You’ve spent the ski season ripping up the slopes, leaving your mark on the mountain, but now it’s time to put your gear to bed for the summer. Before you tuck your ski gear away for the off-season, it’s important to spend the time to store and clean your equipment correctly. This article will teach you how to store skis, boards, boots, and other ski gear so you’ll be ready to hit the slopes next year.
Owning 7 pairs of skis and 2 snowboards, along with the necessary gear for my 3 boys, who quickly outgrow their equipment, means I have lots of experience storing skis and snowboards for the off-season. I dedicate 2-3 days each year to prepping our gear for storage so that it will last as many years as possible. Below is the process I use every spring to put our gear away for the off-season.
Checking For Damage
Before you start prepping your gear for the off-season, check your equipment for any damage or wear that needs to be addressed.
Skis and Boards
Check the top sheet of your skis and board for any chips, cracks, or signs of delamination. Check the bases for any gouges or significant scratches. Ensure the bindings don’t show wear and tear or damaged components. You don’t want to find out when you’re ready to hit the slopes next season that your bindings are too worn or have broken parts.
Boot buckles, straps, and boa system should all be in good shape. Check for wear and tear on the tread and any sign the shell or outside of the boots have been damaged. For many ski boots, you can replace the foot pads, which can extend the life of your boots.
Helmet & Goggles
Check your outerwear for any rips or tears. Additionally, check your base layers for any stretched-out material or worn spots.
Inventory Your Winter Gear
After checking for damage, inventory your equipment and identify anything you need to replace before next winter. The end of the season is a great time to take advantage of end-of-season sales!
How To Store Skis
Summer ski storage is relatively easy. After an end-of-season tune and applying a summer storage wax, store skis in a warm, dry area. Hang skis vertically with wall mounts or use a horizontal ski rack to keep them off the floor.
Clean ski and base
Ski bases should be cleaned thoroughly with a base cleaner to remove old wax and dirt.
Before storing, you will want to sharpen the ski edges. Use a ski tuning kit with a diamond stone to sharpen your edges. Sharpening the edges will help prevent rust and keep the skis in better condition over the summer.
Apply a thick layer of hot wax to your skis. This will protect them from the elements, which can cause oxidation of the base. When applying the wax, I make sure that the wax goes over the ski edges; this helps to prevent rusting during the summer months.
Loosen your bindings to their lowest setting. Release binding tension prevents the springs from becoming overstressed in the off-season.
How To Store Snowboards
Prepping your snowboard for summer storage is very similar to skis. Clean and tune the board and apply a fresh coat of summer wax.
Clean The Base
Using a base cleaner solution, remove the old wax and dirt from the bottom of the snowboard.
Inspect the base for any scratches or gouges. If there is any damage, repair the area with P-Tex or head to one of the local ski shops to have it fixed.
Apply a thick layer of wax to the board’s base to protect it from the elements. Make sure to leave a layer of wax on the metal edges.
Snowboard bindings are more straightforward to prepare than ski bindings. Make sure to do up the straps so they don’t get damaged. They can be left on the board or removed depending on how much space you have to store the board.
Store your snowboard in a warm, dry area out of direct sunlight. You can use a vertical or horizontal snowboard rack to keep your boards off the floor and safe from damage. If you have limited space to store your board, you can stash it under your bed or in a closet.
How To Store Ski Boots and Snowboard Boots
Boots are expensive, and when properly cared for, they will last for many seasons.
Clean The Boots
The first step is to clean the outside of the boots. You can use a damp cloth to wipe the outside of the boots to remove dirt and grime.
Remove The Liner
Remove the boot liners and completely dry them with a heater or boot dryer. Make sure to dry both the liner and the shell of the boot. Dry them slowly and evenly.
Do Up The Boots
You want your boots to keep their shape. The best way to do this is to loosely buckle or tie up the boots when stored.
Store The Boots
The shell and liner can be stored separately. Place the boot liners in a breathable bag or shoe box and keep them in a cool, dry area. We live in a humid climate, and I like adding a silicon packet to the liners to help keep them dry. Keep the shells away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Ski & Snowboard Clothing
Your ski or snowboard clothing should be washed and dried before storing it. Wash outerwear on a gentle cycle and air dry. Make sure to read the care instructions for any specialty items. I use Nikwax tech wash for my ski jacket and pants. It cleans and waterproofs your outerwear, which will help them last longer.
Wipe down the inner and outer shell with a damp cloth. Remove, wash, and air-dry liners before putting them back in the helmet. Finally, store the helmet in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight.
Take the goggles off your helmet to prevent the strap from stretching. Wipe your lenses with a microfiber cloth to remove any smudges. Store the goggles in a protective case or box away from direct heat and sunlight.
I do not recommend washing gloves unless they are a shell with a removable inner liner. More often than not, when you wash gloves, the liner will shrink, or the insulation can start to break down. Wipe gloves with a damp cloth and store your gear in a cool, dry area.
Why should I store my skis properly for the summer?
Storing your skis properly for the summer will extend their life. You spent all that time and money choosing your skis; you should take the time to keep them in good shape.
What is a summer ski tune-up?
A summer ski tune-up is an annual maintenance service that includes cleaning, waxing, and sharpening the skis/snowboard. It also includes a binding inspection and adjustment if needed. This service helps keep your gear in top condition for years.
Where Should I Store My Ski or Snowboard?
Your ski or snowboard should be stored in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. A vertical or horizontal ski rack works well for summer storage. You can also keep your board under your bed or in a closet if you have limited space.
How To Care For Ski Jacket and Trousers (pants)?
Wash your ski jacket and trousers with warm water and mild soap. Make sure to read the care instructions for any specialty items. Nikwax tech wash is a great product that can help keep your outerwear clean, waterproof, and looking new for years.
Should skis be stored vertically or horizontally?
There is some debate about vertical or horizontal storage. I store my skis horizontally, primarily due to the available space. Both methods are acceptable and will help keep your gear in top condition. The one caveat is if you are storing skis vertically, use a rack that does not hold the weight of the skis by pinching the tips. Racks that hold the tips of your skis can cause damage if stored for extended periods.
Can I store skis flat?
Yes, you can store your skis flat.
Should you store skis in a bag?
A bag will keep dust and dirt off when you store your skis, but it is not required. I don’t keep my skis in a bag but have them in a clean space.
Storing your ski and snowboard gear correctly is essential for extending the life of your equipment. Make sure to clean and store your gear in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. With proper care, you can keep your equipment looking new for years.
See you next season!