7 Things to Do Before Packing Up Your Ski Gear

All good things must come to an end. Even, unfor­tu­nate­ly, an epic ski sea­son. And while it’s tempt­ing to ball up your ski gear and toss it into stor­age to deal with next year—well, let’s just say you won’t be doing your­self any favors.

Even though next sea­son seems a ways off, tak­ing good care of your gear now means that every­thing will be in good shape when you pull it all out of stor­age. Do you real­ly want to risk miss­ing open­ing day because your gear was in the shop?

Pick Your Pockets
Start by doing a lit­tle main­te­nance on your jack­ets and snow pants. Go through every sin­gle pock­et of each jack­et and pair of pants. It’ll get tedious—ski jack­ets are known for the thou­sands of util­i­ty pock­ets that are hid­den throughout—but you might find mon­ey (bonus!), half-eat­en sand­wich­es (gross—but not as gross as find­ing it next Novem­ber), or just old paper and wrap­pers that will clog up your wash­ing machine (see next step).

Wash Every­thing Thoroughly
Your out­er­wear has like­ly seen you through some sweaty expe­di­tions this sea­son, so a thor­ough clean­ing is in order. Read the labels on your out­er­wear, and if they give you the okay, toss every­thing into the wash­ing machine. The right deter­gent (like Nikwax or Grainger’s) will get rid of dirt and will clear the pores of your out­er­wear, allow­ing it all to work prop­er­ly. You can also add a lay­er of water­proof­ing to extend the life of your gear.

Don’t for­get about mit­tens, hats, face masks, and oth­er acces­sories. Make sure every­thing is bone dry before stor­ing it away to avoid a mildew‑y mess in the fall.

Fix Your Gear
Pull out your skis, boards, poles, hel­met, etc. and check every piece thor­ough­ly. If the dam­age is lim­it­ed to a few nicks and scratch­es, get them patched up before putting away your gear. If the dam­age is more sub­stan­tial, decide whether you should pay the extra bucks to get it fixed, or if it’s worth invest­ing in new gear to replace the dam­age. And if your gear isn’t dam­aged at all, you should aim to put more days on the moun­tain next year!

Scour the Shops
If you’ve deter­mined that you need to replace or upgrade any gear, this is a good time to check out your ski and board shops and web­sites. With the sea­son behind them, they prob­a­bly have some great deals on prod­ucts from this past sea­son that didn’t sell. If you don’t see what you’re look­ing for…

Go Used
A pair of gog­gles on Craigslist might have been snatched up quick­ly in Decem­ber, but the mar­ket has shrunk con­sid­er­ably now that sum­mer is just around the cor­ner. Peo­ple sell­ing used gear are prob­a­bly more will­ing to accept low­er offers. If you live near a ski resort, you might be in luck: many peo­ple who spent the sea­son in town will be head­ing back to their home­land, and lug­gage space is lim­it­ed. Help them by tak­ing some gear off their hands.

Wax On
Dry bases, delam­i­na­tion, rust—all bad things that can be pre­vent­ed by a good end of sea­son wax. Whether you do it your­self or get your shop to do it for you, a thick coat of wax will keep your board or skis pro­tect­ed from humid­i­ty over the sum­mer. Don’t for­get to tune your edges, too. Go the extra mile by dis­man­tling your bind­ings, and stor­ing them (and all asso­ci­at­ed hard­ware) separately.

Store Away
The ide­al place to store your gear is some­where rel­a­tive­ly dry that will stay some­what cool. Inside your house is ide­al. If you need to leave your gear in stor­age or in a leaky base­ment, pro­tect it prop­er­ly from the elements.