So you’ve finished your last run of the season, and it’s time to stow away your skis or snowboard for the summer. It’s a bummer, but hey, time marches on.
Don’t just unceremoniously toss your skis in the garage and shift gears—pun certainly intended—to mountain biking, though: spending a little extra time on storage prep will ensure your gear is primed and ready for next season’s first powder day (or, you know, fast grass day).
Send ’em off with a tune
The easiest way to prep your skis for summer storage is to take them to your local ski shop and get them an end-of-season tune. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself-er, then you can follow these storage prep steps from Jamie McNeill, OGE’s ski service manager:
- If your skis/boards were exposed to any road salt from driving to and from the mountains, or they’re muddy from your last hurrah of spring grass skiing, give them a rinse with some fresh water. Be sure to wipe them down and dry them thoroughly.
- Clean any rust off your edges with a gummy stone. Think of rust like an infection that attacks edges—remove it as best you can before you put your skis away to stop it from spreading.
- Apply a generous coating of hot wax to the base and edges of your skis and don’t scrape any of it off. This will protect your bases from drying out AND protect your edges from any errant moisture that could lead to rust. Next season, you can just scrape the wax off and you’ll be ready to go.
Storage tips for summer success
Like anything (except cigars, I guess), you’ll want to store your skis, snowboards, and boots in a cool, dry, dark place. Extreme temperatures and UV light can damage your gear, so keep them out of the sun, and remember: moisture = rust. A salt mine would be the ideal storage spot—they’re hard to come by, though. Instead, a closet or a basement that stays dry will do fine. Then, make sure you abide by a few more pro-tips from Jamie:
- Avoid placing the edges of your skis and snowboards on concrete surfaces; concrete is porous and can transfer moisture easily, rusting your edges.
- Do not compress your skis’ or boards’ camber or rocker. If you strap your skis together, be mindful to not strap them too tightly and change their natural shape.
- Don’t forget about your skins! Store them in a cool, dark, dry place too, or the next time you put them on your skis you may notice more glue than skin sticking to your bases. Applying a pair of skin savers before you put them away will also help preserve their glue during the off-season.
As for your boots, prepping them for summer storage is as simple as making sure they’re dry and you’ve cleaned off any spring mud and parking lot salt. Store them in the same cool, dry, dark place you’ve got your skis or snowboard, and if they’re ski boots, make sure they’re buckled up when you put them away so they don’t warp.
A pinch of prevention…
Don’t find yourself scrambling on that first early-season powder day! The end of the season is the best time to take note of any damage to your gear, take care of issues, and get it all prepped so you can rest easy knowing you’re ready to shred at a moment’s notice.