Preparing Your Gear for Ski and Ride Season

Posted on Dec. 2, 2022

Friends enjoy a freshly groomed trail in Crested Butte, CO.

So your skis were sitting in storage gathering cobwebs all summer? If you’re preparing to hit the slopes for the first time this winter, you'll want to check your equipment and make sure it’s in good working order before that first chair. Below are a few ways to make sure your gear is in the best condition possible to shred.

And if it all sounds like a lot of work, time and equipment? We have a tune & repair shop at the Crested Butte Rental and Demo Center in the base area. Give us a call at (970) 349-2241 or bring in your equipment and let our team get you ready to take on the season!

1. Wax your skis/snowboard

If the base of your ski or snowboard setup is white and dry-looking (...and when it hasn’t been used in a while, it usually is), it’s time for a wax. Waxing your setup helps you maintain speed and stay on top of the snow. It's a messy process, so choose your space and attire accordingly!

Skiers will start by looping a strong rubber band around the brake arms and over the heel of their bindings. Place the skis, base-side up, on a sturdy surface. A work bench is ideal, and vices or blocks can come in handy for support. Clean the skis or snowboard by dripping a layer of melted wax along the bottom, let it dry for five minutes, then scrape it off.

Now you’re ready to hot wax. Drip wax along the base of the skis, and use a wax iron to spread it around. Let the wax cool completely. This can take up to 30 minutes. Then, using a scraper, push from tip to tail to remove the wax, repeating the process until most of the wax is removed. Under-scraping is much more common than over-scraping, so when in doubt, give it another scrape-down.

Note: Always work from tip to tail.

2. Check your edges

Crested Butte has a lot of steep trails that require quick cuts and maneuvers. To ski the steeps successfully, you need sharp edges! Look closely for rust and burrs, or small divots, along the sides of your skis or snowboard. You can smooth out small nicks and remove minor rust by running a diamond stone softly along the edges. For bigger problem areas, you’ll want to take your equipment to a ski shop.

Remember: Always work from tip to tail.

3. Inspect your boots & bindings

It’s just a fact: bugs like boots! Especially if you've been storing your ski gear in a dark crawl space, shed or garage, it’s possible a critter has taken up residence inside your ski boot to escape the cold. Remove your liners, check inside, and make sure everything looks as it should. Check the heel and toe pieces for excessive wear and tear, too. Often, those parts are replaceable.

Don't forget to put the boots on! You never know how your feet may have changed in the off-season. Make sure they still feel comfortable, and clip into your bindings a few times so that there are no surprises on day one.

 

Now that your equipment is tuned, you're ready to ski and ride. We'll see you on the mountain!