Sunday, March 21, 2010

The end is near.

I'm afraid it's just about that time. Ski season is definitely winding down here in Vermont. Bare patches are starting to appear on the slopes, and conditions are gloopy by noon. Yesterday I saw flowers blooming outside my favorite bookstore, Northshire Books in Manchester, VT (where, BTW, you can still order signed copies of my book, DOUBLE BLACK: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY. Just go here.).  And the snow has nearly disappeared from my front yard.

So it's just about time to address the question: what do you do with your skis during the off season?  Do you put them in your garage? Stow them under the bed? Hide them in the attic?

To keep your skis in the best possible conditions, there are a few measures you should take when you put them away for the season:

  • Clean your bases to remove any old, hard wax, make sure they're completely dry, and then cover them with a heavy coat of wax so they don't dry out over the summer. If you don't want to do it yourself, find a ski shop that will do it for you.
  • Avoid storing them in any environment that experiences temperature extremes and moisture, like an attic, basement, or garage. Instead, put them some place where the temperature is fairly constant.
  • Separate your skis, but don't lay them flat. And this is very important: Do not bind them closed with the camber compressed.
  • Be sure they are not in contact with a concrete floor because there can be a reaction between the chemicals in concrete and the aluminum in skis.
  • Lock the heel of the binding in the up position and lower the release setting to the lowest setting. This will take the tension off the springs in the binding and allow it to recover from the stress of a season's use.
  • Store your boots with the buckles closed. Plastic has a memory, so this is important to help them retain their original shape. 
  • Make sure your boots are completely dry, then stuff them with paper towels. This will prevent mice or spiders from using them as a summer home.
Even after I've put my skis away, I'll still be thinking about skiing all summer.  If you're a woman, you can join the rest of us ski addicts who talk about skiing all year long at TheSkiDiva.com.


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