It is a known fact that our ski and snowboard gear do not do so well in our humid weather without proper care. Yet, many of us simply leave our skis and snowboards packed up in our bags after a ski trip and left in a corner of our homes for months without any proper storage preparation. You take them out right before your next trip, only to find your skis and snowboard’s bases completely dried out and edges covered in rust, even showing signs of delamination. Sounds familiar?
In this article, we’ll be sharing tips & techniques of preparing your skis and snowboards for proper storage. Following these steps will not only ensure that your gear is in mint condition to help you perform well on the slopes, but it will also help to significantly extend the lifetime of your equipment, while retaining your ski and snowboard’s resale value when you decided to go for an upgrade.
Here are 4 important steps that you should follow when preparing your skis and snowboards for storage:
- Clean your equipment
- Tune your edges
- Apply storage wax
- Store in a cool, dehumidified environment
Be sure to go through these steps to keep your gear in their best condition and ready to use once the next season arrives.
Step 1: Clean your ski & snowboard equipment
A general wipe down of your equipment should be done at the end of your ski trip to clean and dry your gear before storing them back into your bag. Apart from this, a thorough base clean is important to remove any residual dirt picked up from the mountains which could lead to clogged up base pores. This will reduce your skis or snowboard’s ability to absorb wax in the future, resulting in a less effective gliding experience on snow.
A thorough base clean involves 2 main steps. First, apply a citrus based cleaner with a cloth to wipe down and remove any residue left on your ski or snowboard base. This effectively removes surface impurities such as dirt, sand and grease. Following this, a hot scrape should be applied. A hot scrape is a technique where soft wax is dripped onto the base of the ski or snowboard and then scrapped off before the wax cools down. This step is important to remove impurities that inevitably penetrates deeper into your base when on the mountain. By scrapping off the wax while its hot, impurities clogged up are removed before they stay lodged in your ski and snowboard bases.
Once your base is properly cleaned, your board will be able to absorb wax better, glide smoother and future waxes will last longer, giving you a better time on the mountain.
Step 2: Edge Tuning to restore your edges
Depending on the intensity of your runs and the mountain conditions of your last ski trip, your ski and snowboard edges might benefit from a good tune up. Ensuring that your edges are cleaned, de-burred and re-sharpened are important steps in keeping your edges in good condition to perform well. Often, knocks and collisions with rocks, shrubs and trees leave your edges blunt, chipped or even broken. A proper edge tuning will remove any impurities caught in your edges, smoothen them out and restore them back to brand new, mint condition.
On top of that, this process also allows you or the person tuning your gear to check for any further damage that might need immediate attention. One such case would be knocks that went unnoticed during your trip that could lead to delamination. These will need to be fixed and sealed up before keeping your equipment in storage to avoid causing further damage during your next use.
Step 3: Apply a thick coat of storage wax
Once your ski & snowboard bases are clean and edges tuned, it’s time protect your gear with storage wax. The thick layer of ‘storage wax’ or ‘summer wax’ is applied with a hot iron and is spread over your base as well as your edges. The purpose of storage wax is to prevent your ski or snowboard bases from ‘oxidising’ or drying out. The layer of storage wax coats and protects your base while also preventing your edges from rusting by reducing the exposure of your metal edges with the atmosphere.
In more technical terms, the compounds of your ski or snowboard’s P-tex (plastic) base oxidises and ‘evaporates’ from the surface when left unprotected for long periods of time. This often leaves behind a surface that looks dull and even powdery. When the surface layer becomes oxidized, not only does the it make it difficult for the snowboard to move on snow, it also makes it less effective in absorbing wax. This results in a ski or snowboard that does not glide as smoothly and even sending them in for another wax session would yield little improvement as the base would not absorb wax as effectively any more.
The Board Room – Wax & tune workshop in Singapore
If you are new to wax & tuning your own equipment or do not have the necessary tools, professional wax & tuning services are now available in Singapore with The Board Room. Select from a variety of tuning services ranging from hot waxing, edge tuning, off season storage wax and more. Wax & tuning solutions start from SGD 35. The full range of tuning services can be found here.
Schedule a wax & tune appointment with us here:
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Step 4: Store in a cool and dry environment
The last step is to look for a cool and non-humid environment to store your equipment. Choosing where to store your gear is just as important as the steps above. This is especially relevant if you live in a tropical country like Singapore with warm and humid conditions. The best way to store your equipment would be to put them in board bags or sleeves and place the bags in a dark, dehumidified room – away from sunlight and direct contact with the humid surroundings. A proper cool and non-humid environment not only keeps your ski and snowboard edges from rusting, it also extends the lifetime of your other snow gear such as boots, gloves, goggles and helmets, all of which tend to slowly deteriorate and disintegrate with prolonged exposure to heat and humidity.
The Ride Side – Board Bag Storage Service
If you live in Singapore and are struggling to find a proper storage area in your home for your ski or snowboard gear, The Ride Side offers storage space in a 24hrs dehumidified enclosure to help extend the life of your gear. Affordable monthly (SGD 15/mth) or annual (SGD 120/yr) storage options are available to suit your needs. Learn more about The Ride Side’s Board Bag Storage Service.
Schedule a storage appointment:
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Pro-tip: Always ask for non-fluorinated biodegradable wax!
The wax you put on your skis and snowboards eventually comes off your ski and snowboard’s base and ends up on the mountain and in local watercourses – eventually ending up at sea. To reduce the impact on the environment, always choose or request for a non-fluorinated biodegradable wax.
If you are looking for a wax for yourself, Hertel Wax is a reliable brand that is both very effective and yet environmentally friendly. Browse through the full range of Hertel all temperature waxes to suit your riding needs.