Your ski and snowboard bases are made out of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene plastic. (UHMWPE) This type of plastic is also known as name brands like P-tex and Durasurf. This plastic is very stable at low temperatures, it is shaped, formed and machined easily and can withstand hard impacts and stands up well to abrasion. This plastic does not contain moisture so it cannot dry out.
Commonly people go long periods of time without waxing their skis or snowboard bases. This is not good for the equipment and it reduces its performance. Over time without wax the bases appear white-ish but this is not due to the base drying out. It is because there is no wax on the base protecting it from abrasion and micro scratches.
When this base plastic is protected with wax and polished the skis or snowboards last longer and preform much better.
Abrasion on bases appears as micro scratches at first. Left without wax it will get progressively worse. The scratches will become longer and cover a large area of the base of the board or Ski. The scratches will create drag and friction reducing the performance of the ski or snowboard. This will slow you down and make you work harder from turn to turn and slower from edge to edge.
Find out more about ski and snowboard wax and waxing tools on our Frequently Asked Questions Page.