Do you want your skiing and snowboarding equipment to be as shiny and smooth as new, no matter how many times you hit the slopes? To avoid snow piling on your equipment while skiing or boarding, to prolong its life and promote a safe and fun experience, proper maintenance is required to tune your equipment. Just don’t take it too far – it’s important to remember that the top of your board or skis should not be as sensitive as the base of it.
Here are our top tips on how to clean your skis and snowboard to look and feel brand new!
Wax on, Wax off
‘Wax on, wax off’ isn’t just advice for the karate kid. A well-executed hot wax will reduce friction, helping your slide faster on the slopes, and it will also preserve your base, keeping your skis or snowboard in peak condition all season long. But, how do you tune and wax them properly?
When you purchase a new pair of skis or a snowboard, it will come with what is called “factory wax” already applied. Icy snow conditions can quickly scrape off a good coat of wax, and if you regularly ride on lots of ice, we recommend waxing your board and skis every few days for maximum performance.
Clean the Base
First things first, clean the base. Take a cloth or damp rag and a base cleaner and rub it into the base. Try to work it into each section of the P-Tex – especially near the edges. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to soak in. Then, wipe it down.
Heat Waxing Iron
Next, heat your waxing iron. Pay close attention to the temperature as each wax has an ideal melting temperature, and you want to try to get your hot iron as close to that mark as possible. The melting temperature of your desired wax will be indicated on the packaging. We recommend a good quality hard wax such as Swix, RaceService1 or Purl Wax.
Rub on the Hot Wax
Melt the end of the wax and rub it on the board. As the tip of the wax cools, continue to touch it to the iron to keep it melted. Cover the surface with globules of melted wax and spread them around using the iron until it is dispersed evenly – don’t forget to spread it right up to the edges. Make sure the covering is good and the layering of wax is even – there should be a thin layer across the entire base.
Let the Wax Cool and Scrape off the Excess
Let it cool down to room temperature. The wax should be cool to the touch before you scrape off the excess. Take your scraper and work your way from tip to tail using a pushing motion. You should scrape down to the base and remove any lingering shreds of wax to make the surface feel nice and smooth.
Use a Brush to Finish
Once the excess wax has been scraped off, use a wax brush, either horsehair or nylon, to put tiny grooves in the wax surface going from tip to tail.
Stop the Rust
Getting rid of the rust on your skiing equipment is very important for maintenance. Luckily, there are ways to remove rust without damaging the skis or snowboard.
Slight rust on your skiing equipment isn’t too much of an issue unless precision edging and maximum speed are your priorities. The most important thing about rust is to not let it damage the edges and compromise the strength of your board or skis. So how to remove it and prevent it from reappearing?
Scrape off the Rust
The easiest way to remove any rust spots is to rub them with a gummy stone – simply rub the diamond stone on the rusty edges. If you don’t have any of those, try out a fine or medium grit sandpaper – it will work the same and it’s cheaper! Remember, untreated burrs invite rust, so it’s important to polish your edges regularly.
Wash with Warm Water
Wash the skis with a mild soap, warm water and a sponge. This removes the rust flakes, dirt and grime.
Dry off Thoroughly
Dry off your skis or snowboard after every use, especially the edges. Don’t leave your equipment outside in the snow, even if you go inside for two hours.
Prepare the Edges for the Offseason
As much as we all hate it, at some point, we have to put our skiing and snowboard equipment away for the offseason. Usually, at the end of the season, the snow is slushy and water sits on the edges of your ski or snowboard more than usual, especially if you transport your equipment on a ski rack. It’s super important to clean the rust off your edges at the end of the season before it’s stored away for the summer.
And to ensure your board or skis don’t collect any new rust while they’re in storage, dry them completely, melt a thick coat of wax on the edges and don’t scrape it off until the next season. It’s as simple as that! Long live your equipment!
You may also like: 7 DIY Steps for End-of-Season Ski Maintenance
Of course, if tuning your skis and board at the end of a session on the slopes sounds like too much effort for you, you can always rent skis from us. It’s stress-free and a low-cost option.