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How to look after your ski equipment
Skiing is obviously great fun, zooming down the slopes, carving some awesome turns, zig-zagging through the trees and grabbing some air. But be warned, if you don’t look after your ski kit properly things can get quite unpleasant with sore feet, blisters, cold hands, or steamed up goggles.
Here are some top tips for looking after all our equipment, so you can have great fun on the slopes no matter what the conditions.
Being able to see properly is very important when skiing, as such it’s vital to look after your goggles properly.
Our first piece of advice is to buy good goggles if the budget allows.
Goggles steaming up is a major problem when skiing if you do not handle them correctly. Fogging is caused by cold air mixing with warm air causing the moisture inside the goggle to condense into small water droplets that stick to the lens. We recommend the following:
Step 1. Make sure your goggles are completely dry before putting them on. It is best to dry them over a radiator rather than wiping them.
Step 2. Put your goggles on before you go outside into the snow. This will bring them to the same temperature as your body and reduce the risk of moisture getting in the goggle.
Step 3. Once outside do not take them off, put them on top of your head or touch them, as this will allow moisture in and change their temperature.
Step 4. Try not to channel your breathing into your goggles as this will cause fogging. If using a neck warmer do not bring it all the way to your goggles as your warm breath will put warm moisture into your goggles causing steaming.
Step 5. When you finish skiing each day make sure your goggles are completely dry and put them in a bag or Gogglesoc to stop them getting scratched.
When skiing, your feet are very important as they are your main point of contact from your body to the skis and snow, so if you want to zoom down the slopes in style you must look after your them.
Tip 1. Buy decent fitted ski socks. A good ski sock will be the right size, shaped to your foot, padded in the right areas, warm and breathable. The consequences of a poor ski sock are painful as your feet will be cold, sweaty and with the increased risk of blisters.
Tip 2. Only wear one pair of ski socks. When it’s cold many people think 2 pairs of socks is a good idea – it’s not! Wearing two pairs of socks can create a lot of friction and wrinkles in the socks causing blisters.
Tip 3. Do not tuck your thermal leggings into your ski boots. Again, this causes friction and wrinkles on the leggings which can cause blistering on your shins.
Tip 4. If you are an avid skier and hit the slopes once a year we would recommend buying your own ski boots. It’s a valuable investment as a good fitting boot will be comfortable and improve your skiing as your skis will be more responsive to your foot movement. We would also recommend buying boots in resort at the start of your holiday as the store will be able to make minor adjustments to them on a day to day basis if you have any pressure points when skiing.
Tip 5. When you finish skiing for the day do the buckles on your boots up. This will help the boots keep their shape thus improving their performance.
Tip 6. Dry your boots overnight. Having moisture in your boots at the start of the day will not be pleasant as your foot will get very cold when the moisture freezes outside.
It’s not essential to own your own skis but if you are lucky enough to them we recommend looking after them to ensure you’re getting the most fun and performance out of them. Skis are hardy and rugged pieces of equipment however if you look after them they will look after you.
Step 1. It’s important to keep the edges of your skis sharp and rust free. This will make them grip and turn in the snow with fore precession. Your local ski store will be able to sharpen the edges for you.
Step 2. Waxing the base of your skis and filling in any nicks and grooves is important to ensure your skis run smoothly over the snow. Again, your local ski store will be able to do this for you.
Top Tip 1. When storing your skis between seasons / holidays it is best to keep them in a dry cool place. If leaving them in a ski bag make sure the bag is unzipped, otherwise the edges will rust. It is also possible to get a thick layer of wax applied to the base and edges for storage.
Top Tip 2. If you get a nick / gouge out of the ski base near the edge of the ski, get it filled in and repaired immediately. The most common way to break a ski is to rip the edge out. If there is a gouge near the edge the next time you hit a rock it will be very easy for the rock to catch the metal edge and pull it away from the ski.
It is very important to have the correct ski clothing for the conditions. If you are not dressed appropriately it’s easy to get wet and cold very quickly which will take the fun out of our day on the slopes.
Top Tip 1. Wear layers – We recommend a base and mid layer under a waterproof ski jacket for most days in the Alps.
Top Tip 2. Do not ski with your jacket open especially on powder days, because if you fall over you will get your mid layers soaking wet which will be impossible to dry while on the mountain.
Top Tip 3. Make sure your salopettes legs and inner lining / gaiter go over your ski boot and not just resting above the boot. The inner layer is elasticated to fit securely over your boot and stop any snow getting into your boot and making your socks wet.
Top Tip 4. If possible buy a decent pair of gloves or mittens as your hands can get very cold especially on the chair lifts.
Top Tip 5. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your rucksack or pocket for lunch and drink stops. Goggles are best for skiing but sunglasses are more comfortable when you stop for refreshments.
Top Tip 6.
Make sure your clothes are thoroughly dried each evening as its very unpleasant starting the day with wet gloves and clothing.
The weather in the mountains can be extreme so it’s very easy to get sun burn or cracked lips as such we would recommend using sun tan cream and lip balm everyday even if it doesn’t look that sunny.
Look after your kit and your kit will look after you!