Not everything is bad news in this 2020. Despite restrictions on some leisure activities due to COVID-19, European ski resorts are beginning to announce their opening dates. And we already anticipate that they will be very similar to those of other years.
For example, the Sierra Nevada ski resort, located in the south of Spain, plans to open the winter season at the end of November, while French ski resorts hope to kick off in early December, as soon as the lockdown restrictions ease.
So, don't loose hope and keep your Winter Wanderlust alive by getting your ski and snowboard gear out of your garage or storage room! Today we've come with a guide to help you prepare your ski or snow equipment.
That's right! if you're already planning your next ski holiday with Esquiades.com, there's more to booking a ski package deal than deciding which ski resort to visit and hotel to stay in. You also need to think about getting your equipment winter ready! Now that the countdown for the winter season has started, it's time to make sure everything is ready to glide down the slopes safely. So, not only do you need to get "ski fit" - which is key to prevent falls and injuries—, you also need to make sure that your equipment is in good condition with the following tips.
How to prepare your skis or snowboard, step by step
❄ The first thing you have to do is remove the remains of protective wax, as well as the dirt and dust that may have accumulated during the summer and autumn. Use a brass brush to do this and then wipe with kitchen paper or a damp cloth. If you see that your skis or the board are very dirty, use your garden hose. After doing this, dry the skis/snowboard so you can continue with the next steps.
❄ Inspect the edges and remove any burrs, traces of rust and other imperfections, using an abrasive stone to do so, especially on the edges. What's next?
❄ Sharpen your skis or your board. To file your skis or snowboard, you can use a common file or a file with adapters. Opt for long strokes, exerting light pressure, until you get a touch that scratches, but does not cut. Do you prefer an even more pro result? It uses a work table and an angle, which will allow you to regain the inclination of the skis when leaving the factory (89 degrees). For an ideal result, you can help yourself by marking the edge with a marker. You can also use straps, which will facilitate your work. Anyway, if you do not have practice or do not have the necessary tools, do not hesitate to go to any specialized store, so as not to damage your skis or your board.
❄ Wax your skis or snowboard. Heat the iron and, when it reaches the right temperature, bring a block of wax so that it drips all over the sole. Run the iron across the ski or board and distribute the wax evenly (try not to stop, as this will cause it to build up excessively at one point). Also avoid that the iron is in contact with the sole for too long, since it could damage it. Then let the wax absorb for a full day (although sometimes an hour is enough). After that time, use a plastic scraper to remove the excess wax, following the direction of travel of the ski or board. Choose a thick scraper first, and then a thinner one.
❄ Finally, polish the surface of the ski or board, using a nylon brush.
Check the bindings
Another aspect that must be taken into account when preparing your ski equipment is to inspect the bindings. Start by checking each binding for possible wear and tear and wipe up any dirt from last season with a damp cloth. It's essential to make sure bindings are in good conditions to prevent injuries.
To prevent this from happening, most binding manufacturers recommend taking your skis, snowboard and boots - we'll talk about them now - to a ski shop once a year to have the bindings tested and adjusted to the specifications. standards set by the German Institute for Standardization (Deutsches Institut für Normung, DIN). Yes, we know it sounds a bit weird, but ski specialists have this under control.
Check that your boots are in good condition
Time to put on your boots! Literally, because you'll need to inspect them before packing them into your next ski holiday. Carefully inspect the footwear and check that the heel and toe are not excessively worn, as this can affect the way the boot interacts with the binding. Remove the liner and verify that it is in good condition.
Try on the boot and make sure that the pressure is adequate. If you're not sure, head to a specialized shop so they can help you solve any problem, so that your footwear does not ruin your return to the ski slopes.
Do you have in mind to go skiing with children? In that case, it is necessary for the little ones to put on their boots, because they will surely have grown in recent months and will need a larger size.
Wash your ski clothes before going to the resort
Although it may seem strange, we assure you that dirt on trousers and ski jacket can affect the performance of the fabric, as it clogs its pores. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep clothes clean.
Let's see how: first check your pockets, you'll probably find last year's lip balm, an energy bar or loose change from having lunch on the slopes.
Check the labels with the washing instructions and follow them word for word. Some clothes can be delicate ... However, most manufacturers recommend machine washing clothes in cold water. Use a mild detergent like or one that is specifically formulated for outerwear. After washing your clothes, you can treat them with a liquid or spray waterproofing formula. Don't forget the gloves!
If you are going to go skiing with your children, make sure the kids try on all the clothes and accessories, to make sure that they are not too small. Do you have to go shopping? So, here are some (good) tips for buying your snowboard or ski clothes.
Inspect the ski helmet ...
Although the useful life of a ski helmet usually should last around three years, it is likely that it will need to be replaced sooner. To assess it, take yours and verify that it does not have any bumps or dents, that it has not started to deform or that the equipment that forms its interior structure does not appear.
If you see any damage, you will have to buy another helmet. To choose the most suitable one, check that it complies with all the safety measures for practicing mountain sports, that it is adapted to the dimensions of the skull and that it has ventilation holes. Also, if your helmet has other accessories - such as a camera, a flashlight or a screen - make sure that everything works correctly.
… And your ski goggles
In addition to filtering UVA rays - thus taking care of your visual health - ski goggles will also protect your face if you suffer a fall in the snow. You should make sure that your glasses do not show deformations, bumps or scratches that hinder visibility. Do you think you have to change them? Opt for anti-fog ski goggles that have a good ventilation system. This will prevent them from fogging up while you're in the snow, making it difficult for you to see.
Take good sun protection with you
We are all aware of the risks of sunburn in the snow. So that your skin does not suffer, you should apply a sun cream with a high protection factor 20 minutes before going to the slopes (we recommend an SPF of 50). Also, you should reaply frequently on the parts exposed to the sun. Do you have a sunscreen from last season? If so, you will have to replace it. These products lose effectiveness a year after opening the container.
Although we have already talked about it before, do not forget to have a good lip balm on hand, with which you can prevent your lips from chapping.
Are you one of those who are not sure if they forget something important? We've prepared a checklist for you!. You can even download the list to your phone ;)
Feeling overwhelmed? Don't worry! You can always rent the ski/snowboard equipment and include it in your ski package deal. We work with some fantastic rental shops in the different european ski resorts and offer great rates if you add this service to your booking.
Are you excited about hitting the slopes this 2020/2021 ski season? Book your ski holiday with total peace of mind knowing that Esquiades.com guarantees a full refund in case of lockdown.