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5 gear storage tips

You may have been told that slathering on storage wax is the best way to keep your skis and boards in optimal condition in the off season. Not every gear expert agrees.

“I hate that stuff,” says Rich Banach, co-owner of Avalanche Sports in Breck. “God knows what’s in it. It’s almost more trouble to get off than to get on and it makes a big mess.”

While the candle wax-like substance might help keep the structure of your bases from drying out, the more important service to your beloved boards prior to storing them for several months is getting a standard tune up.

Tune it before tucking it away

As Banach point out, “people tend to forget what they’ve done” to their gear at the end of the season. But wouldn’t you rather be pleasantly surprised in November when you pull out your boards smooth and polished with nice sharp edges rather than dull as a spoon with a couple of ugly core shots? There really is no better time to get your gear tuned than right now, at the end of the season.

“It’s nice when you pull them out and they’re ready to go,” Banach says.

Let it dry out

If you’re the type who throws your skis directly into a bag after you’re done on the hill, give it a day or two to breath before abandoning it until next season.

“It’s like anything, if you put it in a Ziplock bag, you’ll see vapor forming from all of the moisture. If you do put it in a bag, let it dry first,” Banach says. “Bindings will hold moisture in cracks and crevices, so they need a little time to dry.”

Store in a dry place

Putting boards under the deck is a terrible idea. If you have a garage, storage locker, basement or even space under your bed, gear stays in much better shape when it hibernates in a dry place with a consistent temperature.

“The bad thing is people store them outside and they get rusty and you see some base degradation. You want to put them in a cool, dry place,” Banach says.

Latch boot buckles, loosen binding springs

On snowboards in particular, some people believe it’s best to ratchet up bindings to the tightest setting, making them compact and tidy before putting them away. Banach says this is a bad idea.

“It is advisable to turn the springs down on your bindings so they’re not engaged for six months. When there’s a constant load on them, they do wear. For ski boots, I would give them one good dry, take the foot beds out and keep the buckles closed to keep the membrane and plastic in check. If you leave them open that could be the kiss of death if the plastic doesn’t close up right.”

Wash your pants

Speaking of unpleasant surprises next season, how about catching a whiff in your boot like something died in it over the summer only to discover a crunchy pair of socks from April? Or opening your spring skiing backpack to the stale funk of your pants and jacket in a wrinkly wad?

“Wash it before you put it away,” Banach says. “It’s been getting wet all winter. If you stick them in a bag after your last day and forget about them, there’s going to be a funk that’s hard to get rid of.”


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