How to Care for Your Skis & Snowboard Before the Off-Season

Text by: Kelsey Begg

Ski & Snowboard. How to Care for Your Skis & Snowboard Before the Off-Season

Enjoying those last few bluebird days of spring skiing is the perfect way to end an epic winter of powder days and new adventures before storing your gear until next season. For some, this time of year is dreaded but for others, it’s time to swap the toys and get ready for what spring has to offer. 

Before saying farewell to your beloved planks as they enter their hibernation period, it’s important to give them the end of season care they require so that they can perform just as well the following season. This will ensure they stay in top shape for next season and you can check for any damage that may need to be taken care of before you hit the mountain next.

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Clean Your Skis or Board

When it comes to cleaning, you can easily use a cloth and some water or a hose and towel in the backyard. Although snow may seem clean, there is often a lot of dirt or other materials hidden inside so it’s important to give them a good scrub. If you often drive with your skis or board on the roof of your car, it’s possible they have some salt residue so it’s important to get rid of that. 

While wiping them down, it’s important to get into all the little nooks and crannies both while cleaning and especially while drying to avoid any rusting. It’s best to avoid detergents or degreaser while cleaning because this can tamper with the lubricant of the bindings which you don’t want to risk happening. After they are dried, remove any excess dirt with a gentle brush along the grain from the top to the bottom and then again with a cloth.

Tune-Up Your Skis or Board

Rust is never a pretty sight so beat it before it happens! One last tune-up will get rid of any pesky burrs that may encourage rust and keep your skis or board looking their finest. If you know what you’re doing and you’ve got the tools at, you can sharpen your edges from the comforts of your own home. If you’re neither equipped with the tools nor the experience, head to your local shop and they’ll happily get your sorted. A benefit of taking them to a shop is that they can also take a look at any unsightly grooves or core hits that may need some special attention.

Wax Your Skis or Board

Storing your skis or board with a fresh coat of wax will save you some time at the start of the next season and also protect your bases and edges. This thick layer prevents dampness from setting up camp which puts a halt to any rusting that may otherwise occur. Before you hit the slopes next season, give your bases a quick scrape to eliminate any excess wax and you’re all set to go!

Mind the Bindings

The bindings are a critical part of any ski or snowboard so give them the extra care that they need. For ski bindings, it’s best to dial down the DIN settings before you let them sit out their hibernation period. (It is not necessary to dial them down completely). This will release the tension on the bindings and allow them to last those few extra years thanks to good care.

*While this may not be the most critical part of the off-season care, if you want your gear to last long and work great, it’s a great step to add to your routine.

Store Your Skis or Board

Storing your skis or board can seem simple but there are a few things that need to be considered. You ideally want to have them lying down in a neutral position to eliminate any unnecessary stress on either camber or rocker. You also want to try to store them inside your home in a cool, dry place out of sunlight as opposed to a garage, outside or in an attic. Temperatures and dampness in these places can affect your skis or snowboard so it’s best to avoid any potential risks.

Horizontal racks are great for storing your ski gear for the following system as this keeps your skis or snowboard in a neutral position without any unnecessary stress.

Last but not least, don’t forget your boots! Remove the liners to ensure they are completely dried out and don’t acquire any unpleasant odours. For ski boots, it is good to attach the buckles loosely so that the boots hold their shape. Snowboard boots are more-so like big sneakers so there are no buckles to worry about.

Now, all that’s left to do is enjoy the warm months and wait for that first sign of snow in the forecast!

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