As much as it pains me, I’ve been ever so slowly getting my skis ready for the off season. So far I’ve taken three pair to my local ski tech so he can get them ready for their summer hibernation. One pair I’m leaving alone — at least for now. Even though my home mountain is closing, I still hope to get in a day or two here or there.
I’m not prepared to end it just yet.
I hate the end of ski season. You know how some people get depressed when winter rolls around? I think it’s called “Seasonal Affective Disorder.” I have that in reverse. Sure, I love the sun. And I actually enjoy warm weather. But I mourn the loss of ski days, and the end of winter leaves me feeling a bit blue.
Nonetheless, I have to face facts. The season is coming to a close. And since ski equipment ain’t cheap, it’s important to take care of it so it’s in good shape when the season rolls around again. Which (cheer up, everyone) it inevitably will.
So here’s what you need to do to before you put your skis to bed:
1) Clean off the bases and top sheets. This is particularly important if you’ve been skiing in dirty spring conditions. You can do this by spraying them with a garden hose outdoors. Once they’re thoroughly doused, rub them dry with a clean cloth and let them air dry.
2) Coat the bases with wax to protect them from air and moisture. Moisture can lead to rust, and exposure to air can dry out the bases. If you’re going to do this yourself, use at least twice as much wax as you do when you normally wax your skis. Don’t scrape at all. The idea is to leave it there all summer.
3) Put a protectant on the edges to keep them from rusting. A dab of oil, vaseline, or even WD-40 on a rag (don’t spray it on) can do the trick.
4) Some people say you should turn down the DIN on your bindings to ease the tension on the springs. Others say it doesn’t matter. I’ve never turned mine down and haven’t had a problem yet. So it’s up to you. If you do adjust them, however, don’t forget to set them back before heading out next season.
5) Secure your skis with a strap base to base and store them in a cool, dry environment, away from sunlight. This means keeping them off a concrete floor, which can hold moisture and cause the edges to rust.
6) Don’t forget your boots. Clean the outsides, then remove the liners and make sure they’re completely dry. Remember, plastic has a memory, so buckle your boots loosely so they retain their shape.
Of course, if you want to give your skis a hug, or a kiss, or even tell them a bed time story, well, that’s up to you. I understand the impulse, though.
Whatever you decide, just remember: Take care of your equipment and it’ll take care of you.