One of the most common questions around this time of year is how to properly care for and store ski equipment in the off-season. This is important because it impacts the condition of your skis before your fall tune-up, as well as the longevity of your equipment in general.
Why a Summer Tune-up?
Preventive maintenance is essential to making sure your winter gear lasts a long time. If your edges rust over the summer, next season you’ll have to grind your edges more than for a normal sharpening. The same goes for an overly dry or worn base – if you need to grind a thicker layer of material away, ultimately it will shorten the life of your skis/snowboard.
Typically during a summer tune-up, any necessary repairs will be made, your skis’ base will be ground, edges sharpened, and a summer wax applied (wax is melted onto your skis/snowboard to completely coat the base/edges. Unlike a typical wax, excess wax IS NOT removed. It is instead left on your base as a protective barrier against drying out, corrosion and dirt.). In the fall, have the excess wax removed from your skis.
Where To Store Your Gear
Ideally you want to keep your gear somewhere inside your house, in an area where both temperature and moisture are regulated. A cool dry place such as a bedroom, coat closet, or even on display are great choices. Avoid leaving your gear in a garage, attic, shed, backyard or unfinished basement. These types of locations will not adequately protect your gear from rust and other issues that may result from too much moisture. If a storage location is too hot, it can lead to de-lamination of your skis or snowboard by heating up the glue that binds all the layers of the gear together.
How to Store your Gear
Should you store your equipment be standing up or lying down? Either way is fine! You can slide them under a bed, or stand them up in a corner of a room or closet. The main trick is to make sure that your gear is not covered up by piles of boxes, other sports equipment or anything else that may bend the skis/snowboard out of shape.
Before you put your gear away for the season, prepare them for the off-season. There are several different levels of preparation:
• Good: After your last time out on the hill wipe your skis/snowboard dry and make sure there is no residual dirt/salt left from your roof rack or last day of riding. Store in a cool, dry place according to the guidelines above.
• Better: After your last time out on the hill wipe your skis/snowboard dry and make sure there is no residual dirt/salt left from your roof rack or last day of riding. Use an old or cheap candle, or block of ski wax, to rub the edges of your skis/snowboard to protect against corrosion. Store according to the guidelines above.
• Best: After your last time out on the hill wipe your skis/snowboard dry and make sure there is no residual dirt/salt left from your roof rack or last day of riding. Take your skis in for a summer tune-up. store according to the guidelines above.