Although some of us are currently still enjoying exceptional skiing (it’s us!), we will all be putting away our skis for summer. I spoke with several techs here at the shop, all with years if not decades of experience, about the best way to keep your skis protected and ready for next fall. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly get all of the same answers. A few, I won’t name names, just put their own skis in the garage…that’s it. But, in order to cover all “bases” (see what I did there?) and keep your own skis safe, here is a quick primer on the best way to store your skis for the summer. Look below for photos of the process.
It is, of course, best practice to protect your skis while they are being stored. Basically, you will just be putting on a layer of cover wax. At a minimum, the wax will protect your bases from dust and grit, but you may also be able to save them from oxidation and damage from drying out.
First, stone grinding. Should you do it before summer? Well, on the tech side, it doesn’t really matter when you get your bases ground, but spring is a great time to cross this off your ski checklist. If you get this chore done after the snow melts, you won’t have to wait around for your skis in season. We are currently still grinding, so get your skis in soon!
Just a note, this should be a quick process. Don’t spend more than 4-5 minutes max per ski!
For your Skate Skis, start off by cleaning your bases. The wax you will be putting on now will remove dirt when it is scraped in the spring, but if your skis are exceptionally dirty, use a wax remover and Fiberlene or a rag. Don’t be afraid to use a wax remover to clean your bases if you have to; it shouldn’t dry them out if you are using the product sparingly, and if you hot wax immediately after cleaning.
In the past, bases used to be hot scraped, which would entail scraping the bases while the wax is still liquid and also hot. This was a very somewhat effective cleaning method, but grind structure can be flattened by this process so it is no longer recommended.
After your bases are clean, choose a wax to drip onto the bases with an iron and go over once again to melt and flatten out the wax. Any soft, warm weather glider or base prep will work, Toko Yellow or Swix CH10 are good choices. For budget reasons, most people choose to use a non-fluorinated wax.
For your Classic Skis, you need to add a couple more steps. Of course, remove your kick wax, then lightly press painter’s tape onto the kick zone. Then you can cover wax the tips and tails. Use tape for Skin Skis as well, making sure to be gentle adhering the tape – you don’t want to pluck hairs out of the skins.
It is true that most waxless skis don’t get any love over summer break, but their kick zone can also be covered with tape for protection and the tips and tails cover waxed like the waxable classics.
When everything is dry, loosely bind skis together. Do not squeeze the camber together. And store the skis near room temperature. The hottest part of your attic probably isn’t the best choice.
In the fall, you’ll only need to scrape, brush, and you’ll be ready to add the wax of the day. Step up your storage game by protecting your skis this summer. Your skis will be glad you did!