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Storing Skis For Summer

Here's advice for cleaning and storing your skis and bindings for the summer, taken from the many threads on the topic posted here at EpicSki:



Most skis, if they're faithfully maintained, do not need the Full Monty in the spring.  Wind the tension off the bindings, clean the bases with citrus cleaner if necessary, lightly tune the side edges, then soak them with any kind of wax so that they survive the summer.



1. Clean and thoroughly dry the skis



Several factors promote the development of rust, like moisture, a high humidity environment, certain salts, and how smooth or striated or dinged up the edges are or not, and probably some other factors like air pollution. So, if you haven't completely dried your skis and cleaned your skis edges of salts from road grime or salted slopes, some argue that wax just seals in that junk along with some air and the oxygen in any water content and other water impurities, I suppose.

Similarly, dings and scratches or striations from stoneginding or filing in combination with moisture etc., can act like a petri dish for rust development so to speak. So, although I use method #1, I think that the key to storing away your skis is that the edges are clean and smooth, the skis are dry and that you store them in a cool, dry place or as close to that type of surrounding as is available to you. In high humidity environments, waxing the edges as well as the bases works well, I've found.

You can also deal with any rust with a gummi stone the next season. However, excessive rusting can cause pitting in the ski edges which takes a lot more effort or a stonegrind to deal with.



2. Tune them if needed



If your skis are screwed up enough to need a shop/personal friend redo, do it now, as in getting the bases flat, resetting the base bevel, resetting the side bevel, redoing the structure, then putting on the summer wax, do it now...in November, you won't even remember what you did or did not do in the spring.



You may also take a fine look (with loop or some magnification) at your edges examining for any cracks or damage before waxing (additionally check topside and lamination). Also consider your ski use and perhaps need for stone grind and recalibration of your bevels. (How did they feel this season?) Is your base structure correct for the start of next season? Some of these things are better addressed now rather than the busy beginning of next season with a competent shop.


3. Wax heavily, including the edges



Apply a heavy coat of warm temp wax like Swix CH 10 or equivalent. This protects the base from dirt, dust, and shrinkage and the edges from rust. 


Big Nick:

1) Putting a protectant on the edges to avoid surface rust progressing to deep rust, e.g. a dab of oil or even WD-40 on a rag (not sprayed on the ski), during summer storage may not be a bad idea.


2) The idea of putting wax, any kind, on the base to avoid oxidation of the bases during the summer is, pardon my bluntness - nonsensical. Both hydrocarbon waxes ( and the more expensive fluoro based polymer waxes) and the polyethylene (PE) bases are highly (ridiculously) resistant to oxidation. While UV light can induce oxidation or reaction in plastics, PE is not susceptible to this type of oxidation under normal conditions. PE plastics are even used to store highly reactive strong acids and bases with ill effects. Your topsheet plastic is more likely to age/oxidize than your bases.



It's my impression that bases do not "oxidize," and that what people are referring to when they talk about bases oxidizing is actually bases abrading. Which, indeed, wax will help avoid.



Skip the part about oxidation, although I believe this to be a problem. What we're talking about is the fact that PTex is porous, which means it'll absorb wax...or anything else that happens to be lying around, like dirt, grease, or other doo doo.  Try this for grins:  Summer wax your skis with clear pure paraffin.  Then in October, scrape it off and look at the scrapings.  Still clear?  I doubt it...


4. Relax the spring tension on your bindings



Lock the heel pieces in the "up" position and take the release setting down to the lowest on the scale.



I've been told by a reputable local shop to lock the heel to release the spring tension for storage. Some also say to back off the din setting as well.


Max Capacity:

I back off the bindings much the same as snap-on recommends you return a torque wrench to it's lowest setting after you use it. There is a reason for that. If it's good for a torque wrench backing off the bindings for the off season can't be bad.



Apply lubrication to rail slides and check your attachment screws. Take the time for inspection of your boot interface points with bindings and examine your boot sole wear at those points. 


5. Store in a cool, dry place



Store them in a place that does not have dripping water, temperate extremes, or clouds of dust reminiscent of the Dust Bowl in the 30s.



I just hang my boards in a rack by their tips with straps around the bottom third with a coat of wax as described.


6. Next Fall



When you ski again, scrape, put on a decent wax for the day..and go ski.



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EpicSki › Gear Articles › Storing Skis For Summer