Looking after your touring skis and climbing skins is an essential – yet often neglected – part of keeping your gear in great condition. And why would you head out on a tour with equipment that’s in subpar shape? Well-serviced skis not only have a longer lifespan, they also make slashing through the pow a lot more fun!
If you would like to find out about the best ways to keep your touring skis and skins looking fresh and functioning at their best, read on for our tips
The easiest way to find out if your skis need a bit of love and care is to use your eyes and fingers. Examine them in good lighting and you’ll know.
Three things to look out for:
If you frequently go touring, we recommend a professional tuning every two to three months. In between, you can wax your skis at home, as needed – depending on the snow conditions and temperatures.
Still looking for a high-quality pair of skis for your adventures in the backcountry? Check out our article on “Touring skis for beginners”.
A fresh coat of wax can make all the difference between a so-so ski tour and a fantastic day in the backcountry. Even though ski touring is a far cry from World Cup racing, you can still get a lot more fun and performance out of your gear if you regularly wax your skis.
The good news: Waxing your skis at home isn’t rocket science and, with a bit of practice, takes you less than an hour to do. You just need a few tools and supplies. Ideally, you also visit a basic waxing course beforehand – but that’s not a must.
For a simple waxing, the must-have items are:
Set the waxing iron to medium heat. In case you’re using a home iron, try the cotton setting. You’ll know it’s too hot if it starts to smoke.
While your iron heats up, you can clean the ski base. Strap your ski into the vice and wipe it down with a damp cotton cloth. You can also use base cleaner if you have any.
Hold the iron a few centimetres above the ski base and gently press the wax against the hot iron. Now, let the wax drip on the ski base as you move it along the entire length of the ski. Be careful not to use too much – you’d be surprised how little you need to cover the entire base!
Once that’s done, place the iron on the ski base to evenly distribute the wax. Move it back and forth along the full length of the ski and don’t let the iron sit in one place. Otherwise, you risk damaging the base.
Let the wax cool down, as you repeat the process on the other ski.
Grab your scraper and take off any excess wax. Important: Be thorough, because wax residue can significantly impair the adhesive power of your climbing skins!
Then use a nylon brush or scouring pad to buff the base – and that’s it. That’s all the magic! Your skis will glide through the snow as if it was butter.
Climbing skins can be your best friend on a ski tour – but if they don’t work the way they’re supposed to, they can also become your worst enemy. Fortunately, most problems with climbing skins can easily be avoided through proper care and use.
Before we get started: Climbing skins are pieces of equipment that are meant to be used – a lot! So, it’s no surprise that they experience quite a bit of wear over time. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from needing replacement before they reach their maximum lifespan:
As you can see: There’s a lot you can do to keep your ski touring gear in tip-top shape and to get the most out of your touring skis and skins. However, proper equipment care is only one piece of the puzzle that makes ski touring an enjoyable experience. Another one is mastering the right ski touring technique, for instance. Have fun on your next tour!
You don’t want to tune and wax your skis yourself and would rather have the experts take care of that? No problem! Just drop by at one of the INTERSPORT Rent shops in more than 800 locations worldwide. The local RENTertainers will get your ski edges sharp and give the bases a smooth finish. And in case you’re still looking for a bit of inspiration … Check out the best ski touring resorts in Austria, Switzerland and France!