As winter approaches you might be planning your pre season ski gear preparation for the coming season. If so, we hope our handy guide gives you some key things to think about.
The rules are simple. It is always better to ensure your ski gear is season ready rather than being that unlucky member of a team who has a problem mid way through a ski tour or who has to waste half a day of resort time to head to the local ski shop for repairs. Here is our pre season checklist to help your prep.
- Part of your pre season ski gear preparation should be to give your skis a good inspection. This gives you time to get any dinks or edge damage sorted. Examine top sheet and sidewalls for delaminations.
- You should also check your bindings and the binding to ski attachment. Check the screws are secure and carefully inspect for cracks in any part of the binding. We are pretty fastidious about this and use a magnifying glass in good light to ensure we’ve not missed anything.
- Make sure any edge rust is sorted with a fine edge file.
- Hopefully at the end of last season you coated up your ski bases and edges with a good layer of wax. Before your trip be sure to get the bases ready by scraping off the excess wax from the edges and bases and then polish up the bases. You’ll appreciate the effort once you hit the snow.
- 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 a 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. Before skiing you obviously need to reset the din settings otherwise you’ll be out of your bindings in no time!
- Always store skis vertically and in a dry and temperate place. 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. If you’ve done that then it is easy to bag them up ready for action just before you leave for the slopes.
- You may be a budding ski technician and do it yourself. If not, be sure to get booked into your local ski workshop in good time. They are always busy as the season approaches.
- Modern ski boots are pretty low maintenance but do check boot shells for damage, check for loose/damaged buckles and clasps and any other problems that might need addressing.
- Check any screws and rivets are secure.
- We like to add a thin layer of waterproof marine grease to the walk/ski mechanism to ensure a smooth action.
- Ensure any pivot points are functioning smoothly.
- Often overlooked, but ensure your pre season ski gear preparation includes 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.
- Baskets should be inspected to ensure they are secure and have no damage.
- If you have adjustable poles with separate sections we always prefer to store them separately to ensure there is no trapped moisture. To prep them for the new season we just give the sections a spray with a moisture displacing/lubricating spray and they are good to go. If you didn’t separate the sections before storage then do take the time to pull them apart and make sure they haven’t corroded together in the off season.
- Check skin glue for stickiness and balling. Sort out any glue issues.
- Check the tip and tail attachment on skins. Ensure everything is in good condition and any fixings are secure. Be particularly careful to check for small tears that might grow larger quite quickly. It is especially important to check around any rivet or attachment points.
- Fixing, cleaning and reproofing ski clothing before the start of the season always pays dividends. Our standard for technical shell layers is to wash them with Nikwax Tech Wash and then proof them with Nikwax TX Direct Wash In proofer. You can also use a specialist silicone lubricant on zippers if you want to tick every box.
- Your base and mid layers will benefit from a specialist wash and proof treatment. Nikwax BaseWash and BaseFresh are our preferred choice. We really rate Nikwax products but also massively value their environmental credentials. We wrote about that in our Environmental Superheroes article. Please have a read of that here.
- Rewaxing leather gloves is a perfect evening chore that will protect the leather and help prevent drying and cracking.
- Replace your transceiver (beacon) batteries and check the units are functioning correctly. You should also check whether any software updates have been released by the manufacturers and be sure they haven’t been subject to a manufacturer recall without you realising. It doesn’t happen often, but can happen. We also like to run a full series of search practices just to check the beacon is operating correctly and also to refresh our own skills.
- Check your helmet for damage and be sure it is still within the manufacturers recommended lifespan. If not, replace it.
- Follow any manufacturers advice for servicing of avalanche air bags.
- Check your shovel and probe are in good condition and functioning properly.
- Give goggles a clean and store carefully to prevent damage. Replace the lenses if needed.
- Check other equipment. Do you have heated insoles, two way radios or any other items that will benefit from battery checks and a pre season test?
- Look forward to getting on the slopes 🙂
We hope our pre season ski gear preparation guide sets you up perfectly for a fun and adventure filled season. We’ll see you there!