just have to eat this cost up in order to get it to Australia. The Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistol came well protection packed in a larger bubble wrap lined sealed box and was ready to work straight away for 230v and an Australian plug. The cord length for the Au/NZ version is fantastic at 2900mm (9 1/2 feet). Now I have to give a big shout out to Scott Churchill from Tognar for a fantastic service. My orders have always been dispatched immediately after purchase and he always has great communication with you in regards to any issues, questions or concerns. Great Company to deal with.


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You can buy the Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistol with a plastic carry case, + 20 Ptex sticks and a scraper but this is an extra $100. I'd normally do this but I used this as my postage. I purchased a Tactix plastic case for $Au20 from the hardware store and customised a fitting profile into the foam which looks pretty good. I'd say it would be probably stronger than the actually Skimender case.


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The Skimender RP360 pistol base has a slide on magnetic plastic plate which allows the gun to stand up safely on the metal plate they send with the gun. This can be screwed to the bench via the holes in the plate. Under the slide on base are 2 large magnets which really hold the Skimender solidly to the plate and consequently avoid any damage from falling off the bench.


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The Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistol requires a few goes to get the technique down pat. It uses specific 11.5mm Ptex sticks (190mm length) which are 100% pure hi-density polyethylene. These sticks are supposedly much more durable and abrasion-resistant than drip repair candles. You insert the Ptex stick in the rear of the gun and wait for it to heat up in a few minutes (instructions say 10mins).


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The work head has a small hole and allows melted Ptex to extrude from the gun onto the heated work tip surface. You then use the surface head to spread the Ptex flat over the base and drag it over the gouge till it finishes. This work head is pretty hot so don't touch it as it burns.


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Now you have to be gentle on the trigger pulls otherwise you'll end up shooting a fair bit of Ptex out more than you need. It's important to keep the head surface flat to the snowboard base and guide it over the damaged area letting the melted Ptex leave a flat repair patch on the base. The Skimener RP360 has is a marked arrow sight on the top side of the work head which lines up with the extrussion hole helping you line up with the repair area. Once you get the technique down right it's pretty easy. The Skimender RP360 has an adjustable trigger mechanism which allows you to control the extent of the rate of flow with each depression. This is done by adjusting the rear locking screw which moves forward/back and shortens the trigger range from the maximum 50mm to almost zero. You can see the left gun has the screw all the way out giving the trigger its full range. The RP360 Pistol on the right has the screw half way in which has reduced the trigger pull range down.


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After the repair area has dried I then use a razor side cutter blade to bevel the area flat and finish off with a light run over with a firm gauze block sander to blend in for a perfect finish. Here's a job I knocked over where all the edges of the base had copped a real hammering. It came out pretty good before the waxing process.


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Now...., I'm going to tell you there is only one big problem with the Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistol. When I saw them in at Rhythm Snowboards they had a few of them in out in the workshop and I now know this is for a reason. When you run a black Ptex stick through the gun it really locks you into that specific colour unless you flushed it out with a number of clear sticks through the magazine. I put through over half a clear Ptex stick and it never really changed the black that much. The work tip surface would also have to be cleaned out completely.

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I contacted Tognar and Scott replied, "Most shops have 2 guns". Ahhhhh..., so I ended up having to buy another Pistol which I now have. It would have been nice to know this back when I purchased the 1st one as I would have grabbed 2 and only been up for the one shipment cost. Anyway, I guess as the saying goes, "You live and learn". The good news is I'll probably break even after about 60 repairs, so head down arse up for a few seasons.

Now the most important thing here is the repairs look so much better than what you can achieve with a Ptex candle melted in under flame. It's really in a different ball park here with the repair being a far more flatter, durable and a professional looking job.


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So the Skimender RP360 Base Repair Pistol is a brilliant Ptex repair gun. They are a bit pricey but it's a professional level tool. The base repairs are on a totally different level looking really superb and you don't have any effect from the distortion once you apply a wax overlay like I find with Ptex candle repairs.

A truly fantastic tool for base repairs. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
 

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I have an older model that I use for clear p-tex jobs for the reason you mentioned. Really the best way to get a clean clear p-tex fill. Black sticks can be burnt in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I received my 2nd Skimender RP360 yesterday and updated the review.


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Added in an old Burton Progression 145L base I repaired after it was waxed. I'm pretty impressed with how good the base came out from what it originally looked like. It was a pretty battered ride before. Looks pretty damn smart now.

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The Skimender RP360 has really paid its own way here.
 
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