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Posted by Nikki Kulp on Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spring is here which means summer is not far behind. For most of the population it's time to fill the pool up, lather on the SPF, and get ready for some sun. But for the snow addicts out there, this time of year is considered the worst when the mountains are closed but the thought of shredding has never left.  You still have that feel of your boots still on your feet attached to your skis or board.

Sadly your skis and snowboards probably lay in the garage, basement, or attic already stowed away, just waiting to be awoken from their slumber to say hello to the next winter season. Before you put them away for the summer there are a a few things to consider. After all your gear is your chariot on snow - it deserves to be handled with delicate care. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Number One: Take Inventory

The off-season is the perfect time to do a run through on all of your gear. Not just boots, skis and snowboards. Let's face it, during the winter you don’t want to shop for gear when you could be using it on the mountain. Your time on the hill is short enough and must be maximized!

A quick run through of your jackets, pants, base layer, and socks at the end of the season is a great idea. Consider replacing a piece of your gear if it didn’t work for you. For example, if you are freezing all the time on the hill you are probably in need of new base layer or socks. There is a lot of new technology out there to keep you warmer than ever.

Also take inventory of your equipment. If your board or skis suffered any damage, now would be ideal time to fix it.

Number Two: Clean Your Gear

More than likely your weekends were spent trekking across a muddy parking lot to get back to your car after a day of shredding. Remove the grime by washing the exterior of your boots down before you store them. Remove the liners and make sure they are completely dry prior to storing. Also, be mindful of where your boots are stored.  Mildew and small varmints love to live in ski or snowboard boots.

Skiers, be sure to loosely buckle your boots so they maintain shape. This is easy to forget and then when pulled out for the next season, the boot is out of shape and hard to buckle.

Snowboarders, after checking your boot liners for dryness, examine the laces. If they need to be replaced, now is the time to do it. Be sure to lace them up for storage as well as they too can loose shape.

Next, wipe down your skis and/or snowboards with water and a towel. Avoid using soaps as they often have a de-greasing property that can potentially effect binding lubrication as well as the base of the skis or snowboard. It is a good idea to add a rub wax to the base to ensure it won't dry out. Your shred stick base will more than likely absorb the wax, so it should still be tuned with fresh wax in the Fall, but every little bit helps.

Number Three: DIN Settings

Snowboarders stand aside.  This is for the skiers. Some may tell you to relax your spring settings on your bindings. Do not do this!  Especially if you have no idea how to set your DIN. Folks, the reality is that your DIN setting is based on your height, weight and your level of expertise. This can cause the binding to pre-release if done incorrectly, or not to release when it should. Let's be real - you don’t want to be escorted down the mountain in the first aid sled by ski patrol on your first run of the season.

If you have not had your bindings serviced in a while, we highly recommend doing so, and no time is better than the off season. Leave it to the experts.

Number Four: Where To Store Your Gear

A thing to consider before placing your gear into hibernation is the climate where you plan to store it. More than likely they are stored in attics, garages, or basements. These places could be exposing your equipment to a climate that can adversely affect your gear.

An attic tends to get a very hot in the summer. Excessive heat is not good for snowboards or skis. The heat could potentially cause them to delaminate from the top sheet. This will not be covered under any warranty from the manufacturer or shop that sold it to you. The extreme heat can also cause the construction of the interior of the product to loose its shape, making a camber board into an unresponsive flat board.

You might be thinking "okay, the attic is no good - there is always the basement!", which is usually fine if your dungeon has a dehumidifier. Basements tend to run on the damp side which can cause the edges of your ski or snowboard to rust. Also dampness and no air movement (like when stored in a gear bag) can cause mildew to grow.

Be sure to find a dry, climate controlled location for summer storage. Your gear will thank you!

Now that you have been given the knowledge for proper storage of your beloved gear, maybe the sting of the end of this past season can begin to disappear a little...now you can move on to the much-anticipated upcoming season!

Don't forget, be sure to fix anything broken, buy anything you are missing, and clean and properly store your gear so you are ready to attack next season with full force!


Categories: Ski equipment  |  snowboard equipment

Tagged:ski, snowboard, ski and snowboard equipment, Storing Your Gear

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