One of the most common questions we field around this time of year is how to properly care for and store ski equipment in the off-season. This is an important topic as it has an impact on the condition of your skis before your fall tune up, as well as the longevity of your equipment in general. In this post we will cover where you should store your gear, how you should prep it for storage and why it is important to do so.
What is a Summer Tune Up?
Willi’s will complete any repairs that are needed, grind your base, sharpen the edges and apply a summer wax. A summer wax is when we melt wax onto your skis/snowboard and completely coat the base/edges. Unlike a typical wax we DO NOT remove the excess. It is instead left on your base as a protective barrier against drying out, corrosion and dirt. In the fall come back to see us (and check out all the cool new stuff we’re getting in!) to have the excess wax removed from your skis. There is no additional charge aside from the original summer tune and you will be ready to head out on the hill!
Why Do I Need a Summer Tune Up?
Preventative maintenance is an essential part of making sure your winter gear lasts a long time. Keeping the edges rust free and preventing the base from drying out will help ensure your equipment has a long happy life. Dry bases can be ground down to fresh material and rust can be removed from your edges, however pitted or deep rust may not all be able to be removed. Also any rust on the edges means we will have to grind your edges more than we would have to for a normal sharpening. The same goes for an overly dry or worn base. If we need to grind a thicker layer of material away, ultimately it will shorten the life of your skis/snowboard. The best way to ensure longevity of your equipment is to make sure that you are taking measures to protect it during the off-season, as well as during the winter!
Where Should You Store Your Skis/Snowboard?
Ski/Snowboard storage location is an important part of the equation when it comes to keeping your equipment in the best condition possible. Ideally you want to keep your gear somewhere inside your house, in an area that is both temperature and moisture regulated. A cool dry place such as a bedroom, coat closet, or displayed in your man cave are great locations. You want to 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.
Another frequently asked question about off-season storage is how to store your gear. The first item to address on that topic is should your equipment be standing up or lying down. Either way is actually fine! If you want to lay your skis/snowboard down and slide it under the bed, that is a perfectly acceptable solution. If you would like to stand them up in the corner of your bedroom or in your closet that is also a great way to store them. 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, you will also want to take steps to prepare them for the off-season. There are several different levels of preparation that you can go with, each being slightly better than the option before it.
- 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. Take an old or cheap candle, or block of ski wax and rub the edges of your skis/snowboard with it to protect against corrosion. Store in a cool, dry place 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. Bring your skis in to Willi’s for a summer tune up. Store in a cool, dry place according to the guidelines above.