Save that base! We're here to answer few of your FAQ's for storing your skis, snowboard, and splitboard over the summer in this handy little blog.
Follow our Tuning Wizard @natedumais86 for more pow slayin' greatness and be sure to seek out @purlwax for some of the fastest, earth-lovin wax products around!
1. What steps should you take to properly clean and care for the base of the skis or snowboard before storing them?
Most people will tell you that these days, with the type of bases that skis and boards are manufactured with, that you don’t necessarily have to do anything to them before putting them up for storage. The idea is that the materials used are far superior to those of the past and there is less of a need for summer treatment.
In areas where there is more humidity, I would say you’d have a stronger case to go with that logic. In areas like Colorado and other states that have high temps and low humidity, it’s a great idea to treat your base before putting your board or sticks up for the summer, IMO.
- Scrape off any access wax or skin glue.
- Take some base cleaner (if you don’t have base cleaner substitute acetone or some paint thinner) and wipe the base clean.
- Rub on soft wax covering the entire base. Yellow or red typically work great for this application. Sometimes you can find soft wax labeled “storage wax” or “base prep.”
- Use your waxing iron to drip wax onto the base, make several passes up and down the ski/board, then iron in, let sit, and DON’T scrape. Leave it on for the summer. This keeps the base moisturized over the dry summer months and thus prolonging the life of your base and making it less susceptible to base damage during early turns in October/November.
2. What steps should you take to properly clean and care for the edges of the skis or snowboard before storing them? Is there a way to get rid of rust?
If you want to start out next year without having to tune your equipment you can use a fine file and file guide (base/side) to clean up and set the side and base bevel. Most skis use a 2-degree side bevel and .5 or 1 degree base. Snowboards are usually a 2-degree side bevel and .5 on the base. If you take your board or sticks in to have the edges done you can skip that part. *Weston factory is .75 on the base, .88 on the outside and .90 on the inside of splits
It is important to make sure there is no surface rust on the edges. Surface rust can easily be cleaned off, but if it sits on the edge all summer you could see edge corrosion by next fall. Super easy to avoid. All you need is a Scotch-Brite or S.O.S scrubbing pad and some elbow grease. You can easily scrub the surface rust away. If it doesn’t clean up with the pad you will want to consider using a file or having the edges done at your local shop.
3. Would you recommend getting edges sharpened and fixing core shots before summer storage and why?
Again, if the edges have corrosion or significant rust it’s a great idea to have them sharpened. You don’t want the corrosion to get past the point of no return. If there are core shots you might as well get them done before getting back on snow next season. You also don’t want to fill the core shot with wax as that will make it harder to repair down the road. Make sure you allow the base to dry properly before filling the core shot with either epoxy or p-tex. You don’t want to trap any moisture in the core. Smooth it out with metal scraper, bastard file or even some light sanding paper and then proceed with the summer wax treatment.
4. Why does the board need wax on it over summer? What type of wax and how much?
Wax can prevent the base from becoming too dry over the course of the summer. Without summer wax the base could turn white and be extremely slow first time out next season and will sometimes require a base grind to remove. Go with a warm weather wax, yellow or red usually. Some wax will be labeled base prep, that can also work well. It doesn’t have to be an excessive amount, just enough to cover the base and keep it from being exposed to the dry air. Warm weather and base prep wax melt at lower temperatures so you inevitably apply more than is necessary. If it spills over onto the edges that’s fine.
5. When you pull the board or skis out next winter, what should you do with the wax you’ve left on? Do you need to re-wax or just scrape it off and buff it out?
If you used a warm weather or base prep wax for your summer treatment, I’d recommend scraping that off and applying a temperature appropriate wax for your first time out next season. Sometimes the wax can be super brittle from sitting for 6 months so a good trick is to reheat and hot scrape.
A hot scrape is a great way to start fresh. It opens up the base of the ski through the reheating process and cleans the ski at the same time. While the base is still warm apply your glide wax. Blue or purple is usually a good bet for Colorado snow. If you summer treatment consisted of colder wax then by all means scrape, buff and slide.
A temperate, dry climate is fine such as a garage, basement, closet. Attics are not always great as they can reach higher temperatures. Ski boots that have had punches or stretches can often return to their original shape when left in a hot attic for the summer. Don’t store them anywhere near moisture. Moisture can attack the edges and, in the case of splitboards, all of the hardware. Don’t band your skis together with a vole or ski strap, especially if they are cambered. Let the skis relax and take the summer off. It’s fine to store them in a bag provided everything is dry as a bone when it goes in.
6. Where should you store the skis or snowboard? Is it OK to keep them in a crawl space, closet, garage, etc?
7. Before storage, what should you do for upkeep for your snowboard/splitboard bindings?
I like to pull the bindings off the board. Both are easier to store separate anyway. This also allows the core and inserts to relax. When the bindings are mounted on the board it actually pulls the base of the board upwards towards the bindings.
If you have broken straps try to replace them before putting them away for the summer. You can often find cheap bindings at thrift stores that are great for parts. Tighten up your highbacks. Avoid a day 1 trip to the shop because you lost a screw off the highback. Don’t be afraid to add thread locker or Locktite to your hardware. Make sure you tape your pucks and screws to the bindings so they don’t get misplaced over the summer.
8. When you store your snowboard, what should you do with the bindings to prevent them from warping? With ski bindings, what should you do to store them: should you wind the DIN down to the lowest setting on toe and heel?
Again, IMO its best to store the board and the bindings separately. Put your bindings up high on a shelf where you won’t stack anything on top of them and slide your board behind the closet door or under the bed. Remember, don’t store in an area that gets hot, like an attic. If you have a tech binding or non-DIN binding you don’t have to worry about turning them down.
If you do have a DIN it’s not a bad to turn them down. Over the course of my years tuning I have met many techs and shop owners who have always turned down DINs on not only their skis, but their shop fleet skis as well. I have also met those who think this is a giant waste of time. My thought is that if it aids in the longevity and functionality of the binding then why the hell not, it takes less than a minute and like I have said with everything else, its summer, let them relax.
Want to know more on how to store boots, climbing skins, beacons and/or other backcountry gear?
Check out the gear storage segment of the #SlayAtHome Speaker Series with Emily Hargraves of Backcountry Babes and Weston Team Guide, Sarah MacGregor!