How to Store Your Skis (and Boards) for Summer
Be honest, are your skis leaning in your garage where you left them after the last day on the hill? And your boots, don’t tell me they are still in the back of the car. It’s time to show your boards and boots the respect they deserve; start treating them like an old friend who shared all their powder stashes with you this season – because isn’t that what they are?
Taking the time to get your gear cleaned up and properly stored for summer will prolong its lifespan and improve its overall performance.
First let's start by cleaning your skis or board. Spring skiing is particularly bad for grimy snow - residue from snowmaking and thin snow coverage can leave your bases clogged and your topsheets needing a shine.
Start with good old soap and water, being sure to avoid spraying the bindings directly or using degreasers as they can affect binding lubrication. After washing the grit away be sure to dry your skis or board thoroughly.
If you notice that your bases still have some funk on the bases you can move onto the big guns - base cleaner and a little scrubbing. Use a citrus solvent on a cloth to start, next use a plastic scraper and finally a nylon brush to prep those bases for the next step.
If you do not take the time to clean your bases prior to storing your gear for the summer foreign compounds can break down the base material making it retain less wax in the coming season, so really, a little work now will save you a lot of work later.
Now let’s take a look at those edges. At the very least you want to take a file and remove any nicks or burrs you may find from a season of epic turns and liftline encounters. Removing these burrs reduces the chances of rust over the summer and sets you up for next season.
Don't worry about doing a whole tune right now, this is a good start of the season task. However, if you notice any major issues you should consider having a base grind done or getting those core shots and edge dings repaired. Trust us, having your skis or snowboard in the shop in the summer is much less painful than in the early season when there’s fresh snow beckoning and the mountain opens a week earlier than expected.
Once your skis are clean and the edges have been given some attention it's time to turn on the iron. A coat of storage wax will help keep your bases from drying out, your edges from rusting and will just generally protect your skis while they wait for the snow to fall.
You’ll want to use an all-temperature or a softer warm-weather wax when prepping your skis or board for storage. Unlike when you wax your board throughout the season you should be generous with the application and make sure to cover the edges. This seals the bases and edges preventing drying and rust.
This next step may be highly debated among skiers, but we figure it does no harm and the theory seems like it will help so what’s the harm? If you’re a skier, in effort to prolong binding longevity we recommend loosening your DIN settings on both toe pieces and on touring bindings, moving the heel pieces into the ski position. The idea behind this is releasing the tension on the springs, just don’t forget to reset them prior to your first day up the hill! We suggest a piece of tape on each binding with the correct settings written on them to remind you after a long summer dreaming about those first turns.
If you’re a snowboarder, some recommend taking the bindings off of your board completely as it can reduce wear on the binding inserts while in storage. There is some evidence that bindings can cause dimples in your base where the inserts are if stored under pressure so again, better safe than sorry in our opinion.
Alright, onto the boots. First and foremost you want your boots to be dry when you put them away for their long sleep. Pull the liners out and give them plenty of time to air out.
While the liners are drying take a moment to examine your shells. Give them a bit of a clean and make sure there are no broken buckles or worn toe and heel pieces - again now is the time to address these things. As for snowboard boots take a look at your laces or boa system and ensure that they are not becoming too worn.
Once the liners are completely dry place them back in the outers and do the boots up loosely which will help them to keep their shape and stiffness for next season without over stressing them. You’re going to want to choose somewhere cool and dry as well as mouseproof to store you boots.
Speaking of storage did you know that hanging in a rack in your garage isn’t the best place for your skis and boards?
When considering where to store your gear keep these points in mind; avoid direct sunlight and choose a spot that stays at room temp rather than fluctuates or is overly hot or damp. Avoid placing in racks that cause compression of the camber or rocker – a neutral position will eliminate stress on the shape of your boards. Consider putting your gear into a bag to help with the sunlight issue as well as protect it from dings while in storage.
Alright, you’ve tucked your gear in for bed and you’re ready for beach days, but what do you need to do once the snow starts flying?
When you pull your gear out of storage start by scraping that storage wax off. Remember this thick application won’t just get scraped off as you ride (if you’re one of thosepeople). IF you used an all-temp wax for storage then you’re good to go but if you used a warm weather wax you’ll want to apply a fresh coat of wax rated for the current temps to have your best first day. Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to readjust your dins if you loosened them!