Preparing skis or snowboards for summer storage is something that is almost always overlooked. After the last day of the season on the hill, your setup is likely to get tossed in the corner of the garage, not to be thought about again until the start of the next season. During those long, hot, sweaty summer months, skis or snowboards are rotting away, gathering rust and dust, leading to a shorter lifespan and decreased performance the following season. You can avoid these issues by following a few easy steps, helping to get more out of your gear and saving you some headaches once winter rolls around again.
1Loosen the binding springs or remove the bindings. One of the first things that you should do before putting your skis or snowboard away for the summer is address the bindings. If you’re a skier, loosen your DIN settings on both toe pieces and move the heel pieces into the ski position. This takes the tension out of the springs, keeping them in better shape over time. If you’re a snowboarder, take the bindings off of your board completely. This helps reduce wear on the binding inserts and can also help to prevent putting dimples in your base where the inserts are.
2Use base cleaner to remove dirt and grime. If the top of your skis or snowboard is dirty, clean it using warm water. If you do use water, make sure to dry every nook and cranny of the binding inserts on a snowboard and the bindings on skis. If the tops of your skis or snowboard are clean, then you can skip the water. Next, take some Swix base cleaner and thoroughly scrub down the base of the board. During spring skiing especially, oils and base-clogging compounds can make their way into the snow from snow making. It is important to remove these compounds before putting your setup away for the season. If left to fester in the pores of your base, these compounds can break down the base material and make it less receptive to holding wax next season.
3Remove any burrs from the edges. If you’re a novice and you haven’t spent much time sharpening edges, this step is better left to the pros. If you have some experience with an edge file, work tip to tail removing any burrs and nicks in the edges. If left untouched, these areas can form rust, shortening the life of your skis or snowboard.
4Apply a thick coat of wax. If you’ve never waxed your skis or snowboard before, you can follow our guide here for detailed instructions. Apply wax using an iron as usual, but instead of applying a light coat, be liberal. Aim for a thick coat of wax, covering the edges, evenly distributed across the entire surface. This will seal your clean base, and keep it from drying out or clogging with dirt. Use a softer all-temp wax for this step, and don’t scrape it off. Leave the thick coat on until the start of next season.
5Pick your storage location. While your attic might have the most space, it is a less-than-ideal location for storing your skis or snowboard in the summer. The heat can ruin the composite materials and can even lead to delamination in extreme cases. You want to pick a location that stays at room temp throughout the summer and isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.
Everything you need to get the job done.