Proper summer storage involves waxing your ski bases so that they don’t dry out. By leaving a coat of wax in place all summer long, when the snow flies and lifts turn, you’ll just need to scrape your skis and go!
Ski Shop or DIY?
In general, I like getting my skis tuned at a ski shop. They’ve got all the right equipment and can do stuff we, being mere mortals and ski moms, cannot (like grind bases and sharpen base edges).
Still, basic edge sharpening and waxing are easy. While you can ask your shop to prep and wax your skis for summer storage, you can also do it yourself. It’s a fun project and easy enough that your kids can help. If they’re old enough, they can do it themselves.
What You’ll Need
While you don’t need to invest a ton of money in waxing equipment, you will need these basic supplies and tools.
- A file and edge tool
- A scraper
- Three brushes (stiff brass, horsehair, nylon)
- An Arkansas stone
- An iron
- Giant rubber bands
- A workbench (preferably with clamps to hold the skis in place)
How To Wax Skis
1. Clean ’em. Scrape and brush your bases thoroughly to remove any lingering debris and dirt. Pull the bindings out of the way and secure them with a giant rubber band.
Next, using the scraper and working in one direction only (preferably tip-to-tail, never back-and-forth), scrape the skis 5-10 times. Repeat this same procedure with the stiff brass brush, then the horsehair brush and finally the nylon brush. Wipe away any remaining debris with a soft cloth.
2. Sharpen ’em. Working only on the side edges, sharpen them with the file and edge tool. Repeat until the edge is sharp enough to lightly cut your fingernail (the big flat part) as you run it along the edge. Again, wipe off any filings or debris with a soft cloth. Don’t mess with the base edges. That’s a job for a pro.
3. Wax ’em. Hold a chunk of wax against the hot iron and let the wax drip onto the ski. Smooth the wax into an even layer, about 1/8 inch thick. Let the skis sit for about two hours.
4. Strap ’em and store ’em. Once the wax is set, strap your skis and store them, either laying flat or hanging. When winter returns, scrape and brush the wax away (following the same instructions as in Step 1) and you’re good to go.
- Waxing While the Summer Wanes, August 26, 2010.
- Summer Ski Wax 101, April 26, 2011.
- Should You Tune Your Own Skis? November 17, 2011.
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