For better or for worse, skiing is a sport that relies heavily on equipment. Not just any equipment, but expensive equipment that has us covered from head to toe. With the seasonal nature of skiing, it’s easy to overlook summer ski care. In an effort to get the most out of your gear and make it last longer, here are some essential do’s and don’ts for summer ski equipment care.
👍🏻 Maintain your skis: Having a technical tune is not super important to getting your skis ready for summer; simply take a look at your skis and assess what needs to be repaired.
- Any core shots should be filled to make sure skis are sealed from moisture.
- Any sort of delamination should be fixed.
- Make sure that your skis are clean and rust free.
- If your skis are covered in spring mud, hose them off and make sure to get rid of any dirt.
- Let skis dry individually, as edge to edge contact will promote rusting.
- If there’s rust on the edges, simply rub it off with a gummy stone or some steel wool.
- Apply a heavy hand wax, and leave it on until you’re ready to go skiing again.
- If you feel like doing a full tune on your skis before summer storage, go for it, but make sure you leave that heavy coat of wax to protect the bases from drying out.
👍🏻 Store your skis in a cool, dry place: It’s safe to say that most people want to store their skis in the garage. This can be a good option, but if your garage gets exorbitantly warm, consider storing them elsewhere. One of the most damaging things to a pair of skis throughout the summer months is a large temperature fluctuation. When plastic bases get cold and hot again and again, the plastics expand and contract, causing the tune to deform.
👍🏻 Keep your skis out of UV light: Direct exposure to the sunlight is very damaging to skis and can seriously shorten their life cycle. UV light penetrates the plastics in your skis (topsheet, sidewall, and bases) causing the plastic to break down prematurely.
👍🏻 Let the camber profile relax: Take your ski straps off and allow the ski to sit in its natural state. It is best to just lean them up against a wall either clicked together or independently.
👍🏻 Take care of your bindings: If your bindings are at a high DIN setting, back them down a few notches to relax the springs so they don’t sit under pressure for longer that they need to. Yeah, we know you’re super rad and can only ski a P18, so make that binding last. Don’t leave the heel pieces up for the summer, either.
👍🏻 Check your pockets: Remove all that crap that’s accumulated over the season. Ski gear, backpacks and ski bags have a lot of pockets so don’t be that guy that finds an old, moldy sandwich in your pocket next season. Who knows you might find some hidden gems that you thought were lost long ago!
👎🏻 Leave your skis on your roof rack or box: Yeah we get it: you ski. That’s great but you don’t need to drive around all summer with your skis up top. Sun, rain, hail, and wind will totally disintegrate your skis through the summer months. Additionally, for a pair of skis, spending a summer in a roof box is like spending a summer in a blender.
👎🏻 Be the stinky guy next season: When your done skiing for the year don’t just stuff everything in your backpack at the end of the day and just leave it there until next year. Everything will smell awful the next time you use your gear and it will be that much harder to get rid of. Additionally, you can use a Nikwax product, or something similar to boost waterproofing. No one likes smelly gear. You and your and ski buddies will thank you later.
👎🏻 Hang your goggles from your rearview mirror: it’ll cause your goggle straps to stretch out and the unnecessary UV exposure is bad for the lenses. Again we get it, you’re a skier. Maybe just put a sticker on your car instead.
👎🏻 Leave your boots in a messy pile: was your last ski day a closing day party? If so, it’s very probable that you consumed some adult beverages, tramped through a bunch of mud and took your ski boots off in a very barbaric fashion. Maybe you even slept in them. Bunched up liners, unbuckled boots, and mud are bad for ski boots and can cause the plastic to deform. Unless you are retiring your boots, do the right thing and clean them up!
👎🏻 Throw all your touring gear in a plie after your last tour: Was your last touring day a frustrating one? Heavy, wet, or muddy conditions cause that last tour to be a slog? Don’t take your frustrations out on your gear. Put it away like an adult.
- Dry your skins and store them properly, in their bag. If they are left dirty or wet, the adhesive will breakdown and the skins will be less grippy.
- Take the batteries out of your transceiver. This will prevent corrosion and force you to put fresh batteries in next season.
👎🏻 Leave your skis outside: You wouldn’t leave your mountain bike under a snow drift all winter, so don’t cook your skis all summer!
👎🏻 Worry about your poles: They’re just poles. PRO TIP: They make great stands for polish horseshoes.
👎🏻 Miss out on summer deals and discounts: It’s often the most economical time to buy skis, take the plunge during the warmer months and your wallet will thank you when the snow starts to fly (see Folsom Summer Sale).