Save the Hassle & Get a Yakima Rack

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Photo: instagram.com/yakimaracks

We’ve probably all tried to cram a bike into the too-small trunk, always to realize it’s not worth the scratches, grease, and parts moved out of alignment. Maybe the snow covered skis that begin to drip all over the moment you crank the heat is more familiar to you? If you’re feeling us, this is where Yakima comes in.

Yakima makes racks for a variety of needs with a variety of prices. If you need to carry your bike, you can choose to carry it on top of your car or on a hitch mount. Need a cargo box up top? Sure thing, how much space do you need? Want to carry kayaks or skis? Yakima racks can do it all.

Here’s how car-top Yakima systems work:

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Photo: instagram.com/yakimaracks

1- Start with the parts you need to create the rack system on the top of your car. Depending on the make/model/year of your car, and what it may or may not come with from the factory, we’ll select the specific clips & bars you need. This part stays on your car and acts as the “base” to build off of.

2- Once you have your base, you can choose which systems you want to add, depending on what you want to carry. Onto your bars, you can attach the kayak carriers, bike carriers, cargo boxes, etc. These parts can be easily taken on and off, so you can customize your rack for the weekend ahead.

Come chat with our staff about your car & carrying needs and we’ll help you out. And, if you act soon, you can take advantage of an offer from Yakima and get a $20 rebate for purchases over $300. Yakima

Winter Sports Gear – Cleaning and Storage

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.

Skis and Snowboards – The bases of your skis and boards should be cleaned and waxed before you place them into storage.  Often, the wax you started the season with is long gone come spring, leaving your bases dry and unprotected.  Left in this condition, summer storage only make the problem worse.
Cleaning is best done using the hot wax and scrape method.  Using a high temperature wax or base prep, iron in the wax and scrape while the wax is still warm.  This will remove
any dirt and grime far more effectively without damaging or clogging the base than heavy cleaners such as WD-40, Simple Green, etc.  After cleaning, apply another coat of wax and leave it on the base without scraping for storage.  This protects the base from drying out and other damage that may occur during the months of nonuse.

 

Summer Storage Wax Banner 2015Click HERE to learn more about our summer wax special. This month only, it’s $10, and if you’d like, we’ll even store your gear for you in our cozy downtown Wausau, WI maintenance center over the summer.

 

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.

Our staff is always around to answer any questions you may have, including anything about storing your winter toys. Stop in, give us a call, or post your question on our Facebook page.

 

2015-16 Ski & Snowboard Demo @ Granite Peak

Curious what’s coming next? Dying to get the first look at next year’s skis & snowboards? Join us at Granite Peak on Saturday, February 28th and do just that! Chat with reps from the industry’s biggest brands and test the goods that are coming out next winter! 2015-16 gear will be available, including free ride skis, race skis, cruisers, snowboards, and even goggles!

Try as much as you can between 9am-3pm at Granite Peak. We just ask for a one-time $5 donation to be put toward local ski & snowboard programs. Register in the Lower Chalet.

Mark your calendar & get pumped up! We can’t wait to see you there.

15/16 Skis

Snow Sports Gear, Outdoor Clothing and Your Spring Cleaning List

Sad as it may make you, the snow will eventually melt here in Wausau (Wisconsin’s winter wonderland) and it will be time to put your technical outerwear and ski equipment into storage. Prepare your gear properly and you’ll reap the benefits of long life and premium performance.

Washing your jacket, pants or other outdoor apparel is important to the long life of your garment and is just as easy as washing your other laundry.  Just follow the care label on your outerwear which is specific to your garment (and related to any warranty that may be in

Care labels are fun to read. No, really!

place), avoiding common detergents like Tide, Cheer, Gain, All, etc. which are too harsh for your technical outerwear. They’re great at getting stains out, but just as ruthless in their treatment of waterproofing materials.

You can get your favorite clothing clean at home without disturbing the DWR (durable water repellent) coating or clogging the waterproof/breathable membrane (commonly referred to as Goretex), which can be destroyed by dry cleaning, by using non-detergent soaps made specifically for technical gear.  And you can do it with confidence that the environment won’t be a casualty of your spring cleaning efforts.  Pick a liquid, free-rinsing soap to use on your garment. Do not use powder detergents which will clog the pores of your waterproof breathable membrane in your jacket or pant, and steer clear of products with surfactants, detergents, bleaches, softeners, conditioners, or perfumes which can contain waxes or oils or can be hydrophilic, or water-absorbing, which is the opposite of what you paid for when you bought your outerwear.

Our favorite is Tech Wash, which maintains the breathability and original water repellency of your outdoor clothing and can be used in your washing machine or sink. ( Another great choice is Granger’s G-Wash Cleaner.)

Nikwax, the maker of Tech Wash, also makes waterproofing products for any garments that have lost their water repellency or never had it in the first place.

Nikwax TX-Direct restores waterproof/breathable coatings on clothing and gear.

Nikwax Tech Wash can be used in your machine or when washing by hand.

You’ll find spray-on or wash-in waterproofing solutions, treatments for fabric, leather and shoes, and more.  Shep’s carries Nikwax year round for your snow clothing, fleece garments, bags, raingear, tents, and more. Remember to read the label on your gear!

 

Now, what to do with your skis or snowboard when the chairlifts stop turning?  Proper storage is easy and will make a difference in the performance you see and feel next season.

It starts with a professional tune-up, like the 10-step stone grind and storage hand-wax we offer at Shep’s.  But if you tune your own equipment or can’t get to a local shop consider doing the following:

  1. Make sure all rust is removed from the edges of your skis or board.  (This can be avoided if you wipe the edges off when you come off the hill each day.)
  2. Once your edges are clean, remove the wax from your bases.  Shep’s stocks Swix base cleaner for this purpose.
  3. With a clean base and smooth edges, and using a hot iron made especially for this purpose, generously apply storage wax, covering the edges.  When the wax is cool and set, leave it alone.  It will protect your edges and bases during the off-season.  The storage wax should be scraped off and removed again when your next ski season begins.
  4. Visually inspect your bindings.  Snowboard bindings are full of parts that like to work loose over time and are notorious for causing missed runs during the season due to missing straps.  Check that you are not missing any screws, washers, nuts or straps and replace them.  (Hint: check these before or after each outing during the season too!)  For their safety skiers are urged to leave all binding work to a certified technician who is trained and tested by the binding manufacturer each season.
  5. Store your board and skis in a well-ventilated space, away from direct light.  Avoid the garage.
  6. If you must keep your skis or board in a garage, hand them on a wall or place a carpet square or even cardboard underneath to reduce the growth of rust due to moisture moving up from the cement.

    You may not have drool-worthy storage like this, but try to keep your gear in a well ventilated space and take care to avoid rust and damage from UV light.

Shepherd & Schaller Sporting Goods offers free summer ski and board storage when you purchase a complete tune-up.  We will treat your edges and bases to a new finish, store them in “winter wax” which to them is like a month at the spa, and have them freshly waxed, scraped and ready for you come fall.  In addition, we can set your bindings for the new season, all while leaving you room in your closet for your water skis and wakeboard!  It is good practice to have your ski and snowboard bindings inspected by a certified tech at the beginning of each season.  Any time your equipment is not used for a stretch of time there is risk that moving parts become unhealthy.  You also need your ski bindings adjusted each season because even if your height, weight, ability and boot sole length stay the same, your age changes, and all are calculated together to arrive at the proper setting formula.  

We’d love to help you select brand new equipment each season, but a little TLC and proper cleaning and storage will keep your gear healthy and money in your pocket for that special purchase when the time is right, instead of replacing gear you ruined accidentally.

Call us if you’re not sure how to care for any of your sporting equipment.  We’re here to help! 715-845-5432