Are you ready for ski season? Of course you are. We all are. But is your gear as ready as you are? How about your kids gear?
If youre not a downhill skier or snowboarder, what about your Nordic ski gear, snowshoes stuff or snowmobile clothes?
Its time to get them out and take a look. Its easy to stash them away at the end of the season and forget about them, even if they needed repairs or replacements.
The first step should be to get your skis or snowboard into the shop for a fresh wax and tune if needed. Talk to your shop about whether you need fresh wax and edges sharpened, or a full base grind.
If your boards need major repairs, it might be time to put their replacement on your Christmas list, or buy new gear for the kids Christmas.
Make sure you get those ski bindings checked, too, to make sure theyre still properly adjusted.
Dont just inspect your clothes, put them on and walk around, including boots. Have your kids do the same. Kids have probably grown since last year.
Check the buckles on all ski boots. Replace laces for snowboard boots, and check the ratchets on snowboard bindings.
The plastic straps on snowboard bindings can wear down and start slipping, which means the binding doesnt keep the boot secure and the rider has less control over the snowboard.
You can replace worn straps on most bindings, but you may have to order them directly from the company if your shop doesnt have them.
Check all goggles for scratches. You may be able to buff small scuffs or scratches with plastic lens cleaner. If theyre too deep, you may be able to get a replacement lens for the goggles. Check your favorite ski shop or sporting goods store, and if theyre not available, contact the manufacturer. Lenses are usually cheaper to replace than a whole set of goggles.
Check all helmets for any sign of cracks, wear or worn linings. Remember, a helmet is designed to take a limited number of impacts. Dont push your luck.
Next, give everything the sniff test, such as jackets and liners, gloves, hats, etc.
Pay attention to the labels for washing and drying instructions.
Finally, give your outerwear a little test. Spray or sprinkle water on it. The water should immediately bead up and run off.
If it doesnt, you may have leaky clothes, and you dont want to find out when youre on the slopes.
There are several products on the market to make your outerwear waterproof, or improve its water resistance.
Nikwax makes a whole line of products for that, and Tectron makes a spray-on water repellent you can easily apply to coats, pants, gloves, etc. Make sure you read the directions carefully so you use them properly.
After that, youre ready to hit the snow, and your first day out wont be met by unwanted surprises from your clothes and gear.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors