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When wintertime rolls around, some of us try to make the most of it by actually spending more time outdoors.

Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, the list goes on. A bevy of wintertime activities exist to help the more outdoorsy among us shake off the winter blues and stay active, but as with all outdoor sports and activities, there sure is a lot of stuff you need to partake in them.

This stuff can start to pile up after a while, especially if you don’t really have a good place to keep it. Whether you’re putting it away for the year or just looking for a better way to safely stash it all after getting home from the slopes, we’ve got a few tips on safely storing skis, snowboards, and the like:

 

Make sure they have their own space

Even if they’re just getting put up for the night, skis and snowboards are fairly lengthy objects that can take up a lot of space if you’re not careful, so the best way to handle these is to make sure they have their own devoted space to stay in. Clear out a corner of the basement or garage, hang up a ski rack, and keep plenty of clear space around it so it’s easier to get to later on.

 

Keep the room temperature consistent

Even when fully treated, wooden skis can encounter warping and damage during storage. Wherever you place your racks or shelving, try to keep it away from direct sources of heat or moisture, such as vents or windows, and make sure the room they’re in is as temperature controlled as possible. Keeping skis in an unheated garage may lead to further damage down the road, and constantly shifting temperature can have a negative effect on the body of your ski or snowboard. (Guitarists and other musicians in states with harsh winters will understand these effects all too well.)

 

Give them room to avoid warping

If you need to store a pair of skis, make sure to keep them strapped together snugly to keep the edges from rubbing on each other and dulling out, reducing their effectiveness and creating a safety hazard. In cases like this, depending on the size of your skis you may want to consider storing them on longer wire shelving or metal shelving instead, using soft carpeting or styrofoam underneath to keep them flat and accessible. (Snowboards, on the other hand, are best stored upright to prevent damage to the camber.)

 

Avoid using bags

A lot of skiers and snowboarders are confronted with the temptation to store their stuff in long duffle bags for ease of access, but this can actually cause more damage in the long run. Bags can cause a lot of unnecessary collisions between your ski/snowboard gear and can result in more damage if they’re moved around a lot. Make sure everything has its own individual home to go back to when you’re done.

 

Wax on, wax off

Finally, even if you’re not done using them for the season, regular ski/snowboard waxes are crucial for safety and longevity. Most pros recommend waxing them every 3-8 days of riding, depending on how often you take them out, but remembering to do it regularly will keep them safe both through the winter and in the off season.

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