When the season comes to an end, show your board the love it really needs and prepare it to have a good summer rest. Follow these tips for proper gear storage during the off season and your gear will treat you right for years to come!
Remove bindings. Be sure to have good form and provide good downward pressure on your screwdriver so you don’t strip the screws. Your screws shouldn’t be insanely tight to begin with, but if you were bad and haven’t taken your bindings off in a long time they could be tight. In general it’s a good idea to remove your bindings from time to time to let the inserts dry out during the season as well.
Check your binding straps. You don’t want to arrive on opening day next season just to find that you have a broken strap or ratchet! Unless your bindings are pretty current, you or your local shop might have to order replacement parts, which can take a few days or longer. Rigging something is a possibility, but night not be the best fit.
Take care of your edges. You want to make sure there is no major damage, and also smooth out some of the dents and dings you may have in your edges. The fewer nooks and crannies for moisture to get into the better! I would recommend using a diamond stone on your base edge. Just like when I tune my edges in the season, I just like to have a cup of water nearby so I can keep the stone wet, and rinse off the little particles as I go along. Keep the stone flat with the base, and gently go back and forth down the base edge. Give a little bit more time where you feel the stone catching. For the side edge, I use an edge tuning like the one pictured below, since it is easier to keep the desired angle to your edges. Run it in one direction down the length of the side edge a few times in the direction of the little arrow on the file. Last, use a soft gummy to smooth it all out.
Clean all the dirt off. It’s always a good idea to keep your board clean, but spring riding can really get it dirty! Clean that thing up before you put it to rest! If you have a lot of dirt on your topsheet, use some warm soapy water to get the bulk of it off. Follow that up with a citrus cleaner and it will be all nice and glossy! Using a citrus cleaner is best practice as it is gentle and gets the job done. Whatever you do, don't ignore cleaning the base! You will likely have crap in your base even if you can’t really see it. Old wax buildup, excessive mud from riding at Mountain Creek (jk I love you) “nucleating agents” that are used sometimes in snowmaking, and other random grime, can all settle into your base, and clog the pores. And you want wax to be able to fill into the base, not crap. Using harsh cleaners like rubbing alcohol or bleach will excessively dry out your board, so just stick to the citrus cleaners. You can buy ones specifically designed for snowboard bases, or you can buy citrus cleaners like GooGone in the grocery store, just check the label and make sure there isn’t anything like Amonia or other spooky ingredients.
Summer wax. Once the board is dry, give it a nice THICK coat of all-temp or warm weather wax. Apply a thicker coat than you normally would, and let it cover the edges. Don’t scrape the wax, just let it cool and store it with the wax on. Just to clarify, you would use hot wax, the rub on kind isn’t going to do much in this situation. If you don’t already have a tuning iron, don’t use your clothing iron, unless you don’t want to use it on clothes again! I got my first iron at a yard sale for $5. It was a travel iron for clothing. Irons like these will work okay, but I strongly recommend getting an iron designed for tuning. They are usually broader in shape, helping you to spread the wax and have a temperature setting so you can adjust the heat exactly to the degree the wax is designed to melt at, and you run less of a risk of damaging the board.
Something like these. This brand works well though, they have a pleasant smell and get the job done.
These are my tips for summer gear storage that I’ve used on my boards. There is definitely a lot of information out there, and it seems people have some different methods, but this is just what I do at home based on what I’ve learned, using tools that are easy to find and use. Do you have any other tips or thoughts on gear storage? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write on our facebook page!
**No compensation was received from any of the brands mentioned, but we do carry some of these products in our store!