Women's gear, up first
What is the best way to store skis and skins over the winter? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico
The big deal with skins is to make sure none of the adhesive is exposed because they can become easily contaminated by dog hair, dirt, or whatever else happens to be lingering in the back of your truck or storage room. The best way to store skins is to invest in Black Diamonds Cheat Sheets ($18 to $20, comes in three sizes; blackdiamondequipment.com), a synthetic mesh panel that you stick over the adhesive side of the skin. In a perfect world you might hang up the skins in a dry place so they dont get all kinked up over the summer, but most skins these days are so pliable and reliable (check out BDs Ascension or Glidelite series) year after year that you can fold them up in your bag and keep them there all summer (thats where mine are). If they need some doctoring come next season, try BDs Glue Renew Transfers ($40), two heat-activated sheets that remove the sticky old stuff and add fresh new adhesive.
As for skis, there are a few simple rules: Apply a heavy coat of wax and dont scrape it away. This ensures that the edges wont rust over the summer. Then store the skis in a dry, covered place (not in a damp, humid basement). If you can help it, keep your tails off concrete-it can delaminate them. Some people even go so far as to take a screwdriver and turn the din setting to zero because it will ostensibly make the spring last longer, but most binding parts these days are so tough and sophisticated that its not necessary. Plus, the extra step of remembering to reset them when the snow flies, adds even more confusion the first day back on the mountain.