The Right Way to Store Your Skis

by Wagner Custom / Apr 19, 2024

We know, you’re already eyeing your bike and jonesing to take the rocket box off your car... But before you do, you have a little work to do so you can start next season right.

Tempting as it may be don your shammies and push your skis into the corner, trust us that giving it a little love now will pay big dividends in the fall. From tuning to storing, here’s how to keep your skis happy—and make them last longer—during the summer.

Women go summer skiing.
If you are planning a summer ski, its a good idea to store your gear properly between adventures.

Oxidation and the DIY solution

The big issue come summer is oxidation. We want to prevent rust on the edges and “dry rot” (a powdery-white appearance) of the polyethylene bases. Polyethylene, if left to dry out, does oxidize: If air gets into the microscopic pores, the long molecules that make the bases so tough can break into smaller strands, reducing the strength and even the glide speed of this expensive material. So, here is the plan:

1) Use a damp rag to wipe down your skis and bindings (little citric-based cleaner won’t hurt). Remove all road salt, dirt and grime that linger from those last sunny days of your ski season.

Start your skis now.

2) Use a clean dry rag to dry them off, top and bottom. If sharp “splinters” of topsheet material along the top edges grab the rag, trim those loose ends off with a sharp knife or a bit of sandpaper. A smooth top edge won’t cut your fingers as you handle the skis and may prevent further delamination of the topsheet.

3) Look for any obvious issues on the edges and bases. (See below.) Run a finger along the steel edges and a palm along the base. Look for roughness of the edges, discoloration, and any whiteness on the bases.

An example of dry bases on skis.
Dry spots like these are what you are trying to prevent.

4) Using a diamond stone, polish away any burrs on the ski edges. Rust beginning here will go deeper than into a smooth surface and be harder to grind away later. In the long run, rusted burrs will require deeper grinding and shorten the useful life of the ski.

5) Similarly, repair any gouges in the polyethylene bases. Using a waxing iron, coat the bases and edges with a thick layer of soft “summer” wax. (If you don’t have warm-weather wax handy, any wax will do to prevent oxidation. Any wax is better than a dry base). 

6) Leave the wax on your skis through the summer months. You can scrape and brush the bases before your first run next winter.

A Wagner tech scrapes skis
You can scrape the thick summer wax off before your first run of the next season.

7) Fasten the skis together with two velcro ski straps, one toward the tips and one toward the tails. The foam section should sit between the ski bases to protect the steel edges from scissoring against each other, and the velcro can be wrapped around your skis tightly. Store skis in a dry, shaded, and well-ventilated location.

8) Before skiing in the fall, scrape off the (soft) storage wax and iron in a coat of harder or all-purpose glide wax suitable for winter snow.

How to Cheat

A ski gets tuned at the Wagner Custom Skis factory.
Getting a ski tune without scraping off the wax is a great cheater hint.

If you don’t have an iron or wax, consider getting a ski tune before storing your skis for the summer. If you choose this route, ask the shop to dry the skis thoroughly, clean them, repair any damage and polish the edges. This is a good time to have the bases stone-ground. Early winter snow is colder than late spring snow, so ask the shop for a fine, cold-snow structure that will be appropriate for the colder temperature of early winter. Alternatively, if you own a pair of Wagner Skis, you can send them to us for a summer Spa Tune*. We will restore your skis to their original factory condition (or as close as possible). Our spa tunes start at $200 and includes the following:

• Repair any base damage
• Grind skis flat
• Restore the factory structure to the bases
• Deburr and sharpen the edges
• Restore factory-specific edge bevels
• Wax, brush and polish
• Clean up the topsheet (buffing out the topsheet-sidewall interface and repairing any cuts)
• Return shipping

*NOTE: we have limited windows in the spring and fall for Spa Tunes. If the link 404s on you, please sign up for the newsletter to be notified when we are taking skis for the next season.

A woman skis in Telluride
Once the snow flies again, your skis will be ready to go!

With a summer tune, your skis will greet winter in a great condition so you’re ready to hit the slopes and charge hard. A few minutes of storage prep each spring guarantees years of top performance from your skis.

Want to know the right way to store your boots? Check out the article here.


Article by Kimberly Beekman

Kimberly Beekman is the former editor-in-chief of the late, great Skiing Magazine (RIP), and a longtime editor of SKI Magazine before that. She currently uses the title of “freelancer” as a beard to ski powder all over the world. She lives in Steamboat, Colorado, with her wonderful daughter and terrible cat.


Cover image: the Hallsteiner rack from


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