By Daniel Paul
Team Lead, Guest Experience
It’s always a bittersweet time of year when the snow melts away and the lifts shut down for the winter season.
Unfortunately, this season was prematurely cut short for us all, but it’s important that you ensure that your gear is stored properly for the summer so that you can extend its longevity.
Here are seven key points to consider when packing away your equipment for the summer:
Use a hose to thoroughly spray down and remove any dirt, salt, grease, road grime, pollen, etc., that may have attached itself to your equipment over the winter. Try to avoid getting water into the bindings if possible, as this could affect the lube/grease in the bindings. After cleaning is complete, wipe down and dry off the equipment with a towel.
Sharpen the edges using a file and file guide. Use overlapping strokes across the entire edge from tip to tail. You will need to do both the base edge and side edge of the equipment. Then use a soft gummi-stone and run it along the edges to smooth out and remove any burrs and rust. Afterward wipe the edges clean with a towel and rubbing alcohol.
You’ll want to hot wax the bases with “storage wax” (can use an all-temperature or a softer warm-weather wax). This will help to protect the base from oxidation (drying out). Be generous with the wax and make sure the base is completely covered evenly in all areas, including the edges (this will help keep rust away). Make sure you don’t scrape the wax off afterward, you want the wax to stay on over the summer to have that protective physical barrier between the base and the surrounding elements. Just before the start of the winter season scrape the wax layer off with a plastic scraper. If needed, wax the base with an appropriate temperature wax for the current conditions. To get the best results after scraping wax off use a range of brushes to smooth out (brush order: brass – stiff nylon – soft nylon – fine horsehair).
Find a cool, dry place away from the sun to store your equipment (in a neutral position). Preferably store them inside your house where the temperature range is more controlled and doesn’t fluctuate to extremes.
- Lower DIN
It’s also a good idea to back off the tension on the ski binding springs, so they don’t stay compressed all summer. This will help to make sure your bindings stay calibrated properly and may also increase the lifespan of your bindings. Loosen them to the lower end of the available DIN scale, but not completely. Remember to reset your DINs to the correct setting on each toe and heelpiece before you use them again next winter. To remember your DIN setting, write the numbers on a piece of tape and stick it on your skis/bindings. You will need a screwdriver (normally Phillip head or flat head) to adjust the DIN settings on your skis.
- Shop Tune
Summer is a good time to have your shop do a tune on your equipment (if needed). This may include: P-Tex work on the base, a base and stone grind, base and side edge grind and waxing. Having this done is beneficial as it will fix any base or edge damage incurred during the season and have your equipment ready to go for the next winter season.
Pull the liners out and make sure everything is completely dry. For ski boots, buckle the boots loosely so they hold their shape. Also, check the heels and toes for wear and replace if necessary. For snowboard boots, inspect laces and replace them if they’re worn.