It’s that time of year… time to take your last couple runs then pack your favorite gear away for the summer. Before you do, be sure to give your bases a little love with a hot wax. Our summer storage wax starts the same way as an ordinary hot wax, but instead of scraping the wax, we’ll leave it on for the summer so you can be sure your bases are protected. In the fall, we’ll take it off and you’ll be set to ride! This special offer is good through the month of April, so bring ’em down as soon as you can.
As the temperatures rise and we start to dig out our summer sports equipment, it’s important to take a few minutes to clean and store your winter gear properly. Not only will this save you time and money in the long run, it’ll keep your gear performing great for years to come.
Snowshoes and Ice Skates – As with skis & snowboards, you’ll want to wipe down your other winter equipment before putting it away for the summer months. Storing your shoes & skates indoors in the summer will prevent the metals from rusting & will keep the plastics in their original form. It’s best to keep these items off the floor too (especially if we’re talking about a garage!) to prevent moisture damage.
Winter Apparel– Your jackets & pants will last their longest & look their best if they are cared for properly. While we suggest washing your jacket throughout the year too, you’ll definitely want to clean it up before storing it for the summer. Washing your outdoor clothing with harsh detergents such as Tide or All can damage the waterproof technologies of the piece. The same qualities that make these detergents hard on stains make them hard on quality outdoor apparel. Shep’s sells Nikwax, a detergent specifically designed to clean apparel without damaging their DWR (durable water repellant)
coating or clogging the waterproof membranes that live in the quality fabrics. (Always remember to follow the care labels on your jackets & pants when washing!) The same company that makes Tech Wash makes an entire line of fabric care products, including TX Direct, which restores waterproof/breathable coatings on your clothing.
The tuning shop at Shep’s has always delivered outstanding quality and service when it comes to prepping your gear for the best possible performance on the hill. This year, we’re making it even better. LOADS better!
Every winter, we strive to bring you the best performing, hottest new skis, boards, and gear on the planet, and people are hitting the slopes now more than ever. Our tuning wizard, Pete Kohlmoos, works his magic tuning, waxing, edging and repairing. To meet our own increasing demands while staying true to our promise of providing our customers with the best possible service and quality, we’ve purchased four new pieces of tuning equipment from Wintersteiger.
Known for their legendary quality and results, Wintersteiger produces industry leading tuning equipment that can be found worldwide tuning skis for the highest caliber of skiers. Shep’s expects nothing less for our customers. We want our racers on the best gear available, tuned to the highest standards. We want the fastest possible turnaround time to get skiers of all levels back on the slopes, and we strive to deliver cutting edge services that simply can’t be found anywhere else in our area. To do this, here’s what we updated:
Micro 71 Stone Grinder: An update to our existing machine, the Micro 71 is capable of tuning skis and snowboards of all widths with exceptional results. Need the bases on those powder skis fixed up? No problem! Board a bit rough after hours in the park? We’ll get it looking great!
Trim 71 Ceramic Disc Edger: With a specific machine for sharpening base and side edges of skis and boards, Shep’s is now able to bring you laser accurate performance.
Waxjet 93: Designed to deliver hot wax to skis and snowboards in a faster and more efficient manner, the Waxjet 93 provides a deeper penetrating wax to your equipment while using less materials. This translates to a better performing product while leaving a smaller footprint on the environment. It will also significantly speed up our tuning time, getting your equipment done and back to you in record time!
Drivetronic: By far, this is the machine we are the most thrilled to introduce to our customers! The Drivetronic is an alpine ski binding tester designed to do one thing: ensure each and every binding that leaves our shop is performing properly and in the safest manner possible. We want you to be safe and have equipment that is performing at its best. The Drivetronic, combined with our highly-trained ski technician, will allow us to do just that.
With the winter season approaching, now is a great time to check your snow sports gear for possible condition issues, damage, and repair needs. While basic yearly tuning is crucial to keeping your equipment performing at it’s best, often conditions arise which require a bit more attention. Below, I’ll walk you through some very common issues our repair shop sees on a regular basis. Most problems are easily repaired for not a lot of money, and if done in a timely manner, will ensure years of worry-free enjoyment from your gear.
Hands down, the most common issue we encounter with downhill skis, snowboards, and cross country equipment relates to the condition of the base (the side that meets the snow). Without regular waxing, bases will dry out. Not only does this result in poor ski / board performance, it could lead to irreparable damage to the base itself. How can you tell if your base needs wax? Easy. Look at the picture below.
When bases begin to dry out, they turn a lighter gray shade and will often have a slight fuzzy feel. Sometimes, you can scrape your fingernail across the bottom and actually scrape off a thin film. Sound familiar? Don’t worry – 9 times of out 10, a simple tune is all it takes to get your skis or board running like new. And to help prevent this, a yearly tune involving a stone grind, wax, and edge sharpen will keep your equipment performing at it’s best.
Another common problem our ski tech sees is base damage – scratches, gouges, deep cuts. Luckily, these are easy to spot as shown here:
Most of the time, these happen through no fault of the user. Rocks are hit, skis bang into each other during a fall, or kids try to ski across the driveway in June. But like dried out bases, most base damage can be repaired for a relatively small fee. Not only does this repair help the performance of your gear, it prevents any damage to the core of the ski or board by sealing out moisture. If you discover any base damage, it’s best to get in into our shop as soon as possible.
While not as common, damage can occur to the edges of your gear. This too happens from inadvertently running over debris, other skis, etc, and is often a fairly simply fix. If the damage is too severe, as in the example below, the ski or board may not be 100% fixable. Still, our repair shop will inspect and fix the issue to the best of our ability to ensure safety and performance standards.
Top sheet Damage
Don’t forget about the top of your skis or board. Like the bases, top sheets are easily damaged and can lead to permanent damage if not promptly repaired. While these issues are fairly easy to spot as shown below, regular inspection of your gear is highly recommended.
We see de-lamination with skis and boards that frequent the parks, and it’s often a result of blunt force to the tip / tail of the equipment. While this damage often means the end of your ski or board, catching the problem early might save the day. If not severe, our shop tech is able to repair this damage and hopefully extend the life of your gear.
Boots and Bindings
Just like your favorite sneakers, with time, ski / snowboard boots simply wear out. While they may still fit like a dream, continued use on worn out gear is not only risky, it’s downright unsafe. Here’s what to look for:
1. Worn or damaged ski boot bases. This either occurs from years of clipping in and out of bindings, as well as years of walking through parking lots, around ski resorts, and through the snack bar. When the tip and tail of your bases become worn and rounded, your bindings are unable to securely hold your boots in place while skiing. This can result in untimely and surely unwanted releases from your binding while skiing, and can also result in injury.
2. Broken buckles. It just happens. The good news is we are usually able to fix snowboard bindings in store while you wait. The not so good news is that downhill boots are often a bit more difficult to repair. Still, if you find yourself with a broken boot, bring it in for us to have a look. We’ll do our best to get your gear fixed up and back on the slopes as fast as possible.
3. Damaged or bent bindings. By comparing your left binding to the right and vice versa, you should be able to spot any damaged or bent parts. Further, if one binding is behaving differently then the other (engaging with less or more force, releasing early, or not holding the boot firmly), it’s time to have us take a look. Remember that we are only legally allowed to work on bindings that are of a certain age or newer, so if you purchased your skis and bindings when Abba’s “Dancing Queen” was topping the Top 40 charts, it might be time for an upgrade.
If you do discover any problems and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us (715-845-5432) or bring your gear in. We offer free shop estimates / inspections, and will do our best to get your gear returned to you as fast as possible. Also, be sure to ask one of our team members about preventative maintenance as well – often, most of the conditions mentioned above can be easily avoided with minimal yearly maintenance.