Welcoming spring includes longer days, blooming flowers and warmer temps, but for snow lovers, there’s a natural sadness that accompanies the end of ski season. The lifts are no longer running, the snow is melting and you’re packing away your gear till next winter. But before fully switching into summer mode there are some tuneups we recommend doing to lengthen the life of your gear and make sure it has a peaceful hibernation. That way, when you break out skis and snowboards for your first turns in the following season, they’re ready to shred and there are no unpleasant surprises to be found.
There are a few different approaches to making sure your gear has a successful off-season. In general, by giving skis and boards a little extra love before storing them for the winter, you’ll be helping extend their longevity and performance at the start of next season. The fluctuating temperatures through the spring, summer and fall also have the potential to further any damage that isn’t taken care of right away, another reason to address any issues now rather than later (I.e. probably won’t happen on that first day of the season when you’re excited and in a rush to get to the mountain).
- Before getting into any waxing or grinding the edges of skis or boards, it’s crucial to clean the gear of any dirt or debris it may have accumulated over the season. A good strategy for this is to use a cloth and garden hose to get a deep clean while being sure to avoid getting too much water on the bindings.
- Next, you’ll want to examine the edges and sharpen out any large burrs to avoid rusting during the months of storage. If you aren’t familiar with the process or don’t have the time or tools for the proper maintenance, this would be a great time to bring your gear to the tech pros at your local shop and have them take over the tune-up. Plus, if anything isn’t working as it should be, they’ll also be able to assist with any needed repairs.
- For completing the base wax, you can opt to do it at home or have it done at a ski shop. The important difference here compared to waxing during the season is to not scrape off the applied layer. This is another way to prevent rusting during the off-season.
- Another off-season recommendation is to loosen the DIN settings on your bindings to avoid wearing out the springs and extending their life. If you do opt for this, make a note to yourself and tape it to your skis as a reminder of what the setting should be switched back to and to do so before taking your first turns next season.
- While the process for boards and skis is more thorough, you don’t want to neglect your boots! Remove the liners to make sure everything is dry, then loosely buckle them so they’ll hold their shape while in storage. You can check out the heels and toes to see if there’s wear and if they need to be replaced, as well as the laces on snowboard boots.
Storage for your gear and boots is best done in a cool, dry place and not inside a garage if possible. While the garage may seem like a convenient place, the dampness and high heat inside from summer weather will not agree with your gear. A better option would be to place them under your bed or in the corner of your house instead. Placing them in a neutral position out of the sun and where there’s no pressure on them will keep them in the best shape.
Whichever steps you opt for before storing your skis and boards this season will be better than giving them no TLC at all. Determine how you plan to pack up your gear after getting in your last, bittersweet day and get these tune-ups taken care of early on so there are no worries in the off-season except for counting down the days till you’re back on the mountain.
Already itching for the next ski season? Plan early for the best savings and availability. Contact one of our Mountain Travel Experts for a quote today!
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