What do we love in Salt Lake City? No, not fry sauce, I mean, yes we love fry sauce, how could we not, it’s Utah’s contribution to world cuisine. However, that was not the answer I was looking for. What we love is outdoor activities, climbing, hiking, biking and skiing. We’ve got great outdoor venues to do all of that and the best snow in the word. That’s been clinically proven in labs by scientists and dudes who wear wool hats year round. Just about everyone in Utah skis. So, when the season is over and you have to put the sticks away for the summer, what do you do? I mean if you don’t have unlimited space in your house but you want the gear in great working order when the new snows of the next year appear. One great answer is a storage unit. But before you jump off the slopes and toss the gear into a unit, here are some tips to think about when storing your skis and gear for the lonely summer months.
Clean ‘em and Wax ‘em
After your last run of the season, take moment, let it go, breath and then, clean your skis. Rinse them with a hose or in the shower. If you’re a huge ski buff, the shower thing can be a place for a nice good-bye. We don’t judge, we just want you to clean your skis. Wipe off any remaining debris and water with a soft, durable cloth. A towel stolen from a high end hotel works well. Side note, we’re not advocating stealing but, if you love your skis, only the best will do.
Remove rust from the edges with a Scotch Brite Pad, a fine-medium steel wool or, which is best, a Gummy Stone. Remove all the rust, show those skis some love. Then remove all the old wax from your skis. Brush them a few times with a brass, copper or bronze brush or a plexiglass scraper. For a good clean, use a mild, citric solution. Once all the old wax is gone, it’s time for new wax.
Apply generous helpings of hot wax to the base and edges. This will protect them from moisture and rust, two main criminals working hard against the life of your skis. Little known fact, before Bonnie and Clyde changed their names, they were known as Moisture and Rust. You’ll want a thick coating of hot wax, use about three times the amount you’d use for a normal wax job and don’t neglect the edges! When the next season starts you’ll have to scrape everything off but hey, added bonus, when next season comes around you’ll be ready to rip with freshly waxed skis. Yay!
You’re Ready to Store
So, you’ve cleaned and waxed your baby, and you’ve taken care of you skis. See what I did there? Now, you’re ready to store. Strap them carefully together. We suggest strapping together tips and tails, which, coincidentally, is the name of our favorite strip club. This helps keep their shape. Use a non-abrasive strap. Black Diamond and Voile both make good straps, look for rust proof buckles. Don’t strap your skis in a manner that will compress the camber or rocker.
Again good storage spaces, under the bed, in the garage, a custom made, walk in ski closet, may not be available to you in your home so if you use a storage unit keep these things in mind; If you lay them flat, don’t lay them on a concrete floor. Concrete is porous and can release moisture so, put down a few furniture pads before you lay your skis flat. Don’t put anything on top of them, compressions makes them grumpy and they will hate you when the new season starts. Don’t store them in a ski bag, those things are hotbeds of moisture and promote rust and oddly enough,tooth decay. You can get a climate controlled unit but, it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you store them where there are not leaks and in space that’s not going to get too hot.
Before the summer hibernation, you really should have your edges sharpened and fix any core shots. Get it done at the end of the season and avoid the lines full of amateurs that will appear when the season starts. Check your ski shop about deadlines. Some of them put their ski tools away early. Check the deadline.
And Your Boots to Boot
Give your boots some love before they go away for the long summer nap. Simple stuff. Dry your liners. You should be doing that every night after skiing, de-funks them and lets them last longer. But, definitely before you store them, dry them. You can get a boot dryer which will make it easier or, if you’re not into the whole simplicity thing, pull the liners out and air dry them. Just make sure they are dry, dry, dry before you put them back in. Buckle your boots before putting them away. Boots can lose their shape if you leave them unbuckled for a long time. Before you store, make sure their clasped and locked on the loosest setting.
Keep The Band Together
Something to think about when you’re storing, keep it all together in one place. Boots, skis, gear, clothing, keep it all together in the storage unit so that you can just grab it all in one, easy trip, toss it into the car and hit the slopes.
I know it’s hard, goodbyes are never easy but, it’s not really goodbye it’s really just see you next season. Soon, you’ll be back on the slopes and reunited, and it will feel so good. Making sure you store your skis properly will insure years of time, mountains of snow and gaggles of slopes together. Be nice to your skis and they will last you a good long time.