114 Lincoln Avenue, Breckenridge, CO 80424

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Archive for May 2014

Breckenridge Ski Rental Shop FAQ: How Long Should Skis Last?

One common question we hear at the Breckenridge ski rental shop all the time is: Are my skis still ok? Are they worn out?

Today’s modern materials and technologies help skis last longer than ever before. There are differences, though, in construction and materials that will make a difference in how long a ski will last. Wood cores are manufactured by cutting lumber and laminating thin strips together. These cores are extremely durable and have the longest life. They come in a variety of constructions and range from bamboo to poplar to paulownia. Each has their own characteristics for flex, weight and torsional stiffness.

ski-edge-closeupFoam cores are known for their lightness and consistency. Unfortunately, foam core skis tend to lose ‘liveliness’ much more quickly than wood core skis as over time, the foam core will break down.

Bases and edges are in nearly constant contact with snow which, despite it simply being frozen water, is quite abrasive. Base material and the edges can also be damaged by rocks and other objects in the snow. Having your skis tuned can remove this damage and return a ski to ‘like new’ condition. A professional tune may also uncover less obvious defects and wear to the ski that may cause loss of performance.

Another aspect that affects the longevity of skis is whether they contain metal or not. Most race skis incorporate multiple layers of metal which provides a considerable amount of dampening; the ability of the ski to handle roughness in the snow surface and still grip. Metal also bends, so if you ski in the bumps a lot or are really hard on your skis you might want to avoid skis with excessive metal layers. One hard impact into a bump and you might end up with more rocker than you want.

Most skiers will keep the same bindings on their skis for the life of the ski. Bindings will eventually exhibit signs of wear such as the heel piece becoming worn which gives it less surface area to contact with the boot. The pivot points may also become loose resulting in a binding that lets the boot move around. This type of wear can make the binding less reliable. It is important to inspect the boot/binding interface periodically to ensure that it is solid and not worn or ‘wiggly’. Another area of the bindings that is prone to failure is the plastic itself. Over time, the plastic may deteriorate to the point where it will crack or –even worse–break. Regular inspection and testing of your bindings is important to your safety while skiing. Have your bindings tested at least once a year to be sure that they are performing as they were designed to.

If you are in doubt about how you skis are performing, or if you want to try a newer set of skis and bindings, you can always try renting skis when you visit Breckenridge, CO. Our ski rentals will give you a reference point to compare your equipment to well-tuned performance demo skis. Who knows…you may just find you want to upgrade after trying one of our demo skis.

Breckenridge Ski Rental FAQ: Tune Skis Now or in the Fall?

Now that Breckenridge has closed it is time to be thinking about taking care of your gear for the summer. A good cleaning of your skis, boots and poles now will have them ready to go when the snow flies in the fall.

rental-ski-equipment-breckenridgeThe most important aspect of preparing your skis is to make sure they are dry and clean. The slightest amount of moisture on the edges will cause them to rust. Spring skiing is wonderful but the snow is at its worst as far as dirt and debris that can negatively affect the performance of your skis. A tune will insure that the edges have been cleared of any burrs, those nasty nicks from running over rocks and other hard stuff in the snow. Rough spots on the base as well as gouges will be repaired giving you a smooth running surface. Tuning will also result in your bases being cleaned and then coated with wax. The wax will protect the bases from dust and grime that might build up over summer storage. The only thing that you will need to do in the fall is scrape the ‘storage’ wax off leaving you with skis that have been tuned and are ready to go.

Be sure to let your boots dry out thoroughly by removing the liners from them. Inspect them for any wear that may need attention. Shops will be able to work on your boots during the summer so that come fall, they are in shape for skiing.

Don’t neglect your poles, either. Leather straps will last longer if treated with a quick cleaning with your favorite leather treatment such as mink oil. If your poles are metal, check them for dents that might lead to breakage the next time out. It is better to replace them than to have an unexpected failure ruin your day.

Your ski pants, jacket and other soft goods deserve some loving as well. Run the through the laundry, as appropriate, so you’ll show up in the fall looking all cleaned up and ready to go.

If you decide to go ahead and have your skis or boots tuned up this spring, you can also enjoy spring ski rentals. Breckenridge may be closed, but Loveland and Arapahoe Basin ski areas are still open for those last runs of the season. As a matter of fact, it is snowing while I write this article…