Summer Storage: What To Do With Your Skis and Boots

Spring is here. And in many places, so is full-on summer. But even though the snow is gone, that doesn’t mean skis and boots can be tossed aside until next season. Without any of that pesky white stuff to distract you, now’s the perfect time to properly clean, wax and store skis and boots, so they’ll be as ready to go as you are come the fall. Here’s how.

Todd-Lappin_article

A permanent ski storage option. [Photo] Todd Lappin

Why Clean and Wax Your Stuff

It’s no secret that skis and boots take a beating. From core shots to general wear and tear, equipment gets worn down, as well as dirty. Chris Hall, Director of Racing Services for Swix and former World Cup Tech, notes that for skis, a scrub with a steel brush “cleans off major dirt particles and opens the structure and pores in the ski base,” and a glide wax serves to “completely clean the ski base, removing the microscopic contaminates and particles.” If skis are clean, they can be waxed, which, when left on over the summer,  prevents rusting, the bases drying out and general damage. Cleaning is equally important for boots; a clean, dry boot is much less likely to acquire “funk” after a few months in the closet than a damp, still-sweaty boot.

How to Do It

Storing skis takes a few steps: cleaning, waxing and putting away. The first step requires a copper or steel brush, which should be used to gently brush off any large mud or dirt particles. After that, apply a glide wax cleaner and use a shop towel to wipe the ski base. Then, with a nylon brush, scrub the base back and forth, working from tip to tail. Wipe clean and let sit for a few minutes before applying a glide wax again to the entire base of the ski. This should be a heavy application that covers the ski edge. “Remember to use a ski-specific iron, and make sure to use the proper temperature setting when applying the glide wax,” Hall says. Leave the wax on for the summer to keep edges and bases rust-free and uncontaminated. Skis should then be stored in a cool, dry space, like a basement, or even under your bed.

Boots are a little more straightforward. First, examine boots for cracks, broken buckles or torn straps and check that the screw for the rear tech insert is tight. Then, wipe the boots down (a basic soap like Dawn and paper towels will work) and take out the liners to dry. “Most importantly, use an old toothbrush and scrub the tech inserts,” says Mike Eisenbrown, Dynafit’s Warranty Coordinator. Once the boots are completely dry, buckle them loosely and store somewhere cool, dry and ideally, mice-proof.

Bindings: Touring bindings are best stored by backing off the lateral and vertical release values to their lowest number, in effort to prolong binding longevity. Just remember to reset come fall. Brush out the bindings to rid them of dirt and grime, and consider taking the heel piece off to re-grease: a lithium grease will work best.

What to Use

To wax your skis for the off season, consider an all-temperature or softer, warmer weather option. Swix CH7X works well for backcountry and AT skis. For binding grease, G3 offers a proprietary low-temperature grease, or go with a tube of white lithium grease from your local hardware store.

Not planning on hanging up your boards any time soon? Check out our Summer Stashes series to earn your turns all year round. 

 

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