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BellaOnline's Winter Sports Editor

Storing Skis For Summer

With the onset of spring, we often leave our skis in the garage until the next winter,without much thought. As skis are quite expensive, you may want to take a little extra care of them before ignoring them for months at a time. Here are some tips for good ski storage.

First, use heavy-duty rubber bands to keep your ski brakes out of the way while you clean the bases and wax your skis. I find the rubber bands that come with the broccoli bunches at the store to work quite well. Place one end of the rubber band on one side of a brake, the go over the binding to capture the other brake.

Next, clean your bases. Regardless of how well you think youíve taken care of your skis, dirt always ends up on the bases. The bases of your skis will absorb almost anything they encounter in contact with, and this includes dirt on the snow, mud, or oil from ski resort grooming cats.

To do this a workbench with vice grips to prop up your skis is ideal, but not necessary. I have often used benches, lawn chairs, kitchen chairs, boxes or anything I could find. Then clean your bases by wiping Fiberlene (a thin paper looking product made by Swix) from tip to tail. Fiberlene can be purchased at any ski shop that carries wax and tuning supplies. Another option is to use a clean dry rag or washcloth. Be sure to use a new piece of Fiberlene (you can rip pieces off like a paper towel) or new cloth for each ski.

Now you are now ready to apply the wax. A universal wax such as white will do, but it really doesnít matter what color/temperature ski wax you use. You will need an iron and possibly an extension cord. I have an old iron I use just for this purpose. A medium to barely hot temperature setting is ideal. You want the iron just hot enough to melt drops of wax over your bases. Do a small section at a time from tip to tail, then place the iron on the base and rub it in thoroughly. You can actually burn your bases, this is why you donít want the iron to be super hot. Also, you wonít want to use any iron for clothes after using them for wax!

The wax will dry quickly and this is the only time of year that you will want to leave the wax as it is on your bases. Normally you would use a scraper to get the non-absorbed wax off.

You can also lower your DIN settings for summer, but this is optional. The DIN settings are at the front and rear of each binding and this setting determines how easily your bindings release your boot in the event of a fall. They are numbered, so if you do turn them down (using a Phillips screwdriver) tape a note to your skis reminding you what setting to turn them up to again before use.

Now your skis are ready for summer storage!

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