The Ultimate Guide to Get Your Ski Gear Ready for the Season

skiing BarrieIt’s been a whole year. You’ve waited patiently, stayed in shape and planned out the entire season. Before you head to the top ski hills in Ontario, there’s only one thing left to do.

Just putting your ski equipment away and slapping it on at the first opportunity a year later is a little reckless. At the end of every season the slopes take their toll and it’s only a matter of time before you’re looking at expensive repairs.

Worse still, your safety could be at stake. Even though you may be overwhelmed with wanting to get back into the swing of things it’s best to make sure all your gear is in good condition. Read on for a simple guide to getting your equipment ready for the season.

Maintenance Check

First thing’s first: We need to have a look at all your gear to make sure its ready to take on ski hills in Ontario. The best way to do this is to survey the damage or wear and tear from last year’s season.

We should do this one piece of equipment at a time:

1. Skis

The Base – The base of your skis is the part that touches the snow and the one probably most worn out. If it looks scratched, scuffed, and doesn’t look shiny and feel smooth then it might be time for a new coat of wax or visit to the shop.

· The Top – The top sheet of your skis is vulnerable too. Get any damage here repaired quickly as it affects the structure and isn’t easily fixed.

· The Edge – Your edges can take as much damage as the base and it’s important that they stay in great condition. The edges of your skis will contribute to how well you handle and turn. Feel them gently and watch out for chips bumps or anything that doesn’t feel smooth.

· The Tip – Your skis can take quite the beating and if struck the wrong way they may come apart. Look at the tip to see if they aren’t laminated anymore. This problem is time sensitive so the second you see it start to happen get it looked at.

2. Bindings / Boots

· Your Boots – Your boots can take as much regular damage as your skis and though they may seem like they’ll last forever, they degrade all the same. If the bases are damaged or there are any broken buckles make sure to get them looked at. You can kill two birds with one stone by getting your skis looked at as well.

· Bindings – These are all about the feel. If it seems like they don’t hold you as firmly as they used to or they look different from one another they may be due for an inspection. Bad bindings can lead to an unexpected release and make staying attached to your skis a lot harder.

Tuning & Prep

Your skis are kind of like an instrument. Tuning is all about performance and they can drastically improve how you handle on the snow.

The first thing to do is get some tuning equipment.

For your base you’ll want base cleaner, base wax and a base repair candle. You’ll also need a deburring pad.

For filing you’ll need a 8-10 inch ski mill bastard file and some file cleaner to go along with it. One steel and one plastic scraper round out the kit.

Before starting, clean everything and make sure your skis are secured tight with clamps. Make sure to remove any older wax from your ski bases as well.

Base and Edges

Having already removed the wax, make sure to go by for a second pass and remove anything else with your scrapers. Identify any gouges on your base and clean them thoroughly. Light your base repair candle until the flame is blue and drip it over the gouge. Make sure to fill it well. Even any overflowing wax with your scraper.

Edges are a little different. Use your file and deburring pad to sand down the chips or irregularities in the curve. If something seems too damaged or you see the layers coming apart you should leave it for the repair shop to handle.

Sharpening

Take the file and begin to work the skis from the front to the tail. Make sure to remember that the file only cuts in one direction. The goal here is to make the base flush with the edges. Once you’re done, use the file on the sides of the ski at a 90-degree angle.

Make sure to round off the edges at a 45-degree angle. These are skis, not skates. You want the ski to be able to glide smoothly across the snow.

Waxing

Hot wax is what makes your skis feel smooth. Liquid wax is no substitute to a good hot wax. Make sure the base is cleaned and deburred from the sharpening.

Take your iron and set it to the temperature appropriate for your selected wax. Drip it onto the base but don’t use too much. Press the iron against the wax drops that have fallen onto the base. Keep the iron in motion until the wax looks like a layer of liquid over the surface.

20-30 minutes later, once the wax dries, scrape off the excess with your plastic scraper.

The Final Check

From tip to tail you’ve gotten your ski in amazing condition. Check your bindings and make sure they have a firm grip and don’t release early. You’re now ready to start your season.

Don’t feel pressured to fix everything yourself though. Bring your gear to the pro if you don’t want to do it yourself. At Mount St. Louis Moonstone, we have a Pro Shop at the Rental Fleet that will take good care of your gear. Full Ski Tune-up is available at $34.95. Members to Mount St. Louis Moonstone can enjoy a discount on our Pro Shop services.

It’s important to stress that skis are complicated, expensive and should be looked after constantly. The last thing you want to do is wait a year, only to find out you can’t ski because your gear has fallen apart. By following the steps above your skis will last for years.

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