Skiing...Keeping Your Skis in Great Shape For Winter
Skiing is a great activity for anyone - it combines great exercise, beautiful views, and a good time to make a unique experience that nearly everyone enjoys. Great days can be ruined and money can be wasted, however, on equipment that is improperly cared for. By following a few simple steps, you can keep your equipment in great shape and ready to ride at the drop of a hat.
Before you hit the slopes, there are a few cardinal rules to follow. First, always keep your boots buckled when they aren't being used. It seems silly, but the hard plastic shells stay in the perfect shape when buckled up - and when they aren't, they flatten out into unnatural conditions. When this happens, it makes it difficult to buckle your boots up in the morning, and can make for an uncomfortable day on the slopes.
Second, make sure to warm your boots up before you strap them on! This is especially important if your boots are stored in a cold garage, or if you've got a habit of throwing them in the back of the pickup on your way to the resort. When boots are cold, the plastic becomes extremely stiff and inflexible, making them difficult to get on, and uncomfortable once they are on. Aside from that, when you start your day off with a cold boot you're almost guaranteed to have cold feet all day. Your boot does a great job of insulating your foot from the cold air and snow, but if it's cold to begin with, there's not much hope.
After a day on the slopes, take a few minutes to dry your equipment off. It's awfully tempting to just throw them in the car and head home, but the extra time it takes will be well worth it. If your skis still have snow on them when you put them away, the edges will quickly rust, and you'll be stuck with rusty edges or an expensive tuning bill.
Even if you keep your edges dry and rust free, its a good idea to give your skis a professional tune occasionally. Keeping your bases waxed will make them fast and durable, and a sharpened edge is predictable and responsive. Since the conditions of your gear deteriorates slowly under normal use, its easy to be lulled into thinking that they are handling just as well as they always have - but with a quick tune up, you'll find that they're easier and more fun to ski on.
Lastly, when those long summer months arrive, its important to find a good place to store your gear. Outside in a garage seems convenient, but its important to pay attention to the moisture levels in the area. In a garage where humidity can fluctuate wildly with the weather, they are likely to rust - sometimes severely. While you're bound to have some changes in humidity inside as well, they tend to fare better there.