Skiing is a blast, but it can be an expensive hobby. If you want to enjoy hitting the slopes season after season, you need to protect your equipment. It’s not enough to toss your blades in the back of your car and call it a day.
So how do you maintain your skis? What should you do before storing them for an extended period, and what happens if they need repair? Follow these eight tips and you’re in the clear.
1. Clean Your Skis After Each Run
If you toss your skis in your car after a run and leave them there, you risk damaging them. You also risk injuries on the slope, as well. Improperly maintained gear could lead to a greater probability of accidents.
Before you put your skis in your vehicle, wipe them down thoroughly with a soft microfiber cloth. If you’ve accumulated significant dirt and debris, remove it with plain water.
2. Sharpen the Edges
How often you sharpen your skis depends in part on the surfaces you typically encounter. If you ski on hard-packed snow, you’ll need to sharpen your edges more often than if you stick to powder.
If you ski between one to two weeks per year, have your skis professionally sharpened once per season. However, after every other day on the slopes, use a handheld file to remove burrs or nicks from the edge. If you’re hitting the slopes daily, file after every run and get a professional sharpening once per month.
3. Make Any Necessary Repairs
Your skis carry your weight over a range of terrain and they’ll occasionally sustain damage. If you incur significant breakage or a large, hollow gouge, take your equipment to a pro.
However, you can repair minor scrapes and gouges that don’t reach the edge by yourself. Thoroughly clean your skis, then apply polyethylene to fill in the dent. You can find these candles at sporting outfitters, heating them with a propane torch or lighter.
4. Create a Cool, Dry Storage Space
Like it or not, the time will come to store your skis for the off-season. You need a cool, dry storage space that you can easily secure. Because quality skis cost a lot and weigh relatively little, they make handy targets for thieves.
Many people choose to store their skis in their garage. If you select this option, perform preventative maintenance on your garage on a routine basis. Ensure your automatic door closes and locks appropriately. It’s also a good idea to account for all the other items you’re storing so you’ll have enough space.
5. Wax on, Wax off
Waxing your skis protects the surface from the effect of water and the elements. Failing to wax your skis regularly can cause them to rust. To protect your skis at home, start by selecting the right wax.
It’s smart to invest in a ski-specific iron to keep the wax at the precise temperature to prevent burning. Once you apply the wax, you’ll scrape and brush away the excess. You should wax your skis after every other outing.
6. Protect Your Bindings
After every run, check your bindings for loose or protruding screws or worn parts. Your brake arms should operate free from interference. Use a silicone lubricant several times throughout the season to keep parts moving smoothly.
At the end of the season, release the springs slightly to give them a rest.
7. Strap Your Skiis Together
Strapping your skis together before storing them protects the edges and prevents them from scissoring to the ground. To avoid warping, wrap the skis where they naturally come together.
Make the fit secure, but not so tight that you yank on the strap.
8. Tend to Your Accessories
While you focus most of your attention on maintaining your skis, don’t forget your other gear. You need to take care of your poles and your goggles, too. It’s a good idea to invest in a locking cabinet for your garage or shed.
This way, if you leave the door open while you’re doing yard work, passersby aren’t tempted to swipe your equipment. You’ll have a safe storage are you can depend on to keep would-be thieves at bay.
Proper Care is the Key to Longevity
You spent a lot of money on your skis — don’t let them incur damage from neglect. By following the eight tips above, you can enjoy season after season on the slopes with far less worry. Happy skiing!