Ski season has come and gone. You’ve done your drills, trained hard, and hopefully, you had a whole lot of fun. Before heading for the beach and summer dryland, spend an afternoon properly caring for and storing your ski racing gear. You’ll be happy you did when summer ski camp or next season rolls around.
Summer Race Ski Storage
Fast skis are essential for ski racers (duh), and proper storage for race skis is crucial to maintain performance. Storage wax limits contact between those fast ski bases and oxygen. The white, chalky appearance of dry bases is actually oxidation, deteriorating your base’s structure, ultimately limiting its ability to shed water and glide across the snow. Follow a few steps to get the most out of your storage wax:
- First, check to see if you will need to grind your bases. Use a true bar in a few places across your ski base. If you can see any light between the true bar and the ski’s base, you’ll need to stone grind them. Take your skis to your local shop to reset the base with a stone grind. A big benefit to doing this now is avoiding the rush on ski shops in the fall. No need to sit on a ski shop’s waitlist to get your skis in — you’ll be able to just scrape and go.
- Next, clean the base with a few hot scraping cycles. Warning — this is weirdly satisfying. Drip and iron wax onto the base as usual. It’s best to use a soft wax with a low melting temperature, but anything inexpensive will work fine. As soon as you’re done ironing, scrape the hot wax off. It’ll pull all the dirt and grime out of the base’s pores, allowing the wax to better permeate the ski. Cycle hot wax until the wax scrapes off clean. If there was a lot of dirt in your spring skiing snow, this might take a few cycles.
- Apply conditioning wax. Brush your skis well with a copper or brass brush. You’re aiming to totally clear the base’s pore of wax, so a conditioning wax can fully permeate. Choose a conditioning wax like x, and be sure to fully cover the base. Once the wax cools, use a scraper to remove any wax covering the metal edge. Wax can seal moisture into the metal edges, so by removing it, you prevent rusting over the summer.
Summer Storage for Ski Bindings
Bindings use heavy internal springs to ensure proper ski boot retention and the ability to release in the event of a fall. When turned to a normal setting, the spring is always compressed. Over time, it starts to wear out. To allow the springs to relax and ultimately stay true to the DIN setting indicated on the bindings, turn your DINs to the lowest setting for the summer. It’s a good idea to leave a note on your skis or bindings to remind yourself to reset your DINs in the fall.
Summer Ski Boot Storage
When putting ski racing gear away for the offseason, don’t forget about your race boots. After a day of spring skiing, your boots may be wet from sweat or wet snow. To prevent damage, pull out the liners and let them dry before putting them away for the summer. Once the liners are dry, put them back in the shells and buckle the shells so that your boots hold their shape over time.
Ski Race Suit Maintenance
Ski racing suits are made with a special fabric that requires a little more care than your cotton t-shirts. To wash your race suit, turn it inside out to protect the aerodynamic outer layer. Use your washing machine’s delicate cycle with a detergent intended for delicate fabrics, such as Woolite or Nikwax Tech Wash. After washing, lay your race suit flat to dry, rather than hanging it, to prevent the wet fabric from stretching. If your race suit is particularly dirty, check out our in-depth race suit washing guide.
As a final note, be sure to store all of your gear somewhere dry and climate controlled! A good rule of thumb is to keep your skis and equipment somewhere you wouldn’t mind spending the summer either. A closet inside the house makes a great summer home for your ski racing gear.