End of Season Ski Storage Tips
By Steve Kopitz
Each spring die hard skiers check lift reports daily trying to figure out if they can sneak in one more quick trip before they have to store their skis or snowboard for the season. When the last flakes melt it is extremely important to store your skis or snowboard properly so that it remains in great condition for next season. This includes performing some basic base and edge maintenance which will help save you a lot of money in the fall, as professional tunes can run as much as seventy-five dollars.
The key to keeping your equipment, and wallet, in prime condition is to thoroughly dry your equipment before storing your skis or snowboard for the season. Many people make the mistake of throwing their skis or snowboard in the bag after the final day of shredding for the season and forgetting about them until the snow flies. The moisture in the bag can cause serious rust damage and corrosion over the summer. In this case, a professional tune is often required to remove the rust from the edges, and based on how rusty they are you can get charged extra for excessive rust removal. When you get home (or back to the hotel) you want to remove the skis or snowboard from the bag. Separate your skis and dry them off with a clean shop (or hotel) towel. You don't want to use a nice towel as grease from the bindings can ruin good towels. As far as snowboards go, if you are really particular about your gear you may want to remove the bindings to make sure everything gets completely dry. If you are traveling wipe out the interior of the bag and try to leave everything laid out to dry for at least a couple of hours before packing for traveling home. If at home wipe out the bag anyways, fold it up and put it in the closet.
Best case scenario you would use a firm or coarse waxing brush to remove any excess wax or dirt from the base(s). Some suggestions for brushes are those with bronze, black nylon, or white nylon bristles. Once the dirt particles and old wax is removed from the base material you want to melt on a thick coat of wax with waxing iron. Do not use an iron that you still press clothes with, as the wax left on the iron will ruin your clothes. The best type of wax to use is a warm temperature ski or snowboard wax like a Swix or Toko Base Prep wax or One Ball Jay X-Wax Warm wax. These waxes are relatively inexpensive and will be easy to scrape off when you get your skis or snowboard out of storage for the new season. Do not scrape off the wax as it will protect the base(s) and keep the P-tex base material hydrated for the summer. If P-tex is left unprotected for long periods of time it will dry out and become chalky looking. When P-tex dries out or becomes oxidized, the only way to completely rehydrate the base material is to have the skis or snowboard stone ground and hot waxed by a professional wax technician to open the pores of the base material..
Once you have finished applying wax to the base(s), I would suggest running the block of wax along the edges of the skis or snowboard to help protect them from moisture. It is ok to put skis back together once the bases have cooled completely. It is recommended to store them in a cool, dry place in a vertical position. Extreme temperatures are not good for your equipment. Do not store the skis or board in a bag, as it can create/trap unwanted moisture or humidity. In the fall give the base(s) a good scraping with a wax scraper and finish with a few passes tip to tail with the wax brush you used in the spring. At this time you can do more extensive edge work with various stones and files if you need to. By taking the extra time to put your equipment away carefully you can save yourself a lot of money on tuning in the fall.
Suggested Tuning and Waxing Equipment:
• Coarse Bristle Wax Brush(Bronze, White Nylon or Black Nylon)
• Waxing Iron Wax – Warm Temperature is recommended since it’s easy to scrape off.
• Ski or Snowboard Scraper
• Ski or Snowboard Tuning Vise
• Edge Files or Stones