Time to Switch Gear

Yes, it’s snowing this morning up at Jay Peak. But I’m not at Jay, I’m several hundreds of miles south along the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Much as I hate to admit it, I am thinking of putting away the skis for this year. Time to ready kayaks, tennis rackets, fly rods, road bike, and the other gear that will get me through the summer.

As tempting as it is to simply shut the closet door and banish the skis to darkness in the corner for the next seven months, I know I need to give them the treatment they deserve before their hibernation settles in. That means repair the base, hone the edges, and lay down a coat of wax.


For you do-it-yourselfers, be sure you sharpen the edges BEFORE you lay the wax down. Sure, you can do the edges in the fall when you peel off the wax, put you will clog up your files with wax. Do them now to work out any burrs and little splotches of rust.

If took one of my waxing clinics and are set up only to wax the base, no worries. Bring your skis or your board in to Avie’s and we can repair and resurface the base, and sharpen edges. Then you can lay on your summer wax. If you can, lay down a coat of red or yellow wax, then peel if off after it sets but isn’t really hardened fully. This will pull out a lot of dirt that is a common woe of spring skiing and riding. You will know I am right when you see the wax coming off is kind of blackish-grey. Yuck! Then lay down your finish wax on the base, rub a healthy amount onto the edges, and settle your skis or board in a dry, dark spot for it’s warm weather rest.

If you were unfortunate enough to not have taken part of an Avie’s tuning clinic, then bring in your skis or board and ask to get them “summerized.” We will take care of all the tuning they deserve. All you need do is bring them back in the fall to have the wax pulled off and the base buffed out.

Sure, you can toss your skis or board into a corner and “fawgetabowdit” until the snow flies. And if you want to age your gear prematurely, that’s a fantastic way to do it! Great job!

But each time you do that, the base dries out more so it doesn’t hold wax very well, and you go slower on the slopes. And the edges get more rusted and pitted, and we have to grind away more of the metal, lessening their lifespan and getting them closer to the point of failure in a turn.

If you have just bought new skis or snowboard in the past year or so, we highly recommend you “summerize” them so they stay as near to new as possible. Your gear will last longer, perform better, and if you intend to sell them at some point, they will hold their value better.

Today the wind is howling. Too much for a kayak and still too chilly for me to want to be on the road bike. The thought of snow makes a strong pull. Killington is still open. In fact it’s snowing there as well, and with 85 trails still open. Maybe I can sneak up this week for a day or two more in the snow. Yes, my addiction is bad.

Regardless when you hang up your skis or board for the season, when you do, “summerize” it.