Like most things, skis and snowboards require regular care and maintenance to maximize their longevity. Our In Haus Ski Experts have put together a quick-read list of 4 best practices that you can take to extend the life of your ski gear and ready for the mountain at a moments SNOWtice.
Empty the Bag:
Getting home after a long fun day on the mountain, you may be tempted to just leave the skis in your bag, head inside and gets cozy. Those fleece sweatpants and the couch were calling you the whole ride home, right? However tempting it may seem to get into loaf mode as quickly as possible, it’s always better for your equipment to leave your jammies in the drawer and put in just a few more minutes of extra effort to properly unpack. Your gear will thank you for it. Remove your skis from the bag once home, then thoroughly dry them before storing in between trips to the slopes.
Cold skis meeting warm(er) air causes condensation, that moisture will create rust, and rust will damage your edges, resulting in a slower, less responsive equipment. The presence of rust also means that our tuning experts would need to grind down deeper on the ski to eradicate it, which, if done enough times, will ultimately reduce your ski’s lifespan.
While it seems like this extra step is serving no function but getting between you and that steaming cup of hot chocolate you’ve been dreaming of all day, taking the time to dry your hardgoods to keep the rust at bay is most definitely worth the time and effort for the longevity of your gear!
While we’re on the subject of edges, keeping yours sharp and mountain ready is another way to extend the life of your skis and boards. A good tuning from our tuning expert and the Wintersteiger Mercury machine will bring your edges back to factory specs (or at whichever bevel you prefer), and get a nice coat of wax applied to your base.
The bottom of your board takes a beating on the mountain, collecting dings and gouges on your base that will impact your equipment’s performance, and sink your fun quotient along the way, but a fresh waxing will fill in the damage and keep your equipment running fast and smoothly.
Did you know that the base of your skis/board can dry out if not waxed regularly? It’s true! A freshly waxed base is hydrophobic, which means it will repel the moisture they’re gliding on and keep you moving quickly down the hill!
Need proof of that concept in action? Think of what a little “non-nutritive cereal varnish” did for the base of Clark W. Griswold’s saucer! Wax up and buckle up!
Spending a day flying down a freshly groomed run under a bluebird sky is fun…spending a day flying down a freshly groomed run under a bluebird sky in uncomfortable boots is not as much fun.
Getting properly fitted boots and a pair of custom foot beds are obvious ways to keep your feet happy on the slopes, but did you know that the simple act of buckling up your boots when they’re not in use will help keep you comfortable?
A loose buckling will help train the plastic on your boots, the upper cuffs to be more specific, to keep their shape and keep them from returning to their natural, flat, (uncomfortable) state.
A poorly shaped cuff equals a bad fit, and a bad fit equals and uncomfortable ride.
Extend the life of your boots by getting into good maintenance habits. When you get home, take them in the house and dry them off, removing the liner and toweling off any moisture that may be hiding inside. Give them a loose buckling and let them dry toe-down, then store them at room temperature. That will keep your boots in shape and ultimately keep your feet happy.
Dry it Out:
The reoccurring theme in this article is that moisture is bad and will wreak havoc on all of your gear. Keeping everything dry while you’re on the slopes is physically impossible, so making sure that everything dries out after your day in the sun and fun is a necessity.
Chances are, at the end of the day you’ll have some soggy layers to deal with, and if not dried properly, those soggy layers can become musty. Be sure to follow the care instructions on your base layer garments (Some require special detergents and specific temperatures for the washer and dryer), and hang your outerwear items (but not directly above heat) and let them air dry.
Pro Tip: The air-drying process takes longer than you think it does, so when you hear that little voice in the back of your head telling you to take your apparel off the hanger, ignore it for another day.
Whether it’s between day trips to the mountain, or in between ski seasons, take care of your gear when it’s not in use, and it will take care of you when it is!
Be sure to stop in to our Amsterdam or Clifton Park Ski Shops say hi, and ask our experts any questions you have on how to care for your equipment. Have fun and we’ll see you out there!