Summer has finally arrived, and your next ski trip won’t be for a decent amount of months (unless you plan on taking a ski trip to South America this summer!). But there’s something you need to do before you finally embrace the warmer weather and everything it offers: cleaning and storing your gear properly.
Sure, it’s a downer on your to-do list, but you’ll thank yourself later on for finally getting it over with now. And we it gets back to that time of the year, you'll be thankful it was done the right way. A hefty chunk of your paycheck has been invested in your gear so let's not let that go to waste.
Here are a few things you can do to add some years of life to your ski equipment:
Avoid washing too much. Over washing your winter apparel like jackets and jackets will compromise its Durable Water Repellant (DWR) treatment. This will make your apparel less waterproof and defeat the purpose of it as a ski jacket.
Washing it right. Unless your coat’s DWR treatment is already compromised, wash your ski coat in cool water. It's also common practice to use powdered detergent only. Put your coat through two rinse cycles to make sure all that soap residue is gone. Once it’s dry, go over your coat with a cool iron and then it is safe to store away.
The final cleaning before storage. After multiple runs on the slopes, your coat will probably be dirty and drenched in sweat. Washing and drying your gear before it is put away for months at a time will ensure that you won’t be wearing a smelly coat on that first getaway of the season.
Special emphasis for those ski boots. It's pretty common sense that boots are likely to be the most odor-absorbent of all the equipment skiers own. Just because they "seem ok now" doesn't mean they can be tossed into the bin that easily. If you haven't already, loosed those laces and wash out the sweat from in there. Some may even suggest applying an odor eliminating powder or spray, which should also sit in the boots a few hours before putting away.
Don't have to wait to get your skis tuned. Ski shops have all the time in the world come summertime to get your skis sharpened and tuned in time for your next trip. Waiting until the week before you need them makes for an unnecessary hassle.
Wax those skis. Applying a layer of summer wax on your skis can save them from rust that eats through the skis’ edges. Once this happens, there's no way to reverse the damage. Don't let it happen to yours!
Where to store your gear. The basement is probably not the best place to store skis and other equipment. Humidity can cause rusting and mildew build-up. The last thing you’d want is to see your skis rust away before the next season or a new ski jacket with mold stains. Strap your skis together base-to-base and store them somewhere cool, dry and away from the sun. You can place the apparel and accessory items in a bin to keep them dry, also in a cool place out of the sun.
Ski gear doesn't come cheap. And if you don’t plan on buying new equipment every year for your annual ski trip, great care must be taken when cleaning and storing for the off-season. Avoiding these mistakes can ensure use for another season.