We all know about preparing our skis for the ski season, but what about the end of the season? If you plan on using those same skis and other gear next season, taking the right steps before you put them away can guarantee a better experience to start another season.

Dave Irons, Ski Columnist

For skiing, we make sure the bases of our skis are well-saturated with wax. This is not just so they will slide easily, although that is a benefit. The base material is porous and the wax is a protective sealer. It’s even more important in summer. Without the protection of wax, the base can actually deteriorate.

Hopefully your skis are properly tuned, with the correct edge geometry and smooth sharp edges. Flushing the bindings with water will take care of that vital part of your equipment. Next, use a citrus-based cleaner to clean the bases of the skis. Once dry, iron in a coat of universal ski wax, but unlike waxing for skiing, don’t scrape the wax, leave it to protect the base over the summer.

Store the skis in a cool, dry place, not standing on a concrete floor. I stand mine between the studs of an unfinished wall in the basement. They are standing on the wood plate and out of the way.

Whether you have only a single pair or a quiver with several pair, each should have the same treatment for summer storage. If properly tuned, all that will be needed in the fall is to heat the wax with an iron and scrape to be ready for skiing.

Next and critically important, come the boots. If you ski late into spring, the boot liners can be wet from perspiration after a warm day. Remove the liners from the shells and dry them thoroughly. Once dry, replace the liners in the boots and buckle them as you would for skiing. Store them in a cool, dry place out of the sun. Sunlight can actually damage the plastic.

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Poles should be hung. I happen to have a wall of old skis in my office and poles are simply hung from the tips.

Take these simple steps and your gear will be ready for the new season in the fall.

I didn’t make it up to Sugarloaf for the Nationals, probably the first I have missed. But it was good to see that after some ups and downs with the weather, they did get in the downhills and as expected, the U.S. Ski Team did very well, with Jared Goldberg winning his third straight. And Sugarloaf and CVA’s Sam Morse was fourth.

Spring is always tricky, especially for the speed events. A firm track is desirable, and snow softened by warm temperatures can be not only difficult, but dangerous at 80-plus mph. That the speed events were held is a tribute to the groomers and course workers at Sugarloaf. That team is one of the reasons the U.S. Ski Team is always happy to have these championships here in Maine. You can still see some great racing next week at the slalom and GS races.

There is still plenty of skiing ahead, with the bigger areas easily skiing through Easter before you have to prep those skis for storage.

See you on the slopes.

Dave Irons is a freelance writer and columnist who hails from Westbrook. He has been contributing to the Sun Journal for many years and is among the most respected ski writers in the Northeast. He also is a member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Write to him at [email protected]


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