Whether you're a once-a-year skier who books a catered chalet with a bunch of mates or a powderhound who chases the snow around the globe, if you've made the investment in your own equipment, it's vital you know how to look after it. Read on for my top tips on keeping your skis in perfect condition.
Drying Off at the End of the Day
After you’ve had an epic day on the slopes, make sure that you grab a towel and wipe off the melted snow. This simple but vital task is the difference between having well maintained equipment and rusted edges or corroded bindings. Make this second nature – something you automatically do after taking off your boots, before snuggling down in your catered chalet or hitting the apres-ski scene.
Waxing and Sharpening
Even though it’s a bit of an effort, everyone should wax their gear more often. If you’ve been cutting it up on cold, wet snow, you should be giving your skis a frequent hot wax. Powdered snow is kinder on equipment, and so you’ll only need to wax every couple of weeks.
Likewise, the amount you need to sharpen your skis varies on how you’ve used them. They may need a sharpen after skiing on hard and icy snow, but for an average resort skier you should probably take your gear to a shop to be sharpened every 8-10 days.
Regularly Check your Bindings
If the bindings are not fixed securely onto the ski, you’re going to run into trouble once you’ve hit the slopes. First thing to check is the tightness of the screws. If they’re feeling wobbly, you can remove the screws and re-glue them using flexible two-part glues. If you’re really unlucky and the bindings have ripped off, you can remount them by drilling new holes or inserting helicoil screws. However, unless you’re a keen DIY-er, in reality this is probably a job for a professional. The main thing is that the bindings should fit on to the ski as solidly as possible.
Keep an Eye on your Poles
Tighten lose baskets and replace them if necessary. Put the basket end of the pole in hot water for a couple of minutes, then place the basket between your feet and pull the pole upwards to remove it. To stick the basket back on, you must use a bit of hot glue in the basket hole, and quickly join it together with the pole end. A glue gun is probably a good shout here.
Caring for your Skis in the Off-Season
When the season ends, give your skis a final clean and smear over a thick coat of wax for protection. No need for the actual waxing part here – your future self can deal with that! If you have particularly fancy equipment, you might want to lower the DNI setting on the bindings to reduce the spring pressure. The final step is to store your equipment in a suitable dry, cool place. This is especially key for those living in more temperate climates, as there is a chance that the skis can warp. A closet inside the house with regulated temperature and humidity is a much better idea than storing skis in an attic or basement. Your skiing gear deserves better!
A Little Bit of Effort Goes a Long Way
Caring for your skis is not only for when you’re living in a catered chalet in the midst of glorious mountains. A small bit of consistent effort in taking care of your skis will help avoid the need for serious repairs. You’ll thank me in the long run, I promise!
Belinda Smythson works for Ski Amis, a specialist ski travel agency and booking service that has been helping avid skiers craft their perfect winter holiday for over a quarter of a century. If you're looking for the best catered chalet accommodation in the Three Valleys, Paradiski, Espace Killy or Chamonix Valley, Ski Amis is the go-to company for winter sports fans searching for the holiday of a lifetime.