|Are you ready for ski season?
CC Photo: KXCD
Are you just finding time to get out on the slopes now that the holidays are over? Get caught up with the rest of the ski world with these tips.
Time to ski again? Before you head out, check your gear to see if any tuning or replacement needs to be done before hitting the slopes. Here is the process I went through in preparing for this winter:
I am not sure if anyone else finds it as painful to wear ski boots as I do (I can barely wear heels!), but I have really been focusing on trying to get the boots as comfortable as possible. After talking to my local ski shop, I decided to invest in a pair of custom insoles for my boots. They aren’t cheap! However, most pro and serious skiers use them and they can make all the difference in performance.
Additionally, many boots have extra holes to which buckle ladders (the notched metal latches) can be moved if you find your boots have too tight or loose a fit.
After getting fitted for insoles and adjusting my latch system, my boots were good to go.
Next came the skis. It’s good practice to do a visual inspection of your edges for rust and tuning, as well as checking your bases to see if there are any nicks or scratches you need to repair. If there is minor damage (e.g. the core of your skis is not showing), you can do repairs at home using P-tex. Anything more serious requires baseweld and, if you’re not experienced in these types of repairs, should be taken to a shop to prevent moisture from damaging your skis.
To protect my bases during storage over the summer, I applied a thick coat of wax which helped in keeping them hydrated. Luckily, after a visual inspection this year, all I needed to get my skis ready for the winter was to scrape off that extra storage wax.
Next, I think about any clothing I might need to upgrade or replace. After climbing Mt. Adams in July and glissading 2,000+ feet in my soft shell pants, I decided to retire the soft shell pants and opted for a new waterproof pair — a decision that has already come in handy with the heavy snow we ski here in the Pacific Northwest. During your inspection, look for holes, tears or worn-out waterproofing and either repair the item or replace it.
Tip: In repairs, never be afraid to use the standby ski bum fix: duct-tape!
Season-long Ski Upkeep:
After a few times on the slopes, I take my skis into a shop to get them tuned up again. Then, throughout the season, I’ll wax my skis to prevent them from drying out (a grayish color on the base is indicative of dryness). If you aren’t familiar with waxing your own skis, I highly recommend going to a workshop and learning. As long as you have a place to do it at home (a tiled kitchen floor works), it can save lots of money and is not as hard as one may think!
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Got any tips for getting ready for the slopes? Share them in the comments!
About the author:
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