As we close out another ski season it’s nearing time to prepare and store ski gear for proper off-season storage. By following these simple guidelines for cleaning and preserving, you will prolong the life of your gear and be ready to go when the snow starts falling.
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. Carefully remove rust from your ski edges with a Scotch brite pad, or fine-medium steel wool. 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 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.
Bindings: 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.
Poles: Strap or tie your poles together. Hang, lay or stand poles up near your skis.
Boots: 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.
Goggles: 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.
Where to Store Skis and Gear: Store skis and accessories in a temperature controlled environment. Good storage locations are typically closets, spare rooms or even under a bed. Skis should be laid down flat on their sides without anything on top. Unfinished attics, basements and garages should be avoided because they tend to be either too dry, wet or hot.