- SKI MAINTENANCE
- SKI BOOTS
- NEW SECTION : SAFETY WITH YOUR LITTLE ONE
DO YOU KNOW : More than clothes,
- In addition to clothing, Avalanche offers its customers 25 well-designed, efficient and affordable ski accessories, all tested by the boss.
- Must-haves: our socks. We sell 30,000 pairs every year!
Taking a practical approach
Maintaining your skis (and your family members’ skis) all on your own requires a workshop, specialized tools, a certain dexterity and TIME! That’s why so few skiers do it.
However, if you take the following steps (in decreasing order of importance), you’ll be able to extend the time between professional sharpenings:
- Wipe your skis after every use to keep rust from forming on the edges and bindings. It only takes a minute per pair. Nothing ruins a sharpened edge faster than rust, except for maybe a rock.
- Store your skis upright in a warm, dry place. That way, if there is any moisture left, it will not stay on your edges.
- From time to time, wipe your edges with a cloth SLIGHTLY dampened with WD-40, being sure to wipe off any excess.
- Occasionally clean the base of your skis (and why not the cosmetic deck while you’re at it) with a wax remover. A clean ski glides better.
All of this only takes a few minutes and a spritz of WD-40. Not a bad way to get the most out of a professional sharpening!
If you have a little more time:
- Buy two edge tuner tools set at the angles recommended by your pro, and two diamond stone files (200 and 600 grit for example). It should cost you less than $150. If you need ski vises, double your budget. You can also find vises on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji, most of the time at half their original price.
- Your pro will explain how to use them. With the edge tuner tools, if you take your time, there is little risk of getting it wrong.
- By devoting around 15 minutes to each pair of skis, you should be able to enjoy a dozen ski days between professional sharpenings. It’s simply a matter of keeping your skis top-notch, being proactive, not letting them “get out of hand” and being attentive to your skis!
- Want to bring your base back to baseline? That’s a delicate operation that should be done by a professional.
One last tip: Choose where you want to have your skis sharpened and always go to the same place. That will ensure consistent quality. And this way, the sharpener won’t change your edge angles inadvertently.
Come see me at our Beaupré store! We sharpen “by hand,” taking all the time needed to do an excellent job.
Ski and Bootfitting Advisor
2 – SKI BOOTS
Are women’s feet different from men’s? Just look at a pair of pumps!
All good shoemakers know that women have more slender feet, with narrower heels, and calves that start closer to the ankle than a man’s foot. Ski boot manufacturers know this too!
They also take other things into consideration. As women are lighter and less physically strong, they benefit from a more flexible ski boot. Which is why Avalanche has boots with a flex of 80 or 90 available. We even have boots with a flex of 110 or 120 for stronger skiers (competitors).
Several models have buckle systems that require less hand strength. This is an important consideration, especially when the shell is frozen.
We’ve noticed that when shown two ski boots of the same quality, women skiers tend to choose the lighter boot. Manufacturers have noticed this too and are making their boots lighter.
Ski boots are, by all accounts, the most important purchase a skier will make. My colleague Rudy spoke about this in Outdoor Report 8, which you can find in the News section of our site at avalancheskiwear.com. Make an appointment with me at our Beaupré store! As someone who has worn pumps, I have a clear advantage over my colleagues in helping women skiers select the perfect boots!
3 – SAFETY ON THE SLOPES
Skiing with your little one (under 6 years of age)
My best ski memories are of when I introduced my daughter Sam to skiing at age 3½. Strangely, she has no memory of it! As you can see, it’s a great experience, and sometimes a point of pride, for the parents. Don’t turn it into a nightmare for your child! Here are 10 safety tips based on my experience with my little angel.
First, I recommend renting ski equipment for your child rather than buying, if that’s a possibility. It’s not expensive (<$100/year) and the equipment will be the right size. Come see us at our Beaupré store. It’s always a thrill to start a child off in this sport we’re so passionate about.
One very important aspect: the ski boots. At Avalanche, we have a carpet with illustrations of children’s feet for each boot size. So they don’t even need to try them on!
There’s plenty of advice online if you look up “toddler skiing,” and it’s easy to spot the reasonable tips. Now, on to mine!
- Choose a nice day that’s not too cold or windy.
- Don’t expect too much in terms of time on the slopes, skill or performance. You want your child to still be skiing in 30 years, not necessarily in the next three hours.
- Make sure your child has gone to the washroom recently. Is your child still wearing a diaper? It might be a little early to introduce them to the sport.
- A toddler’s energy level is like that of an old iPhone. It goes from 100% to 0% very quickly. Make sure you’re not two kilometres from the base of the mountain when that happens.
- Yay for bunny (learning) hills and hooray for magic carpet conveyors! They make it easy to stop skiing as soon as your little one starts getting cranky, and they’ll have plenty of friends at their skill level, often from the same daycare.
- Resist the call of the “Family” trail for as long as possible. It’s often a very long run and packed with adults who are also learning to ski.
- Take the T-bars or magic carpet rather than the chairlifts. Why? Picture the lift stopping halfway up the mountain due to a mechanical issue, or your chair being rocked by big gusts of wind…
- On the T-bar lift, I would place my daughter’s skis on either side of mine. That way, Sam’s entire back and head were leaning against my leg, and with my hands on her shoulders, I was in control.
- Kids love the gondolas. They’re easy to get into, and small children instantly become the main attraction for everyone on board.
- If you use a harness, keep the lead short. You wouldn’t want a skier to pass between you and your child!
Introducing your child to skiing is a wonderful parenting experience. Once you’ve done that, you can enrol your child in ski school.The ski instructors are excellent, and the group spirit will keep your child interested.