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How to Summer-ize Your Ski Gear

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.

Spring slush is upon us!

Although we’re thoroughly enjoying the last minute powder we’ve gotten, there’s no denying summer is just around the corner. After all the pond skims are over and you grab that last sip of snow-chilled beer, what happens to the sticks? We’ll break down how to get your ski gear ready for summer.

pond skim summer ski
After the debauchery of spring skiing, what will your skis do all summer? PHOTO: Courtesy of Winter Park

We’re sure you take great care of your gear, right?  You’re not like everyone else—you keep a towel in your car to dry the water off your skis before you put them up in your roof box, right?  You dry out your boots after every day, right? You’d never let that spring mud from the parking lot stay on your boots all spring, right?  Right…?

Wrong?

Calm down, it’s all gonna be okay.  The key to skiing is having the right gear, and the key to having that gear last for any length of time is maintaining it.  If you prep your ski gear for the summer ahead of time, you’ll get plenty of life out of your skis. Not to mention, they’ll be ready to roll as soon as you are when that first snow falls.  Summer maintenance is easy—as long as you know what to do.

Step 1) Give your skis a good clean.

Spring snow is generally dirtier as all the layers of grit throughout the season are left on the snow. Not to mention that ride back from the mountain strapped to the top of your car.   A quick clean of the topsheets, bases and bindings can do wonders for the look of the ski. Be sure to avoid spraying water directly into the bindings as it can dislodge the grease that’s used to lubricate the moving parts of the binding.  A rag with soapy water should work just fine. If you’re serious about cleaning the bases, use a special base cleaner to get all the dirt off.

step one of prepping ski gear for the summer
A base cleaner can really get to the extra grime.

Step 2) Dry that sucker off!

Give the ski a good wipe down with a dry rag to get all the excess water off.  Water that sits on the edges can lead to rust and pitting, meaning that more material will need to be removed in order to get back to a flat surface.

drying skis for summer storage
An easy…but crucial step.

Step 3) Do your skis have edge burrs or base gouges? If so, tune ’em!

Get your ptex sticks, files, guides, deburring and diamond stones out and start shaving away.  There’s no point in sealing rusty, burred up edges with wax, it’ll just need to be addressed in the fall. Make sure everything is clean and pristine before moving on.

tune skis before summer storage
If your skis look like this, it is time for a tune.

Step 4) Get your iron and wax (and maybe a bubbly drink) and head to the garage.

A layer of wax will prevent bases from drying and oxidizing over the summer and can seal the edges, preventing rust from gaining a foothold.  Not to mention, they’ll be all waxed for next season. We like to rub the bar of wax along the edges to give it a light coat of protection over the summer and then melt a good layer of wax on the bases for some solid protection.

waxing skis with summer wax for storage

Step 5) Step back and admire your work.

Your base is now protected from drying and your edges have a layer of protection from rusting up.  When the snow starts falling next season, all you’ll need to do is scrape and brush your skis and you’ll be flying past your buddies who neglected to get that ski gear ready for summer.

Option B) Bring them to Powder7!

If this seems like a bit of a chore or you’re just not the DIY type, bring your skis down to Powder7 for our tune with a summer storage wax special for $60.  We’ll get your skis all cleaned and tuned and put the storage wax on for you. You can then store them someplace safe for the summer. When fall hits, bring those skis back to the shop and we’ll scrape and brush them while you wait for a quick turnaround. Easy!

If the thought of summer-izing your gear makes you upset, dream about skiing a little more and check out our previews of 2023 gear.

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