When ski season comes to close, it’s time to mend, clean and store your gear.
Clean, Tune and Wax Your Skis
Caring for your skis at the end of the season makes good sense.
From a financial point of view, you’ve invested money in your family’s gear, so it’s important to preserve and protect that investment.
From a practical point of view, if you tune and wax your skis now, you won’t have to do it in the fall or early winter.
By far the easiest way to close out this ski season and prepare for the next is to have your skis tuned and waxed for summer at your ski shop. Come fall, you can either scrape the wax off yourself, or return them to the shop for final prep.
1. Clean your skis with a damp cloth, wiping away all dirt and grime.
2. Brush and clean the edges, then sharpen the edges. Using an all-purpose wax, apply a 1/8 inch coating to the bases. Let the wax harden for at least two hours. Do not scrape it off.
3. Strap the skis together, base-to-base. It is important to use ski straps because you don’t want the bases to touch. You can buy straps from your ski resort or ski shop.
4. Store your skis (laying flat or hanging) in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Avoid humid areas like basements.
5. When you’re ready to ski again, scrape off the wax and go.
Wash Your Clothes
Water-resistant outerwear, including ski clothing, is treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR). This is what makes water bead up and roll off, rather than soaking into, your clothes. Over time, and with each washing, DWR wears off. To keep the DWR working, ski pants and jackets (and any other outdoor gear) need some special care.
Wash Smart. Wash your ski clothes separately and only when they really need it. Living with a little dirt and a few smudges are worth it to preserve the DWR. But don’t store dirty items over the summer. If there’s one time to wash, it’s now.
GORE-TEX brand recommends washing outerwear in warm water on a gentle cycle with a liquid detergent. Rinse everything twice to get rid of all soapy residue. Dry everything on low and then run a cool iron over the outside of the garments.
While you can use regular detergent, we use a technical wash liquid, specially designed to preserve water repellency. We follow-up with waterproofing spray, spritzing our wet garments before tossing them in the dryer.
Have tough stains? Here are some tips from The Ski Diva.
You can store your clean clothes however you’d like, but might I make a gentle suggestion? Store all of your ski gear in one place so that you can find it easily next winter.
We hang our ski jackets and pants in the closet, but everything else – helmets, gloves, neck gaiters, and so on — we store in our boot bags.
Before storing, place goggles in their protective bag and condition the leather palms of your mittens and gloves (mink oil is stinky, so we use Hestra balm, but you can also use beeswax, Sno Seal or other products).
As for ski boots, thoroughly dry them, buckle them (not too tight) and store them away from sunlight and heat. For us, these means packing them in the boot bags with the rest of our gear.
Noso Patches Review
Have gear that needs repair? Now’s the time to do it.
Noso Patches are adhesive, ripstop nylon patches that you stick over rips and tears in your outdoor gear. They work on puffy items like down vests, jackets and sleeping, as well as ski pants, tents and non-puffy coats.
Available in basic colors and fanciful shapes including butterflies, stars, hearts and cowboys, Noso patches are easy to apply. Just follow these steps.
We tried some on my husband’s ski pants and I passed others on to friends.
The patches are super sticky and you have to be ready to apply them as you pull off the paper backing. The more elaborate shapes are also a bit harder to apply.
The most important step is heating the patch to activate it.
The packaging directions are a bit confusing. They suggest tossing the garment in a dryer set on low for 15 minutes and then pressing the item for 30 seconds when it comes out. I pressed the patches with an iron set for nylon. A friend used a cold iron after drying.
It turns out that we should have focused on the diagram, not the words, and simply pressed with our fingers!
As for durability, the first time my husband skied with his repaired pants, one point of a star came up when the patch got wet. We pressed it back down with heat and it adhered. After getting wet again, 2 of the 3 were gone.
Testing by Noso Patches predicts a life of 50+ wash and dry cycles for the patches. I suspect that with the really wet spring conditions, my husband met that dampness threshold quite quickly.
- Wax and Clean: How to Care for Your Skis and Ski Clothes, June 6, 2016.
- Spring Cleaning for Skiers, May 18, 2015
- Spring Cleaning, Ski Style, May 26, 2014.
- Spring Cleaning: Store Your Skis, Poles and More, April 26, 2013.
- Tune Your Own Skis, January 6, 2014.
- Wax Your Skis for Proper Summer Storage, April 15, 2013.
- Summer Ski Wax 101, April 26, 2011.
- Waxing While the Summer Wanes, August 26, 2010.
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