DIY Ski Maintenance
A fundamental part of the fun on skis is also due to our equipment. Like all things, skis wear out over time and it is good to take care to ensure that they hold up well over the years. At Snowit, with our friends at Outdoor360.it we have put together some guidelines, useful for DIY maintenance.
An important element for the maintenance of DIY skis is the work surface. The ideal is to have a work table with clamps to hold the skis steady, while the basic equipment is represented by: wax, brush, spatula and various types of files.
The maintenance of the skis is important to maintain the characteristics of the skis. The insole, i.e. the bottom, is the element that guarantees smoothness. The foils, on the other hand, ensure that the skis hold.
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The bottom of the ski is what guarantees its gliding and it is good that it is cared for. It can be homemade if you have space by purchasing a pair of counter clamps, the wax, the hot iron to melt it and the tools to remove it. If you don’t want to proceed with DIY there are plenty of shops or rentals that can provide this work. The insole, or bottom, does not need excessively frequent care, unlike foils. As a guide, it is good to apply the wax on the insole every 10/15 outlets to get the best results, before applying the wax it is always good to check that there are no holes or grooves, and if necessary repair them before applying the wax. Recommended at the beginning and end of the year.
What is wax?
Wax is basically a combination of paraffins and fluorides that is used to make your ski smoother. There are waxes for all types of snow, depending on the temperature of the snow itself. Wax is applied with a hot iron. After being heated and then melted, it is applied to the ski. After the wax is applied, it is dried, through which the excess wax is removed with spatulas, then finished and polished with special bristle brushes.
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Another very important component of the ski, that allows us to keep it anchored to the snow when we bend over. The edges just like the knives wear out and lose their “angle” and consequently the grip. There are millions of things to know about foils; angle measurements, preparation, types of tools. Our advice as far as DIY is concerned is to study in depth before pulling your foils otherwise if you bring your skis to a laboratory their experts will provide. When the edges lose sharpness the ski becomes easier to handle, but it loses precision and grip especially on hard or icy surfaces. Recommended at least once a year.
There are two types of cleaning: ordinary cleaning and extraordinary cleaning. As far as ordinary cleaning is concerned, it is a good idea to store your skis every time they are used after making sure they are completely dry, this will avoid the formation of rust on foils and metal parts and wear of the rest of the components. Extraordinary cleaning should be carried out at the beginning of the year before making bottom and foils. When you take out your skis after the summer, use a cloth and spray to clean them from dust, both on the top and bottom (always in the sliding direction), and use a diamond file to check that there are no rust or wrinkles on the edges, if you pass the file in the sliding direction to remove them without exaggerating with pressure.
Especially at the end of the season it is best to store your skis in a dry place with little humidity. Remember that skis are delicate and should be handled with care to ensure durability and performance.
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Bindings should also be checked at the beginning of the year and also every 2-3 outings. Sometimes the Din’s spring may come loose slightly, just position the boot to snap the binding and adjust it. Also the screws that hold the binding fixed on the boot could be damaged or worn, check them and replace or tighten them according to the situation.
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If you are a beginner in ski maintenance, we always recommend that you contact a good, trustworthy skiman who is able to do his job properly. If you love DIY and want to do everything in-house, follow our advice. Especially the first few times you practice with a professional to help you learn the secrets and not to risk compromising the functionality of the equipment you will use on the slope.