Just because summer's here doesn't mean you should just throw your gear into the closet, dejectedly shut the door, and forget about it until next winter. Well, technically, you can — but that's not the way to keep your skis in good condition, especially if you want them to stand the test of time. Properly storing your gear is a crucial step we often forgo in our state of post-ski season depression. Look on the bright side— properly putting away your gear just means you get to handle it with your hands that much longer. In addition, your gear will be ready for that first dump of next winter's powder — and you can beat your friends to the slopes. Here are some tips for storing your ski gear in summer.
1) Take Equipment Inventory
While the season is still fresh in your mind is the perfect time to evaluate your inventory. Did any of your equipment break over the winter? Do you need to fix anything? If there's a bent buckle or a core shot, take care of it now while you're thinking about — otherwise you'll be subject to an unpleasant surprise when you take out your gear for next season. This doesn't just mean your skis and boots — this also applies to your ski pants, jacket, hats, and gloves. Take advantage of summer discounts and clearances
and buy any new gear you need now — it's just one less thing you'll have to worry about when winter comes around.
2) Get a Tune-Up
Most people wait to tune their skis until fall — which is also the busiest time of the year for ski shops. Instead of waiting in line for hours or desperately seeking out an available shop where you can get your skis tuned, do it during summer. This will save you the hassle of having to do it pre-season. Shops will fix any edge or base damage and also do a base grind that will allow for optimum wax application. There's really no downside.
3) Clean Your Boots and Skis
After a hard season of shredding the slopes, your boots and skis are banged up, covered in layers of parking lot salt, mud, and foot sweat. Before you put them away, they deserve a good cleaning in return for their loyal companionship all winter long. Start by removing old wax with a plastic scraper. Then, scrub over the skis with a nylon or steel brush. After you've removed most of the major debris, you can spray everything down with a garden hose, while being careful not to force water into the bindings, if possible. Avoid applying detergents or harsh chemicals. For your boots, wipe them down with a basic soap (like Dawn) and a wet towel. If you're feeling really meticulous, take a toothbrush and scrub the tech inserts. Finally, take out your liners to dry in the sun or somewhere with adequate ventilation. Dry your skis down with a towel and give them time to thoroughly air dry as well.
4) Apply Storage Wax
Now that your skis are clean and removed of their old, crusty wax — it's time to apply a fresh coat to the bases. For the off-season, it's best to use an all-temperature or warm weather option. First, rub a layer of wax thoroughly across the full length of the skis. Next, use a clean wax iron to drip wax onto the bases. You'll want to select the appropriate color for your skis. Over the summer, the bases will have plenty of time to absorb wax, so feel free to be liberal in application. Melt the wax with the iron from tip to tail. When you're finished, let the wax cool and harden.
5) Tune Down Your DINS
While not absolutely necessary, tuning down your DINS is recommended. Relieving the tension on ski binding springs can ultimately serve for extended longevity. Snowboarders often remove their bindings or loosen the screws during the summer months. Be sure to jot down your DIN settings on a piece of paper you can store with your skis so you can easily adjust them back to where they were as soon as winter strikes.
6) Strap Skis Together
Keep your skis strapped together so that the edges won't rub against each other. This also prevents them from crossing and falling to the ground. Wrap them gently so that you don't put too much pressure on the camber or rocker.
7) Store Indoors, Not a Ski Bag
While many people are tempted to store their skis in a ski bag where they typically belong, avoid doing this during the summer months. Any bag possessing leftover moisture could pose a rust threat to your precious equipment. It's recommended to store skis indoors out of the elements as opposed to a garage or crawl space, where humidity can be a concern. A closet is the best location for your gear, but make sure it's one you access infrequently to mitigate the risk of repeatedly knocking your skis against each other and unintentionally dulling the edges.