HELENA — For a lot of people, skiing is the main reason for getting out of bed this time of year. If you are planning on hitting the slopes anytime soon, you’re going to want to give your equipment a once-over first.
Even better, have one of the professionals give it a once-over when you pull it out of storage.
Eric Brown is one of the experts at Capital Sports in Helena whose business is making sure you make it down the hill in one piece… or at least your skis do. The list to have them prepare your skis for the season is starting to fill up, but there are a few things you can look out for to determine what needs to be done.
"If the ski is starting to get kind of white on both sides of the ski towards the edges, it means you defiantly do need a wax," Brown told MTN. "I would look at the edges as well, just to see are they rusted. If you kind of run your fingers on them are they still sharp or are they kind of rough. The other thing too is if they are in pretty good shape, depending on what the temperature is outside and what the air and the snow temperatures are going to be, bring it in for at least a hot wax just to have your skis ready to be suitable for the current temperatures.”
Once your skis are taken care of, check your bindings, helmet and boots.
“Most of the newer boots are going to have more of a rubberized toe and heel. Not as much wear-and-tear as quickly as some of the older style boots. What ends up happening with something that is a little older style, where it’s just a solid plastic, particularly in the toe, not so much in the heel here, is that over time this will wear," said Brown. "So older boots, we’ll actually take a measurement of this height in the toe as well as the heel, just to see what the wear is going to be. Once it gets to a certain wear point, whether that is in the toe or the heel, they become unsafe to use with their bindings.”
There are a lot of things to pay attention to before leaving the ski hill, but it’s better to find out something is wrong at the ski shop than at the top of a mountain.