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  • Writer's pictureLeah Wz

Slope-Ready: A Comprehensive Guide to Prepping Your Skis for the First Day on the Mountain

The snow is finally falling and the chains are ready for that first trek up to the resort! It's officially time to ensure your skis are in top-notch condition for that eagerly awaited first day on the mountain.

skiing and snowboarding above lake tahoe at heavenly resort in used ski gear and apparel

Equipment Inspection Before you hit the mountain, it's crucial to conduct a thorough inspection of your ski equipment. Nothing sucks more than getting to the mountain to realize you have a busted binding and have to pay resort prices for equipment. Your inspection should include checking for any visible signs of wear and tear on your skis, bindings, and poles. Inspect the ski edges for nicks or burrs and make sure the bindings are securely fastened. Ensure that your poles are straight and the grips and straps are in good condition.

powder, resort and backcountry ski selection in the Reno Tahoe area

**If something clearly broke last season. We do offer ski reycling at Gear Hut! Feel free to drop off ski equipment recycling during any open hours! Additionally, many of these inspection tasks are factors that our team takes into consideration when we are accepting gear for consignment at the shop! If we turn down your item or suggest it goes to ski recycling, it's to ensure quality and functional items are on our racks. Base and Edge Maintenance 1. Cleaning and Drying: Start by cleaning the bases of your skis to remove any dirt or residue from the previous season. Wipe them down with a damp cloth and let them dry completely. This ensures optimal performance on the snow. 2. Edge Tuning: Examine the ski edges and use a diamond stone to smooth out any minor nicks or burrs. For more significant edge tuning, consider using a file guide to achieve the desired bevel. A finely tuned edge enhances your ability to carve through the snow with precision. 3. Waxing for Performance: Applying a fresh coat of wax is essential for optimal glide and control. Choose a wax appropriate for the current snow conditions—cold-temperature wax for icy slopes and warm-temperature wax for softer snow. Heat the wax onto the base using an iron and evenly distribute it. Once cooled, scrape off excess wax with a plastic scraper, and then brush the base for a smooth finish.

Happy skiiers at Diamond Peak ski resort in Lake Tahoe

Binding Adjustment and Functionality Check 1. Binding Release Settings: If you're using adjustable bindings, check that they are set to the appropriate release settings. Consider having a professional technician verify this if you're unsure. Properly adjusted bindings are crucial for your safety on the mountain. 2. Functionality Check: Perform a functional check of your bindings to ensure they open and close smoothly. Verify that the brakes deploy properly and that there are no signs of damage. This step is essential for preventing accidents and ensuring a secure connection between you and your skis.

Boot Inspection and Fit 1. Boot Inspection: Inspect your ski boots for any visible signs of damage, including cracks, worn-out buckles or toes/heels that have been worn down. Check that the liners are intact and have sufficient padding. A well-maintained pair of boots is vital for comfort and control on the slopes. 2. Boot Fit: Ensure your boots provide a snug yet comfortable fit. Tighten or loosen the buckles accordingly, and make any necessary adjustments to the bindings to accommodate changes in boot size. A proper boot fit is crucial for maximizing performance and minimizing the risk of injury.

quality used ski boots at Gear Hut in Reno Nevada

At Gear Hut, we do a skim inspection as items are dropped off for consignment in order to pass our quality control... BUT in no way is a pair of skis out of a used gear shop 100% ready for the mountain (for real, that's why you sign a waiver when you check out). You should ALWAYS get them tuned up and inspected by a local ski shop before hitting the mountain. In Reno, we recommend Blue Zone Sports, REI and Bobos as three quality ski tuning locations. All can ensure your skis or board are slope ready with fresh edges and wax! Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-timer, these preparatory steps will make sure that the first powder day up at Lake Tahoe is solid and successful!

Palisades at Tahoe views on a bluebird ski day

**This blog post was written with the assistance of ChatGPT because we're a small business and working smarter, not harder!**


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