Treat ’em right: Five tips for taking care of skis during the off-season
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You know how it goes: After milking the last turns of the season on some slushy, muddy melting patch of snow, you throw your dirty skis in the roof rack, drive home and immediately put them in the corner of the garage until next year. Onto the next thing…
Okay, that might have been an overstatement. Not everyone just chucks their skis somewhere in the backyard to swelter and sweat through the scorching summer months. But, beyond giving your skis a quick wipe-down and placing them somewhere temperature-controlled, there are a handful of other things you can do that’ll help your skis perform their very best come next winter.
To get the inside scoop, we consulted veteran shop technician, Derek Leidigh, who works at Powder7 Ski Shop in Golden, Colorado. Leidigh has been tuning and tinkering with skis for more than 16 years, and knows exactly what to do to keep your twigs looking and feeling like you bought ’em yesterday.
1. Get a summer wax
A thicker application of wax, a “summer” treatment keeps the P-Tex from drying out, which is a major source of issues when you start the the next season. Professionally-applied hot wax combined with some sort of storage wax protects the bases from drying out and also prevents the edges of your skis from being able to oxidize.
2. Fix any nicks, chips or gouges
Once you’re done skiing for the season—or even midway through the summer—it’s best to take a look at your skis and fix any issues that you see. Then, you’ll want to get the ski tuned and then protect it until next season. If you get a proper summer wax and tune, when you start the next season, all you’ll have to do is just pull your skis out, scrape the wax off and brush the bases to smooth the surface.
3. Store ’em in the right place
It may seem like common sense, but don’t put your skis in your garage, anyplace where it gets super hot or where they’d be sitting in direct sunlight. It’s better to house them in a shady area that doesn’t really experience high temperatures or big temperature fluctuations. If you have air conditioning and you live in a really humid climate, you might want to put them inside rather than outside.
4. Double-check your boots and bindings
Definitely take a look at your bindings and your boots to make sure that the AFD (Anti-Friction Device) on the binding and your boot soles aren’t worn out to the point where they might not function properly. If so, consider replacing those parts.
5. There’s always time to care for your skis
Bottom line: It’s never too late to give your skis some love. In the summer, you have all the time in the world. You’re not in a rush to go get your skis to make it up for when the resort opens on Friday. At Powder7 , they found it was really effective for people to bring their gear into the shop in the middle of summer. That gives shop techs plenty of time to get the work done and everyone is a bit more relaxed about the whole situation.
Pro Tip: Visit your local ski shop, such as Powder7, and ask them for a summer wax. At Pow7, they’ll tune your skis, apply wax and get you ready for next season for $60 . Feel like doin’ it at home? Click here for a full tutorial.
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