So winter has coming to a close. If you been through a season like we have here on the East Coast, your gear has seen some abuse. Now it’s time to put it away for the season, do it right, be ready for next season day one. Maybe Vermonter's like to roll up their sleeves, get thir hands dirty, below is a pretty good list of where to begin for the "do it yourselfers." However, If you wish there was a few more hours in each day, save yourself some time and let the professionals at Alpine Shop take care of you with our 'Summerizer' Tune Service.
Your pants have muddy cuffs and base layers are over due for a wash. Skis, snowboards & bindings need to be thoroughly cleaned before a summer ‘storage’ tune. Spring corn is dirty (so is the parking lot) and if you’ve even skied past the terrain park, most likely a little salty. Grit & grime can wear out parts, working its way into everything. Salt corrodes, destroys key binding components and can pit edges left for extended periods of time. Hose or shower (hotel showers are fine) your skis or snowboard to remove lose sediment and debris. If you have access to a pressurized air hose use this to blast any remaining water & grime from any binding pieces. If not, give them a good shake and wipe everything down with a clean towel, let dry overnight.
By this point in the season your edges have seen a nick or two. Surprise spring snow can bury hazards, slick season ending slides into the lot always leave a few marks, in any case, your edges need some love before you put your gear to bed. Dings and surface rust can harbor moisture saturated with corrosive salts further damaging your edges. Removing these imperfections now will take away less edge material than removing more built up rust & corrosion in the fall.
You’ve certainly seen ski / snowboard bases in the spring that are dusty white & dried out. Coarse spring snow, salts & other pollutants (groomer hydraulic fluids, snowmaking equipment fuel oil, etc.) will completely strip your bases and clog the base pores. As ski / snowboard bases are porous, dirt will become lodged in these tiny pores. It’s crucial to remove these fine particles before re-saturating our bases with wax and sealing them for summer storage. Put your skis / board on the bench, base up. Quickly run a warm iron over the bases to open up the pores. Use a base cleaning solution & cover bases well, our goal is to suspend the dirt above the bases. Use a soft copper brush or a green scour pad and work with grain to ‘scrub’ bases and lift material to surface. You can also use a plastic scraper to work grime up and out of bases. Wipe clean and let dry. After you’re confident that bases are clean and completely dry, apply a generous coating of hot wax, more than you normally would. Spread evenly working lots of wax into the pores and making sure to cover the edges, letting wax drip over. You are not going to scrape this wax as you normally would. The wax is going to seal off the bases, protecting them from further drying, the edges from humidity and rust. This thick coat of wax will protect your edges from damage if something knocks into them during the summer months. Store your skis / boards somewhere dry, cool & out of direct sunlight. Keep them off the ground either by hanging in a rack, or on something elevated off floor. Next season when the snow flies, scrape off the wax, give your bases a buff, and you’re ready to go!
Old school techs have you dial the DIN all the way down on your skis every season to lesson the tension on the spring and release the spring’s ‘memory’. I’ve also heard that advancements in metallurgy hace made the problem of 'Spring Memory' less of an issue. Binding manufacturers don't really advocate one method or the other. If you think it's good practice to release the sring's tension every spring, do it. Just remember, you’ll have to have your bindings DIN release settings checked and tested next pre-season regardless.
If you have any questions about your skis or snowboard and how to properly repair, tune or store your gear contact Alpine Shop. Now is the time to get your gear ready for next season. Take advantage of Alpine Shop's new Wintersteiger tuning machine and affordable 'Summerizer' Tune Service.