Spring Cleaning: It’s Not Too Early to Plan for Next Winter
Continued from “How to Most of your Springtime Ski Season”
As the ski season draws to a drippy (and teary) close, and spring makes its warming way to us, this shoulder in the year is the perfect time to do some much-needed work on your ski gear. Whether this means performing maintenance or preparing your skis and boots for summer, replacing broken items, or hunting out something affordable for next year, it’s never too early to start planning for next winter.
Prep your Gear for Summer
Nordic skis are pretty hardy pieces of construction; they’re basically plastic and wood, so they can easily last many years—if properly cared for. In Spring, this means sealing the base of the ski against the changing temperature and humidity of the warming weather. Take your skis down to your local ski shop, where they can put a layer of “summer wax” over the base of your slippery sticks. The other risk posed by the off season to your ski gear is the misplacing of parts. Be sure to keep all your skis and poles together where you’ll remember them, (a ski bag is an excellent tool for this) and keep your boots in a safe, warm and dry location—perhaps with your other winter footwear.
Reassess your Equipment Needs
It’s the end of the season. You’ve hopefully logged some kilometers and some memorable adventures and learned about yourself as a skier. Looking back, did you like to skate or classic ski more? Did you like going off the trail, or staying on the groomed stuff? Did you like long ski tours or short race-like bursts of ski sprinting? Were you comfortable in your boots? On our skis? In that ski jacket?
It may be worth making yourself a list of what worked and what didn’t. From there, you can decide what you want to invest in for next season (if anything) and what you are content to keep as is. If you found that you liked one discipline or one type of skiing far more than another, consider upgrading just that type of ski.
Bargain Hunting Season
As the end of the ski season rolls around, ski shops are often swimming in unsold skis, boots, poles and accessories (probably not this year). Likewise, skiers are reevaluating their setups, sluffing off older gear and upgrading to newer equipment. All this means that ski swaps, big sales, and clearance racks are in full swing this time of year.
Ski shop Facebook pages are an excellent place to start doing research, as are their websites and the social media sites of cross country ski teams. If you know some folks in the local Nordic community, be sure to ask if they know of any informal ski swaps going down, or if you can arrange some private swaps.
Ask for Advice
As usual, knowledgeable people are your best resource for an end-of-season gear appraisal. Talk to the ski techs at your local ski shop or Nordic center—not only can they help you assess your needs, but they are in the best position to point you towards good deals and away from bad ones.
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