Anyone who's ever skied on improperly waxed skis will recognise the importance of keeping your skis maintained. In addition to preserving your gear, tuned skis help your grip and help you slide better, letting you ski to the fullest of your abilities. Taking your skis in to get tuned professionally can be expensive, so some people prefer to wax them at home.
The main reason for waxing your skis and sharpening the edges is to help you ski better. Sharpened edges and the right wax for the snow conditions can make the difference between skiing leisurely down, and skidding all over the place. Regular tuning also helps prevent your skis from drying out and stops rust forming along the edges. With proper maintenance, your skis will last much longer!
What exactly do we mean when we say you should tune your skis "regularly"? This largely depends on how often you go skiing. If you spend a week on your skis each winter, it's enough to get your skis tuned once at the start of ski season and once at the end. That's right - even after your last ski day of the season, it's smart to double-check your skis and leave them in top condition for the long summer months. Some people even use special "summer wax" to prevent the wood from drying out, and DEFINITELY dry the edges before storing them away unless you want rust! If you plan to ski both in early and spring season, you may need to change the type of wax on your skis. Wax acts differently according to the temperature and the type of snow, and slushy spring snow requires a wax for warm weather that will help you glide smoothly instead of getting stuck in the heavy snow.
The equipment you'll need to tune your skis at home can cost upwards of 200 pounds, and it's a complicated process that's best learnt through a professional course. This means you'd need to wax your own skis at least 5 or 6 years in a row for it to pay off - but it's always nice to have the knowledge and equipment to care for your own gear! Alternately, you can learn how to wax your skis and only take them in to get the edges sharpened. Ski wax is readily available from most sports stores or online, and it doesn't require the technical expertise or equipment that sharpening does. We recommend getting eco-friendly ski wax, which is healthier for you and for the environment.
Taking proper care of your skis during your ski holiday can go a long way toward keeping them in top condition. At the end of the day, take them apart, scrape off any excess snow and wipe them dry instead of leaving them wet in the rack. We also advise against leaving them outside overnight. The water in the bindings can freeze and ruin them.
Once your ski holiday is over, it's even more important to let your skis dry thoroughly before storing them away. Leave them out of the bag for a few days and if you think they need it, give them a quick tune to sharpen the edges and coat the bases in wax so they don't dry out or develop rust over the summer.
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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