Come to think of it, how are your skis and ski gear doing now that the snow has melted? Did you throw them into the basement or storeroom right after the season’s last run where they are waiting for the snow to fall? This is how you can show your gear some love before Åre 2019 – our experts share their best tips!
Skis and boots
If your skis spend the summer dirty and unwaxed they will dry out and lose their glide. Just an afternoon will be enough to take care of them and ensure speedy skis next season. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, check out the closest ski store near you and ask them to help.
– The most important thing is to wax your skis with a paraffin wax so that the base gets a protective layer. Some say it should be a wax for warm conditions but you can as well use on what you wax with in the winter, although not perhaps the one for the coldest weather (-10 C or lower), said Håkan Johansson at Verkstan in Åre, who is part of the service staff of the Swedish national team.
Begin with scraping the edges so that they are ready for the coming season’s first run and clean the base. If you skied much during the spring season, there can be quite some dirt stuck on the base so it is important to remove that.
– You can even use some wax remover to clean the worst dirt and then brush with a brass brush.
Continue with removing wax from the edges. There are different opinions about this but Håkan Johansson is of the opinion it can be harmful.
– Not scraping the wax off the edges can lead to corrosion.
After brushing the skis, wax them again with a wax that is not scraped off. The idea is that leaving the wax on the skis will hydrate and protect them over the summer.
Some make sure the bindings are open to reduce the tension on the skis compared to the winter but most modern bindings do not require that. They are relatively compact constructions and are typically not susceptible to corrosion either, noted Håkan Johansson. The boots however need some care.
– Make sure that the liners are not bent and buckle up the boots so that they keep the form they are supposed to have. You can also take out the liners to make sure they dry out but that may not be necessary, Johansson suggested.
Tip: Store your skis waxed and ideally horizontally in a dark space.
Ski clothing with water resistant qualities or impregnation keeps you dry. Many believe that you should not wash such garments but the opposite is true. Dirt diminishes the water repellent qualities so the recommendation is to wash before storing for the summer.
– Best would be to use a laundry detergent specially made for water resistant or impregnated garments but any liquid laundry detergent works as well. Just do not use washing powder. The special detergents are gentler and that helps prolong the garments’ lifetime which is what we all want, says Anders Olsson, store manager at Haglöfs in Åre.
Sport stores offer a large selection of options and we recommend picking the environment friendly ones. Follow the instructions on the packaging and on your garment and make sure to wash your functional clothing separately.
Waterproof or water repellent clothing is best warmed up after washing. Warmth reactivates the water proof qualities so try throwing your gear into a dryer or dry closet at a low heat to avoid getting wet next winter.
– Remember to keep the heat low. It helps recreate the water repellent qualities of the outer shell. After a few rounds of washing they will need to be impregnated again but warmth helps keep them in shape.
Tip: Never use softener or washing powder; they destroy the water repellent qualities.
Wool and down
Wool is a great material because it retains its warmth even when wet. Instead of washing wool after each use it is mostly enough to just air the garment afterwards. However, washing after the season makes sense. Use a wool detergent or mild soap and hand wash, but no softener!
Down has an exceptionally long life-time and garments remain warm and nice as long the down does not get lumpy. Ideally you do not wash in the machine but rather the same way you wash wool. In case you have stains that need real washing, use a proper down detergent and dry carefully.
– I always put a tennis ball in the dryer when I dry my down because otherwise the down will lump together. Store down garments hanging and ideally in a clothing sack. The main thing is that they are not kept pressed together but rather may hang and regain their fluffiness.
Leather garments such as gloves need to be oiled in order for them to remain soft and retain their water repellent qualities. There is special leather soap for washing purposes that you can use before treatment. Use leather crème or other impregnating oils such as wax and hand apply. The warmth of your hands helps suck in the crème or oil. Alternatively use a hair dryer to warm up the garment before applying.
NOW you are ready to enjoy the summer until it is time to take the first turns of the winter!