Skis and Snowboards
Start of season: If you didn’t get your skis or snowboard tuned at the end of last season, call your local repair shop well before the first snow or your planned ski trip — your board(s) need a wax and edge work first and foremost, and turnaround times at repair shops can get lengthy in the leadup to the season, Josh Erickson, City Park store manager at SloHi Bike Company in Denver which offers ski and snowboard repairs during the winter, told Insider.
If you did get it tuned last spring, pull out your gear at least two weeks before you expect to hit the slopes, Erickson advised. There’s nothing worse than realizing that your gear needs some major repairs the day before a big ski trip.
When inspecting, there are three areas to pay special attention to: the base, the edges, and the bindings. Small scrapes and minor gouges on the base can be fixed at home with a base repair material like Swix P-Tex and a metal scraper. But deeper holes that expose the core will likely need to be repaired at a shop.
Edges should be assessed for rust, burrs, and any signs that the base may be beginning to separate. If you see noticeable blemishes on the edges, or if you feel like you have less grip or control on the slopes, it’s probably past time to get your edges resharpened. Though you can resharpen your edges at home, Erickson recommended letting a technician handle major sharpening since it can be difficult to determine which file guide to use to match the degree of factory side bevel on your skis. (If your mind melted reading that sentence, case in point.)
Bindings should be tested to ensure the release mechanism is still working and screws are snug. You can handle tightening of those yourself, but for skiers, if you loosened the DIN setting on your binding during the off-season (which helps maintain bindings by allowing the spring to rest), have a professional reset it. This is a matter of safety since inaccurate DIN settings can lead to equipment failure on the slopes.
During the season: Wipe down the base and edges of your skis or board at the end of each day to avoid rusting. Erickson said it’s important that you don’t let your gear sit in a roof box, where melting snow could potentially pool and cause water damage to your skis and board. He recommended reapplying wax to your bases every 6-8 ski days at a minimum (we like Purl Wax, a small Colorado brand that makes environmentally-friendly ski and snowboard wax without toxic chemicals).
Continually inspect your edges and base for rock or ice damage to avoid water rotting the core. A deburring stone is an easy and cheap way to smooth out minor imperfections on your edges.
End of season: Have your skis and board tuned (or do it yourself) before storing them for the off-season. Address any topsheet delamination or sidewall repairs, as even minor chips and cracks can let moisture in. Make sure your gear is completely dry and clean, then apply a summer storage wax, ideally an all-temperature or softer warm-weather wax, like Swix CH10X (which you don’t scrape off), to protect the base from oxidation during storage.
Unscrew and remove snowboard bindings to maintain the camber of your board. Advanced skiers should reduce the DIN setting on their bindings to relieve pressure on their skis, though you will need to pay someone to reset this at the start of next season. Recreational skiers who have setups with low-release settings generally don’t need to worry about this step.
Store your skis and board in a neutral position (flat) without any pressure on the rocker or camber. (We love this wall-mounted ski rack for a gear garage.) If you strap the skis together, don’t crank on the strap as compression can warp the camber.
Keep skis and boards in a temperate, dry location (read: not the attic or non-temperature controlled garage), out of direct sunlight.