How to store your cross country skis for summer
It's spring - that bittersweet time of year when we welcome warmer temperatures but sadly watch the snow melt away. When you've decided you've skied your last ski of the season (or Mother Nature has decided for you) it's important to take a few easy steps to look after your equipment.
The first thing to do is clean your skis - decks and bases. This applies to classic and skate skis but is most necessary for waxable classic skis. There are two kinds of solvent cleaners: grip wax (base) cleaner and glide zone cleaner. Be sure to use the right kind in the right area!
If you have waxable skis, scrape all the grip wax you can off the bases with a scraper or (carefully) with a putty knife. Finish with base cleaner by rubbing the grip zone (middle third) of your bases with a lint-free cloth (like Swix Fiberlene) until there are no sticky patches. Use a little more on a fresh piece of cloth and rub the sidewalls and top decks too. If you have skin or fishscale skis, you don't need to do this step.
For your glide zones, don't panic if you don't have glide zone cleaner. Brush the gliding parts of your bases (full base for skate ski, tips and tails for classic skis) with a brass or nylon brush. Brush in a tip to tail direction without too much pressure and after about 8 passes or so wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.
The next step is to apply wax to the glide sections of your ski. This seals the base to protect it from contamination while being stored. The most thorough method is to iron in a base prep wax (or a warm wax such as yellow or universal), however if you only have liquid glide this will offer some protection.
If ironing, apply your wax as you usually would but do not scrape the base. Make sure to leave the grip zone bare on a waxable classic ski; you don't want glide wax there. It's the glide zones you are most worried about protecting. For more information on hot waxing click here.
If applying liquid glide wax put about 3 applications on, allowing a full dry between each. Don't brush between applications. For more information on how to apply liquid glide wax click here.
Last you need a safe place to store your skis. Pairs should be base to base with straps or sleeves. Make sure to loosen the straps so the camber is not compressed all season. Store them in an area that doesn't experience large temperature fluctuations if you can; inside your house is perfect. Keep the skis away from heat and dust - you may put them in a ski bag if you wish.
Skis can be stored either vertically or horizontally in an area where they won't get bumped or have other items placed on top of them.
If you follow these steps your skis will be fresh and ready to go next season. When you're ready to ski, scrape off the storage wax (if ironed in) and brush the bases with a copper or stiff nylon brush. They are now ready to be glide waxed as you normally would with a fresh coat.