On the mountain, I abide by the decree that my skis are “tools, not trophies.” Yes, I love my equipment. I wish I could keep it blemish free for all of time but the joy of the sport is in using your gear, which means a scratch every now and again. At the end of the season, however, the thinking is reversed: My skis are trophies that must be preserved! You may not have a glass trophy case tall enough, but you can buff out your stuff with the treatment it deserves after getting you through another season safely. Here’s how:
1) On your last day of the season (sniff), dry of your skis completely, using a towel you don’t mind getting dirty. This should actually be done every time you finish for the day, to keep your gear from rusting. Just keep the towel in your car, shake off as much snow as you can on the walk back from the lift and then give your stuff a good wipe down. It will reward you in kind.
2) If you’ve severely scratched your skis or board, especially if the scratch penetrates the plastic base down to the metal or wood core, you will want to have it repaired by a professional. The same goes for any bent or collapsed edges on your skis or board. Get a quote from your local tech and choose wisely: repairing a seriously collapsed edge may not be worth the value of the skis or board. You may choose to save your dough for a pair that has just gone on sale. This is an important step, as edge and core damage can hinder your riding at best, and get you hurt at the worst.
3) Whether you use your own tuning equipment or take your gear to a shop, perform a thorough scraping of your base with a waxing brush to get off excess dirt and wax. Then apply a conditioning wax; Warm waxes are relatively inexpensive and will be easy to scrape off next season…
4) …Bringing me to the next step: Don’t scrape off the wax! No, your base and edges may not look race ready but trust me they will be enjoying a well earned spa treatment all summer long!
5) After the wax is completely dried, skis can be put back together base to base. Skis and boards should be stored in a cool, dry place i.e. not in your basement or next to the heater! If you’ve been using a ski bag for travel, wipe and dry it out, fold it up, and tuck it away. Storing boards and skis in the bag will trap moisture and cause rusting.
6) Next season, scrape the wax, get your edges sharpened up and BOOM the shred-cycle begins again!