It is late spring, the temperature is climbing into the 70’s and your snowboard is still sitting where you left it the last time you came down from the mountain. As tempting as it is to drop everything and make a beeline for your mountain bike, preparing your snowboard for summer storage shouldn't be overlooked. After all, it’s an expensive toy and you want to make it last. Taking the time to prep your snowboard for summer storage will not only prolong the lifetime of it, but also allow you to return to the mountain as soon as the snow starts to fall.
Cleaning your Snowboard
The best way to clean your snowboard is with a garden hose and towel in your backyard. All dirt, salt and grime must go. Spray everything down thoroughly, trying not to force water into the bindings if possible. Avoid using degreasers or detergent, as they could affect the binding lubricant. If there’s a nasty buildup stuck to the base, try a cloth dipped in a small amount of citrus solvent.
Check the Edges
Sharpen your edges or at least remove the most obvious burrs. This will reduce the chances of rust and leave less work for you come next season. Some snowboards need more work than a simple edge true up. Summer is the best time to have your shop do a base grind and fix any base or edge damage incurred during the winter. Shops that only specialize in winter sports are extremely slow during the summer months. You will find that most are grateful for any business that comes their way. You can pretty much guarantee you won’t be getting your snowboard tuned on time if you wait until December.
Wax the Base
You’ll want to hot wax the base with an all-temperature, or a softer warm-weather wax, to protect it from oxidation and dryness. Be generous with the wax and be sure to cover the edges, as this will help keep the rust away. Don’t scrape the wax off; leave it on all summer as this will only help protect the base even more.
Find a cool, dry place inside your house and out of the sun to store your board for the summer. A snowboard bag can be a great place to store your gear for the off season. Not only does it help prevent accidental dings and dents, it also blocks out sunlight and dust. Try not to store it in a shed, barn or even your garage if possible. These locations are more prone to temperature fluctuations and moisture.
Also, be sure to store your snowboard in a neutral position with no pressure on either the camber or rocker. In other words, do not hang it between the rungs in your garage or attic. Even leaning your snowboard against an empty wall in your house can be damaging to the camber or rocker. The best way to store it is to lay it down under your bed or on the floor of your closet.
For the More Particular
Some snowboarders remove their bindings or loosen the screws in the summer to reduce stress on the inserts and to prevent dimpling of the base. There is no real downside to doing this, and it only takes a few minutes. Be sure to put any loose screws in a Ziploc bag so you don’t lose them during the summer months. Also, it is important to write down your binding settings on a piece of tape and stick it to your bindings so you can easily reset them come winter.
Storing Boots for the Summer
Preparing your boots can be just as important as preparing your snowboard for summer storage. First start by pulling the liners out to make sure everything is completely dry. Then, you will want to put the liners back in and either lace, tighten, or ratchet your boots so they hold their shape. Be sure to check the laces, pull cords or BOA mechanism and replace if you see any wear. Lastly, be sure to store your boots in some sort of boot bag or box. This will help reduce the number of critters that can climb into them during the summer months.
Wait for Next Winter
Right before your local ski resort opens be sure to scrape off the wax and brush the base if you used an all temperature wax. If you used a warm weather wax, scrape if off and re-wax for the current temperature.