With the new ski season on the horizon, we thought it would be a good idea to look at just how best to care of your skis. Good quality skis are an investment and, without appropriate care and attention, they can quickly deteriorate, which can seriously affect how well they perform. The good news is there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your skis will stay in tip top condition.
So, to find out what you can do to remedy any damage from incorrect summer storage and to see how you should pack them away at the end of this season, we had a chat with ski technician expert Jock Dun at Snowberry in Val d’Isere.
Voted the best rental shop in Europe by the Hardy Ski & Snowboard Awards, Snowberry is not your average ski hire shop. Fully independent and with their own on-site workshop, combined with a wealth of expertise, make them the ‘go to’ people for quality ski hire and ski servicing, and Jock (as the man behind Snowberry) is the perfect person to answer our questions:
- What should you check your skis for before heading on holiday this year?
If you have had your skis serviced at the end of your last holiday and kept them in a nice dry place since, they should be ready to go for your next trip. If not though, look out especially for rusted edges - very common if your skis have been left in a damp garage - or dried out bases if the skis have been stored unprotected somewhere too warm. Rusty edges are pretty obvious as are the problems they cause when you're skiing. A dry base is harder to spot if you don't know what you're looking for but stops the skis gliding smoothly on the snow and makes them slow and sticky. A dry base looks slightly greyish white in colour rather than a nice shiny black, and has a "furry" appearance.
Left - Rusted ski edges / Right - A dry ski base
- Is it worth getting skis serviced at the beginning of the season?
Ideally you should get your skis serviced on the last day of your last holiday, ask the shop to leave on a nice thick layer of storage wax which will prevent the bases from drying out or the edges from rusting over the summer. At the start of your next holiday you can either drop into a shop and ask them to scrape the storage wax off, or just ski it off over a couple of runs.
- After a day on the slopes, do skis need any attention?
There's not really anything that you need to do to your skis every evening on a regular basis but when you come down from the last run of the day just have a quick look at the bases to see if there are any gouges or holes and run your hand down the edges to make sure they are still smooth and sharp. Gouges or holes close to the edge, even if they're quite small, should be fixed straight away, as if you catch the ski again you can totally pull the edge out. Burrs on the edge will make the skis grabby and should be smoothed off to make the edge sharp and clean again. All of this can be done overnight in a professional ski shop and your skis will be ready to go first thing in the morning.
- What about boots, do you have any advice for these?
You would be surprised how many people we see who all of a sudden can't get their boots on in the morning, when they fitted perfectly fine the night before! At the end of each day when you take your boots off, put the tongue back in properly and clip them up loosely to keep the shell in shape. And while it might sound obvious, don't leave your boots in the car or outside on the balcony overnight - in the morning they will be freezing cold, rock solid and impossible to get on! Keep them somewhere warm, but at the same time away from direct heat. If you are lucky your chalet will have a boot heater. You may also want to take the liners out if they are very damp to allow them to dry overnight. Warm, dry boots are a lot easier to put on and a lot more comfortable to ski in.
Where possible always store your boots on a dedicated boot heater overnight ready for use the next day.
So, if you haven’t already, there is time to get your skis out of storage and check their condition now. If you are heading to Val d’Isere this season and would like more information on hiring skis then we would suggest to head to www.snowberry-valdisere.com or contact our concierge team on +44 1993 899 420 who can make arrangements for you. Or click here to contact us online.