Ski Maintenance Guide

Everyone who has a pair of their own skis knows the importance of maintenance in order to preserve skis from damage and to prolong their lifetime. 

Regular maintenance is an integral part of the skiing experience. Without regularly scheduled tune-ups, skis can become hazardous to use.

Skis are complex machines that need regular upkeep in order to operate safely and efficiently.

Summer Storage, Winter Courage

You have been in the snow, you like it, you are becoming regular in the snow, you even like to go ski shops, just for fun.

The next step is buying your own pair of new skis. 

As expensive as they might look, if you are regular at ski resorts, this will be a good investment. Not only that you will save up some cash, but you will have skis that completely suit you and with the right and regular care, they will be in much better shape than those rented skis.

in-season ski care

When you have your own pair of skis it is highly important to take regular and detailed care of your skis.

That means maintaining them on a daily basis as well as on a season basis. 

To keep your skis clean and safe you will need some basic equipment. Everything you need, you can find at a ski shop.

You will need to look for: true bar, base flattener, steel scraper, structure tool, diamond stone, edge bevel tool, file, file brush, ceramic stone, steel brush, hot wax,  wax iron, ski wax, plastic scraper, wax brush, ski straps, etc. 

Now when you have everything you need to maintain your skis, let go through this simple guide and see what you need to know in order to keep your ski set nice and wholesome. Are you ready to increase your skill level in ski equipment maintenance? Keep reading!

The Basics of Ski Maintenance

Be sure to go through full service at least at the beginning of every season. But you will also have to take care of your skis during the ski season, in order to minimize your trips to the ski shop. 

The more you ski, the more ski tuning you will have to do.  This includes repairing,  sharpening the edges, stone grinding the base, waxing, and having your bindings checked by a trained technician to ensure safety. There are tips on what to look for in your skies.

When taking care of your skis, first you have to do the inspection. Inspect ski bases for any damages, and see if they need waxing. Check if the edge material is blunt and needs sharpening. Also, look if there is any damage at the crossing of the edge to the sidewall.  Look carefully for any minor scrapes,  cracks, flaws, seams, etc. 

Maintenance During the Ski Season

Sticky snow buildup is not your friend. It can cause you to be less agile on the slopes, and more susceptible to falls. There are many benefits to wiping down your skis after each use. You can strengthen the base of the ski by rubbing it with a cloth, which will also remove any wax residue.

If you go through the edges and feel some minor bums, they are probably made from small rocks. Use diamond stone to make imperfections go away. 

ski care

The next step is hot wax. This step is not necessary after every time you go skiing, but it is recommended to do hot waxing every few days. Use paste wax and waxing iron to do it properly, wipe off any of the remaining wax. Make sure there is no excess wax after you are done. 

One last step is sharpening the edges. This too isn’t necessary after every ski use. The frequency of ski sharpening depends on the frequency of skiing and the type of snow. If there is icy snow your skis will go dull much faster than it is powder snow.  

Ski Care After Season

For your skis to last for many years it is highly important to store skis properly. There are a few things to do before you call it the end of the season. 

First, clean them properly, dry them, and wax them. It is a good idea to apply a thick coat of wax on your skis before storing them since it will protect them from elements. 

Take the pressure of springs by adjusting bindings.

Storing your Skis

Make sure you store skis in a dry, cool place, away from any sunlight. Avoid storing them in basements, or garages, since the air there is very humid which can damage skis. This way they will be ready anytime for the next season. 

To Wrap Things Up

Taking care of your skis in the season is as important as taking care of them after the season. Everything you need for skis, you can find in a ski shop. Most important is to keep your skis dry when not in the trace, keep your skis sharp (snow can really blunt them), and apply ski wax every few days. In the season it is best to use hot wax. After the season, you need to clean the skis, even the edges, and apply a coat of wax in order to save base structure over the summer. 

Frequently Asked Questions, Answered

How often should I service my skis?

Ski service can be quite complex. Ski service implies tuning, base preparation, edge tuning, waxing' If the skis are to be used on the slope the grinding is carried out. If you are skiing on your own skis, take them to the ski school for a post-holiday check before starting the next season.

Your ski should be checked regularly, to make sure it is developing its maximum performance.

How do I know if my skis need tuning?

Properly tuned skis will make the difference between an average day on the slopes and a wondrous day. If your skis are unpredictable, hard to control, or tend to get caught up on snow then you should look into having them professionally tuned.

Can rusty skis be fixed?

how to maintain your skis

Rusty skis can be fixed. The first step would be to find out the reason your skis are rusty.

There are different types of rust and removing each of them can be done in different ways. Rust can be either rusted by water, or by oxygen. 

You can easily determine why your skis are rusty by observing them and trying to figure out what could have caused it. If your skis were rusty by water, you can easily and easily remove rust and oxidation and restore your skis' original shape using various household chemicals. Basically, rust is a type of iron, so if you remove rust, you will be able to remove rust and restore the original iron.

How many times can you sharpen skis?

This is a question of geometry. There are several sharpening tools used on different types of edges. The two main edges are edge angles and profile shapes. Edges can be sharpened over and over. However, the edge will become thinner each time the edge is sharpened. The term tolerance is used to indicate how much an edge can get thinner before the ski becomes uncomfortable to use.

Are 10-year-old skis still good?

The longevity of skis varies from how much you ski, how often you ski, what you ski, and how you take care of them. New technology has a tendency to make skis last longer because you don't have to tune them as often or wax them as much.

What do you ski on? If you have a brand new pair of skis, there's a lot more to break them in. If you ski a lot, you will probably want to get a new pair of skis every year or two. If you ski a little, then you will probably be able to get 3-4 years out of a pair of skis.

Do brand new skis need to be waxed?

When they are really new, you should wax them. You can use special wax meant for skis, not for any other surfaces, which is not the same as the one for ski boots. Moreover, it is recommended to go to specialist shops. On the other hand, you can do it yourself. You need special hot wax (which you can find easily, I must say), a small soft brush, cloth to polish the ski surface, solvent to remove old wax.

What happens if you don't tune skis?

Nothing happens if you don't tune them except the skis don't perform as well as they could. There are various ways to tune skis, but the most common way is to turn the edges. Obviously, you do not want to sharpen them with a grinder, but that is another story. 

A variety of sharpening tools are available ranging from simple pocket knife sharpeners to more elegant sharpening stones. They all do the job, so you do need to spend a lot of money on a sophisticated tool. The basics are to have the ski on edge with the ski boot tuck so the tuck is loaded. Then, with a sharp object put an edge on the ski by shaving the edges.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the ski and snowboard space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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