take care of your gear and it will take care of you
It’s easy to forget about your gear once the day is done. And even easier when the season is done. Toss it in a corner and “fawgetabowdit.”
That’s certainly the easiest way, but certainly not the best. Come the following season, you get face-to-face with some nasty looking stuff. Rust flecked, spider-ridden, dirty, oxidized stuff that kinda resembles your skis or your snowboard. That stench? The wet boots you tossed in the basement closet last spring. Seriously, do you really want to be living this paragraph this coming season?
Gear Upkeep Basics
A little effort on your part over the course of the season can pay huge dividends. First off, your gear stays in better condition so it holds better value should you ever decide to part with it. And if you don’t, maintaining your gear will pay you back with more fun slope side. Here’s a few tips.
At Day’s End:
- Dry your skis or snowboard with a clean cloth to remove excess water, then let them air dry in an open space.
- Take a diamond stone file and lightly run it up and down the base and side edges to buff the metal and add a bit more sharpness.
- Pull the liner out of your boots, remove the footbeds, then let air dry in a warm, open space.
Every Few Weeks:
- Take a diamond stone file and hone the edges using an edge guide. Do this earlier if an edge has encountered a rock or other entity that ruins your perfect edge.
- Wipe down the ski or snowboard base with a Scotch-Brite or similar scouring pad to refresh the surface. Then give the base a fresh coat of wax. Do this earlier if the base looks whitish or grayish in color, or is simply not feeling as “slick” or is slow on the snow.
At Seasons End:
- Take a diamond stone file and hone the edges using an edge guide.
- Wipe down the base with a Scotch-Brite or similar scouring pad to refresh the surface.
- If DIY, wax the base. DO NOT scrape or brush. Take the wax block and run it down the side edges, covering all exposed metal with a thin layer of wax. Store in a cool, dry, dark space for the summer. At start of the season, scrape and brush to a high luster. You are ready to start the ski and ride season!
- If not DIY, bring skis or snowboard to Avie’s Ski / Sports and ask for a “summerize” package.
Do It Yourself? or Do It At Avie’s?
Do it at Avie’s. The easy way to accomplish tuning and waxing is to simply bring your gear to Avie’s Ski / Sports and let trained technicians handle the task. You can however, do most everything yourself, and do it better.
Do you like to tinker? Do you want to tweak your day on the slopes to maximum level of fun? If Yes—Avie’s Ski / Sports has the SWIX products you need to keep your skis or snowboard in tip top slope shredding shape.
SWIX Care Center
Do it yourself. You can customize your tuning to fit your preferences and your style of skiing or riding. For instance, set a different edge angle to increase the “bite” so that you hold better through the turns on ice and crust. Or customize the blend of wax you put on the base to better match conditions so you glide easier, faster. Especially if you race.
You need some wax. Avie’s Ski / Sports carries two permutations of wax—SWIX CH and SWIX LF. CH is a good basic wax. Start with CH and get your base all slicked up and perfect. Then, if you dare, apply the LF and ZOOOOOOM you go. There are no slow runouts when you use a SWIX LF wax. Each wax comes in various colors. Avie’s Ski / Sports carries SWIX Blue, Purple, Red, and Yellow. Each wax is best for a given temperature. Use them straight, or blend various combinations to make your own secret potion.
You need a few tools. A waxing iron, a pair of ski brakes (don’t need these if you have a snowboard), a vise to hold everything steady while you work. Avie’s Ski / Sports has a basic waxing iron and some basic vise sets. You can get by with a pair of saw horses and some hand clamps, but it’s a bit more challenging and not as elegant as using a vise. But it can be done.
You need a plastic scraper—Avie’s has them—to remove the wax you ironed onto the ski. You also need a brush, maybe two if you feel extravagant. Avie’s also has brushes, used to buff and polish the base. We recommend the square 2-in-1 bronze/nylon as a starter. If you get to the point you are doing many skis and/or snowboards, a larger oval brush will speed things along tremendously. The bronze brush is used first, right after scraping. Followed by the nylon to polish the base to a super slick, super fast finish. It’s a thing of beauty when done. Seriously
It’s not hard. It’s not expensive. And it’s not complicated. If you want to venture into the alchemy of tuning and waxing your own gear, Avie’s offers tuning clinics. Trained technicians take you step-by-step through the process. Once each season a tuning pro from SWIX does a clinic at Avie’s. We post announcements for clinics to the Avie’s BLOG and to Facebook, or simply check at the shop. Avie’s staff will help you one-on-one to answer questions and get you set up to take care of your gear.
Does your Do-It-Yourself crazy side still want more? Then maybe you want to learn how to keep the edges on your skis or snowboard nice and sharp. Why? Because sharp edges help get into the turns quickly, then hold the turn—tenaciously—even on crust and ice. All you need is a diamond file and a edge sharpening guide. Avie’s Ski / Sports has them both.
Check out the links below to get started in making your gear last longer, perform better.
The three PDF brochures will get you started. Then check out this SWIX School link, which will give you the world of tuning, in spades. Also check out this Youtube clip—nice, easy “how to” for waxing, or visit this Toko site for more tuning and waxing videos.
|Ski & Snowboard Care||Care for your NEW skis||Waxing How-To|
Have a tuning or maintenance question? Need help figuring out a dilemma? Want advice on something technical? Need a special tool? Send your query to: email@example.com