Steel files: Clean frequently with a file brush and rub a little chalk into file
teeth occasionally. Increase the life of files used on side edges by snapping off
sections as they dull; this allows the file to be used almost to the tang without
hitting the bindings.
Plastic scrapers: Wipe away wax build-up frequently using a steel scraper,
ski edge, etc. Sharpen with a panzer file, drywall-sanding screen or scraper
Steel scrapers: Keep sharp using a flat file and burnishing tool.
Base repair irons and pistol: Keep tips clean by wiping on an old Scotch Brite
pad while still warm.
Tools: Clean out teeth
and ridges on structure bars/blades with a
Wax Irons: Wipe off
wax and any dirt from
the bottom of warm (not
hot) iron with Fiberlene,
soft, clean rag or old T-shirt.
Scotch Brite, Fibertex,
Omni-Prep Pads: Rinse
pads under hot water
(180 degrees Fahrenheit) to melt away wax.
Keep diamond stones clean with a nylon
brush or an old toothbrush and base cleaner.
As performance-based sports, skiing and snowboarding see a lot of equipment turnover. New technology can quickly outdate the old, kids outgrow
gear at an alarming rate, or things simply wear out. So what to do with that
pile of outdated, unwanted or spent equipment gradually accumulating in the
corner of the garage?
The option that probably springs to mind first is to take the gear to a local
ski swap. This is a great option if the gear is in decent condition and not too
outdated; you can sell it and make some cash, and a percentage of the sale
often helps fund the ski team or club hosting the event.
Another option is to donate equipment to a youth program. Organizations
such as SOS Outreach ( sosoutreach.org) help young people who otherwise
A light mounted directly over your work provides more efficient light
and reduces the overall lighting needed in your shop.
might not be able to get on the snow.
Equipment that is too old or worn-out to find a new home can be recycled
and reborn as something entirely new. Snowsports Industries America (SIA),
in conjunction with several Colorado ski shops, oversees the “Keep Winter
Use a scraper
longevity of your
wax scraper and
Cool: Snowsports Recycling Solution.” The program provides skiers an avenue
for recycling unwanted skis, boots, bindings and poles at several Colorado locations (see “Resources” below). Once collected, materials are separated and
incorporated into the manufacturing of such products as composite decking,
flooring and parking area blocks. SIA is conducting research on other potential uses for the materials, such as cores for new skis and snowboards. The
program is currently available only in Colorado, but work is being done to
make hubs close to major skier populations nationwide a reality. Check in at
the SIA website, sia.com, for updates.
If you just can’t bear parting with your old boards, get creative and build
a fence (see photo at far left) or an Adirondack chair out of old pairs of skis
or even a bench out of worn-out snowboards. Plans are available online. If
you lack the skills or time to make your own, a few companies will help you
turn old skis into usable furniture. Green Mountain Ski Furniture, based in
Vermont ( recycledskis.com) can help you turn those favorite skis into custom
furniture such as tables, chairs and coat racks.
Waxes and solvents are increasingly available in eco-friendly formulas.
Many wax manufacturers, such as Purl and One Ball Jay, offer non-petro-leum based waxes derived from
sustainable sources. While these
products might not offer the performance a racer seeks, they may
be a good choice for backcountry,
free skiing or non-racing family
members. Base cleaners are also
offered in petroleum-free or reduced petroleum versions. Pure
citric-base cleaners have proven
to be effective, though they do
take a bit longer to evaporate
out of the ski base. For those in
a hurry, a citric-naphtha blend
might be the answer; the petroleum content is less than a pure petroleum
base cleaner, but just enough to speed-up the evaporation rate.
Recycling Snowsports Equipment
*Based on 2009 pricing of Swix waxes, approximately 15 grams per hot-waxed pair of skis.
Scott Churchill is the owner of Tognar Toolworks ( tognar.com), a worldwide purveyor of
ski and snowboard tuning tools and waxes.