We woke up with snow on the mountains this morning in the French Alps and it’s official, #winteriscoming. If you’ve already binge-watched all the new ski videos out thus far and started to up your cheese intake in preparation for the winter, it’s time to pull your gear out of storage and get it ready for the snow as well.
Here’s a few things you can do to get your gear season-ready.
Pre-Season Ski Gear Prep
Wax those skis!
Wax provides not only speed but also protection for your skis – you can never apply too much. First clean & wipe down your skis to look for problems. Check the tops if anything is starting to peel or come apart, which can be fixed with epoxy. Look for rust and to see if the bases are dry, white or furry. In that case you will need at least a few layers of wax. Wax off first to remove last season’s waxy leftovers and then apply new wax. Don’t skimp! Have a professional sharpen your edges and take care of any major damage to the edges or bases. Not sure where to stay with waxing? Check out our guide on how to wax your skis for everything you need to know about the process.
Get the funk out of your boots
Go ahead and remove the liners & air them out. If they’re stinky you can hand wash the outside of the liner as well as the inside of the hard-shell. Examine the sole of the boot – the heel & toe particularly – for excessive wear. Most boots come with heel & toe pieces that can be replaced. If your boots are quite some years old, it is probably time to invest in new ones. Old boots = brittle plastic = this could be you watching your ski fly down the mountain as the top half of your boot is still on your foot!
Have a pro look at your bindings
Bindings are the piece of gear that should be checked and calibrated by a ski technician as they can lose their strength over the years. The tech will ensure that the bindings are still certified as usable, inspect everything visually including the breaks, and check that it releases properly. While you’re there find out your DIN setting, which is a good point of reference when your bindings need adjusting. This is the standard scale for release settings on your bindings. Factors that go into your DIN setting include age, weight, skill level & type of skier. The higher the number, the tighter the binding will hold.
Re-waterproof those not-so-waterproof-anymore outer layers
After heavy use, waterproof jackets & salopettes lose their effectiveness from dirt and oil breaking down the waterproof coating. If you still love your gear, there is no need buy new stuff, just give it a new waterproof coating. There are both spray-on or wash-in products for this. Nikwax has a variety of spray-on or wash-in for different materials – including your gloves!
Ensure your goggles are goggle-tan ready
The last thing you want on the mountain is to not be able to see properly, so make sure your goggles are in good condition. Check the frame of your goggles and the buckle for any cracks. Also look to see that the foam is still glued in place and hasn’t deteriorated. If the lens is overly scratched, it is best to replace it. Clean off the outside of the lens with a soft cloth. If the inside is dirty, take it off and wash under the sink with a little water and gentle soap then let it air dry.
Protect your noggin’
Inspect your helmet for wear and tear. Check the shell, interior lining and the straps & buckles. Look for cracks, bumps, dents, separation of the shell from the liner, flaking/crumbling of the liner, and fraying or tears in the straps. Depending on how you use your helmet and how much will determine it’s life. If your helmet has taken a significant hit, it is probably best to replace it. When in doubt, buy a new one.
If your gear is fully prepped, get a little inspiration to keep you going until December with these 8 ways to kill time while you await the fall of snow. Know anyone who needs to get their gear prepped for the season? Share this post with them on Facebook.