End Of Season Ski Gear Care

3rd Apr 2020

End of season ski gear care

Oh well.  This weekend we were due to head to the Alps for our final ski trip of the 2020 season. Obviously, the current Covid-19 crisis has put paid to that.  Not that I’m complaining of course.  There are bigger fish to fry at this time of world turmoil and the mountains will still be there next year (or even later this year).  

But the early season finish has meant an early sleep for the ski gear.  Our skis got furloughed? So, today we got busy and popped the planks and other ski gear into hibernation.  Here’s our end of season ski gear summer decommissioning procedure…..   

SKIS

  • The end of the season is a great chance to give the skis a good inspection and to get any dinks or edge damage sorted. You should also check your bindings and the binding to ski attachment.  You may be a budding ski technician and do it yourself or, if not, use your local ski workshop. 
  • Make sure any edge rust is sorted with a fine edge file. 
  • Pop a medium to thick coat of soft wax on the bases.  This wax layer can also cover the edges although some skiers prefer to use vaseline for the edges. The key thing is to leave this wax in situ to be absorbed into the bases and help to stop rust build-up during their summer sleep.
  • There has been guidance for years that winding the binding din setting to minimum helps to ensure the springs aren’t left compressed and lose their recoil.  For some this is now seen as less relevant technique with modern bindings. Others argue for going with about half way.  You make the choice on this - between you and me we go for half way. If you do adjust them, make sure you readjust them before you head out for the first time next season otherwise you’ll be out of your bindings in no time! 
  • Store your skis vertically and in a dry and temperate place rather than in the loft or garage. This helps to avoid edge rust and prevents the potential for damp getting into the wood core. We also store skis without the edges touching (to help prevent rusting) and out of ski bags - stacked at the back of a wardrobe works well.  

BOOTS

  • Modern ski boots are pretty low maintenance but the end of the season is an opportunity to clean and check boot shells for damage, check for loose/damaged buckles and clasps and any other problems that might need addressing.
  • Make sure boots are thoroughly dry before storage - bear in mind that it can take far longer than you think to completely dry the liners.  
  • Store with buckles closed to maintain the shape of the shell.

POLES

  • It is again worth giving your poles a once over to identify any damage.  Poles take quite a pounding and it has got to better to find and sort any problems rather than have a catastrophic failure mid ski trip.
  • It is also essential to make sure they are thoroughly dry before storage.  
  • If you can separate the sections we prefer to store them this way to ensure there is no trapped moisture and we also give them a spray with a moisture displacing/protective spray like WD40 (although we like the silicone version as the protective lubricant layer).

CLOTHING 

  • The end of season is a great chance to fix, clean and reproof ski clothing.
  • Your base and mid layers will benefit from a specialist wash and proof treatment (we use Nikwax for all our technical wash and proofing needs).
  • Washing your shell layers with a specialist cleaner such as our favourite Nikwax Techwash and then proofing with Nikwax TX Direct wash in proofer is a perfect double act.  You can also use a specialist silicone lubricant on zippers if you want to tick every box.
  • Rewaxing leather gloves is a perfect evening chore that will protect the leather and help prevent drying and cracking.
  • It is again worth thinking about where you store these items.  Make sure it is somewhere dry, clean and away from sunlight.     

OTHER STUFF

  • Remove transceiver batteries to prevent corrosion build up on the terminals.
  • Store helmets in a temperate and dry place where it won’t be crushed by other heavy items.
  • Follow any manufacturers advice for safe storage of avalanche air bags.
  • Give goggles a clean and store carefully to prevent damage.

Other than that, the current lock down gives you plenty of time to plan next season’s trips.  In the meantime, stay fit and get the rock shoes ready - once all this current chaos is over it will be climbing time. 

Posted by Paul