How To Take Care of Your Ski Equipment

Unlock peak performance on the slopes! Learn how to take care of your skis and other essential ski maintenance strategies for optimal gear health.

Employee Tunes Up Gear at Crested Butte Mountain Resort Tuning & Repair Shop

Ski Tuning and Maintenance: Keeping Your Gear in Peak Condition

Proper ski maintenance is crucial in ensuring that your ski gear remains in peak condition all season long - and ideally for at least several winters. Knowing how to take care of skis, including how to tune, wax, and store them, will ensure you achieve optimal performance on the snow, enhancing your overall skiing experience. 

The basics of ski care are not complicated, but they are essential. This comprehensive guide will explore the key aspects of ski maintenance, covering things you can do to keep your gear in top shape, the benefits of caring for your equipment, essentials for seasonal storage (or replacement), and how often these tasks should occur. 

Let’s dig in. 


How to Maintain Skis

Here are some top tips to help you know how to best take care of your ski equipment: 

1. Regular Inspection

Before each skiing season, thoroughly inspect your skis, bindings, and boots. Check for any visible damage, including scratches, dents, loose screws, or anything that looks out of place. Addressing minor issues early on can prevent more significant problems when you’re on the mountain. Inspect your bindings, boots, and poles while you're at it to ensure everything is in tip-top shape and not about to fall apart before you get on the lift. 

2. Edge Maintenance

Keeping your ski edges sharp is crucial for optimal performance. Regularly use a stone or file to maintain the edges’ sharpness to enhance your ability to carve smoothly and stay in control through various snow conditions. A pocket sharpener will allow for quick edge tune-ups on the mountain. 

3. Waxing

Waxing your skis serves multiple purposes, including improving glide, protecting the base, and maintaining the overall health of your sticks. There are different waxes to use for various snow temperatures and options that can work well in variable conditions. 

4. Binding Checks

Bindings aren’t technically your skis, but regularly checking them is still crucial for proper ski maintenance. You need to ensure they are adjusted based on your skill level and weight for safety and proper ejections if you fall. Loose or improperly adjusted bindings can also potentially damage your skis or allow moisture into the core. 


Benefits of Proper Ski Care 

Ski gear is expensive but also an investment in winter fun. Some benefits of proper ski care include: 

1. Enhanced Performance

Well-maintained skis contribute to optimal performance on the slopes. Sharp edges and proper waxing play a considerable role in your ability to control your skis and navigate through various terrains. While technique and experience are paramount, even experts won’t ski great with poorly maintained equipment.  

2. Increased Safety

Regular maintenance ensures your equipment functions as intended, reducing the risk of accidents or injuries. Tuned-up skis give you better control to prevent falls and avoid injuries. 

3. Extended Lifespan

Caring for your gear extends its lifespan, allowing you to enjoy your investment season after season. Regular maintenance helps prevent irreversible damage and ensures your equipment remains reliable. 

4. Savings

Investing in regular maintenance is a cost-effective strategy. Routine tunes and repairs are generally less expensive than fixing significant neglect-related issues. Even a professional tune-up is much cheaper than a new set of skis, and if you have an Epic Pass you can get huge savings on Waxes and Tunes through Epic Mountain Rewards.

5. Consistency

Maintaining your gear ensures a more predictable and enjoyable skiing experience. You’ll be able to adapt to varying snow conditions, ski with confidence, and adapt to variable conditions because you know how your gear will respond.  


Essentials for Seasonal Storage and Replacement 

Knowing how to store your skis during the offseason is also vital to maintenance. Along those same lines is knowing when it’s time for a replacement. Here are a few things to keep in mind for both of those factors: 

1. Proper Storage

When the skiing season ends, store your gear in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Clean and dry your skis and bindings before storage to prevent rusting. Loosen bindings to release the tension on the springs. Storing in a dry location like a climate-controlled basement is a better option than a stuffy garage. 

2. Edge Protection

Use edge guards to protect your ski edges during storage and transportation. A solid ski bag can also function for this purpose. It’s a simple and affordable step that can prevent random nicks and dulling of your edges. 

3. Base Waxing

Before storing your skis, apply a thick coat of wax to the base to protect it from drying out and becoming damaged. This extra layer acts as a barrier against environmental factors that could harm your ski’s base material. 

4. Replacement 

While regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your gear, there comes a point when replacement is necessary. If your skis have significant core shots, raggedy edges that can’t be sharpened, or are simply old and tattered, it may be time to invest in new equipment. 


How Often to Tune or Maintain Skis? 

Use the information in this section as a quick guide to tuning and maintenance timelines. There are no exact rules here, and multiple factors are on the table. But these guidelines should serve every skier well. 

Daily Checks

Perform a quick visual inspection of your gear before each ski day on the slopes. Also, check if you scrape a rock or hit any other obstacle over the course of the day. 


The frequency of waxing depends on factors like snow conditions and how often you ski. As a general guideline, wax your skis every 4-6 days of skiing. More frequent waxing may be needed in icy or crunched-out conditions that are more abrasive than softer snow. 

Edge Maintenance

If you ski hard, check and sharpen your ski edges every few skiing days or as needed. Again, a pocket sharpener works great for this. Pay attention to the feel of your skis in the snow–if they seem less responsive or have difficulty holding an edge, it’s time for a tune-up. 


On Your Own or Professional Assistance? 

While tuning and waxing your own skis isn’t that complicated, it does require some skill and specialty equipment. Many die-hard skiers like the DIY approach with maintenance tasks, but it’s also very easy to get your skis tuned up by a professional at any ski shop or resort. Here’s a quick look at both approaches.   

DIY Maintenance

Many skiers choose to perform basic maintenance tasks on their own. Waxing, edge sharpening, and visual inspections can often be done at home with the right tools and a bit of knowledge. Numerous online tutorials and guides are available to assist you in learning these skills, and it’s a fun way to connect and engage with your gear. 

Professional Tune-Ups

Professional assistance is a great option for more demanding tasks or if you lack the time or confidence to handle specific maintenance tasks. Ski shops and experienced techs can provide comprehensive tune-ups, ensuring your skis are in the best condition possible. 

Combination Approach 

A combination approach can be the best of both worlds. For example–you can wax and sharpen your skis at home during the season and get a professional tune-up to address any core shots or edge burrs in the spring before storage. This allows you to stay involved in the care of your gear while benefiting from the expertise of professionals when needed.