Clean, Preserve and Store Ski Gear Together
As we close out another ski season it’s nearing time to prepare and store ski gear for the off-season. Just as cars require the oil to be changed or a grill needs cleaning and covering for the winter, ski gear requires preventative maintenance and proper off-season storage. By following our simple guidelines for cleaning, preserving and storing gear together, you will prolong the life of your gear and be ready to go when the snow starts falling.
The level of attention skis require depends upon how much or hard they’ve been used. The easiest way to prepare skis for the off-season is to bring them in for a tune-up. The pros at local ski shops have the tools, work space and knowledge to do the job right. However, for those DIY types, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the tips below.
- Clean Skis – Rinse your skis with a hose or in the shower (be careful of the tile). Wipe off any remaining debris and water with a soft but durable cloth. Let the skis air dry.
- Remove Rust – Carefully remove rust from your ski edges with a Gummy stone, Scotch brite pad, or fine-medium steel wool.
- Remove Old Wax – Brush the base a few times with a brass, copper or bronze brush, or with a plexiglass scraper. If needed, use a mild citric solution/base cleaner.
- Apply Wax – Apply wax generously to base and edges to protect from moisture and rust. Hot waxing is best, but rub on waxes will suffice. Do not use liquid waxes for storage purposes.
- Remember to scrape off the excess wax before you ski next season.
Experts differ on their advice for storing bindings in the off-season. Some suggest to release the tension in bindings by backing them off to the lowest setting. This should result in extending the life of the binding. However, others advise leaving the bindings as is. Their view is that the tradeoff of having to reset the bindings correctly again before next use isn’t worth it. So, it comes down to which path you want to follow for next season.
Strap or tie your poles together. Hang, lay or stand poles up near your skis.
Ski boots should be wiped down and completely aired out. If boots are wet, remove the soft inner liner and lay them out to dry before reinserting for storage. Do not forget to inspect boots thoroughly for cracks, broken buckles or torn straps that may require repair or replacement.
- When dry, gently wipe the outer lens with a soft lens cloth.
- Do not touch or wipe the inside of the lens. Touching or wiping the inside of the lens will remove and smear the anti-fog coating and cause goggles to fog up in the future. If cleaning of the inside of the lens is absolutely necessary gently blot it with a lens cloth unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer.
- Once clean, store goggles in a soft protective covering. A good storage option is the pouch they came in, or better yet, the designated area of a ski boot bag.
Inspect for damage, wash and completely dry all ski apparel. If damaged, it’s better to know this season for purposes of warranty and end-of-season sales. When cleaning, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as cleaning instructions differ per fabrics and materials. Avoiding that torn sock or rancid balaclava next season is well worth it.
Where to Store Skis and Gear in the Summer?
- Store skis, apparel, accessories in a temperature controlled environment; away from heat, sunlight and moisture. Heat will dry out the skis, plastics and fabrics. Moisture will promote rust on ski edges and other metals.
- Good storage locations are typically closets, spare rooms or even under a bed.
- Unfinished attics, basements and garages should be avoided because they tend to be either too dry, wet or hot.
- Do not store skis on concrete floors. Concrete is porous and can release moisture which rusts ski edges.
- To strap or not to strap? It’s may not be necessary for all skis, but strapping the tips and tails can help maintain the shape of skis. Strapping with a non abrasive material will help keep the skis together and prevent scissoring. Do not strap the camber or middle parts of skis unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer.
- Skis should be laid down flat on their sides without anything on top. It is very important not to compress the ski’s camber unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer.
Store Organized and Together
If you’re on top of staying organized during the season why would you drop the ball in the off-season? Keep your ski gear and apparel organized and in one place during the summer months. It’s almost more important for sanity sake to do so during the off-season than in-season. Storing gear and apparel where they should be will avoid the mad-September scramble for that missing ski sock, base layer or elusive glove.
Smart ski boot bags such as the Kulkea Boot Trekker, are great solutions for storing gear and apparel in the off-season. With its large capacity and Intuitive Packing System, the Boot Trekker makes the transition from surfing to skiing easy. From packing boots in ventilated side Boot Pockets, housing goggles in the soft Goggle Pouch, to sliding a helmet in the Retractable Helmet Sling; the Boot Trekker centralizes and keeps gear organized. Just pack it up and store it away in a temperature controlled closet or room and it’ll be all set for next autumn. If the Boot Trekker is showing signs of spring skiing, hand wipe it clean with water. Make sure your boot bag is completely dried out before packing. With your ski gear packed and stored for the off season, you can enjoy the summer knowing you’ll be ready to go when the lifts start turning again.