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Ski and Snowboard repair Tips

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ski base repair tools
How to Tune, Wax & Repair Database
Ski Repair & Other Repair How-To
Peruse answers to common questions below, as well as our tips collected over the years from our wisened customers around the world.
Tip: Use CTRL-F to find a word you are interested in .

SKI & SNOWBOARD REPAIRS

EDGE REPLACEMENT TIPS

Check Our Video On How To Replace A Damaged Edge.

 


When doing edge replacements, cut the ends of your edge section as shown and it won' t pop out as easily with use. To adhere the edge, cut steel wool into fine pieces and mix it with epoxy...it acts like rebar in cement for a stronger bond.
-Mike Tabert, Aurora, CO

When replacing a damaged steel edge section in a ski or snowboard, help ensure a long-lasting repair with these tricks. First, cut all the ends of the edges to a 45°ree; angle to help hold the replacement section in place. Then take a strand of Kevlar about twice as long as the edge section, wind it carefully around all the tabs on the edge, and finish it with a knot. Tack the new edge section in place with superglue, put in edge screws to anchor it, then coat every-thing lightly with epoxy.
If you're base patching this area, lay in the p-tex patch with epoxy...if not, lay the old p-tex back over the top of the edge section after applying epoxy. Clamp everything snugly (but not too tight) in place and let the epoxy cure for 24 hours.Once bonded into place, the Kevlar fibers will help hold the edge section more securely in place.
ski edge replacement
TOP JOB
If you ever get a hole in the top of your fancy new snowboard or ski, simply break out the epoxy. Apply a little to the hole, leaving it just overfilled. Let it sit overnight, then carefully chisel and sand any excess away. Good as new and hardly noticeable if you finish it carefully.

DELAMINATION 'TIPS'
Repairing ski tip delaminations is tough because curvature makes it difficult to place C- clamps and apply even pressure over the whole area. One solution is to cut the tips off an old pair of skis (Rossi Stratos or Head Standards would rank classiest, of course) and use them as pressure plates. Place one atop and one under the damaged tip. Slip some release paper, plastic bags, or wax paper between the layers of this ski 'sandwich' to keep the layers from all getting glued together, and tighten them snugly (but not too tight or you. ll squeeze out all the epoxy) with C-clamps. The old tips act as molded pressure plates to distribute the clamping pressure evenly across the damaged ski tip.
-Craig Reppe, Mt. Shasta, CA

CRACK UP ON THE MOUNTAIN 

On the first day of a boarding trip I had an unfortunate collision with the mountain. The result was a 7" long side edge board delamination. I spread the crack open, dried and cleaned it, and went to the local Wally World to find the strongest epoxy they sell. I put down paper and a heat pad (graciously supplied by the condo) on the ground, epoxied up the delamination, and parked my van on it for the night. The next morning I filed the edges, scraped the base, waxed it and the repair is still good to this day. Don't forget to inspect that heat pad on your next trip as it might be a little squished.

STEEL WOOL REBAR 
When doing edge replacements, cut the ends of your edge sections at a diagonal angle and it won't pop out as easily with use. To adhere the edge, cut steel wool into fine pieces and mix it with epoxy...it acts like rebar in cement for a stronger bond.
-Mike Tabert, Aurora, CO

ski edge repairEDGE SHIM 
Repairing bent ski or snowboard edges can be frustrating. To simplify the job and guard against further damage, I've made a metal shim that I place along the sidewall so the opening straddles the bent edge. I clamp it and the ski (or snowboard) securely base-up in a vise. The edge can then be carefully driven back outward without causing more delamination or damage.
-Lothar Loacker, Highland Park, IL

BENT SKIS
Occasionally a ski will get bent as a result of a fall, collision, hard landing, etc. Traditional design skis (with sandwich or box construction) and some trapezoidal-type skis can sometimes be restraightened back to their original camber with the judicious use of heat and force on a bending bar. The semi-rigid structural nature of many cap and monocoque skis, however, makes this almost impossible since it usually results in a weak spot or kink in the top cap that can' t be repaired. Check with your ski shop or contact the manufacturer to see if they can find a new mate to match the length and flex of your remaining good ski...the price for this service (if available) can be half the cost of a new pair of skis.

INNER TUBE TIP
C-Clamping skis or snowboards that have delaminated can sometimes be tricky because of the ski top design and finish, as well as the need to apply force in more than one direction. When ordinary c-clamps don' t work, try using strips from an old bicycle inner tube. Force can be increased or concentrated by overlapping the layers of stretched rubber...and since force is applied from all directions toward the center of the ski or snowboard, a good repair can be accomplished.
-Pete Craig, Goshen, CT

A RIVETTING EXPERIENCE
I have had three ski tips delaminate over the last few years. I repaired them by applying epoxy between the separated laminations and installing a 1/8" flathead rivet (soft aluminum) about 3/8" in from the tip. The rivet hole was drilled first and countersunk from both sides. The glued layers were clamped until the epoxy hardened and I used saran wrap over the repair while drying to keep the c-clamps clean. When dry, the rivet and joint were trimmed flush with a smooth file. The good ski was riveted at the same time as a precaution.
-Derek Hine, Palo Alto, CA

DAMPENING TRICK
Slip in thin strips of neoprene rubber between ski layers when gluing up delaminations in the tip and tail area where vibrations make repairs more brittle. Use a slow-set epoxy which is more flexible when it sets up than a quick-set epoxy.

SLALOM SKI DELAMINATIONS
When racing slalom, you clear the poles and they slam forward and down...smacking the tips/tops of your skis with tremendous velocity. The impact is roughly equivalent to hitting your skis with a hammer, and they may start delaminating. I run a bead of silicon caulk about 12" back from the tips along the tops edges of my ski tips...this softens the impact of the gate slam, and reduce the chance of delaminations.
-Andrew Gontarek, River Falls, WI

SKI SURGERY
I have a pair of K2 skis with a damaged tip. The top sheet has separated from the bottom, and is also chipped a little. I can squeeze the tip together and it looks okay, except for the chip. Can this be repaired?
-Paul Bump 
Sure...start off by making sure the area is completely dry and as clean as possible. Our oyster knife is a great tool for getting in between the layers and scraping dirt or grunge out. Then mix up a two-part urethane glue (more flexible when dry) or epoxy (less flexible when dry) and work it in at the ski tip between the top sheet and bottom layer...again, the oyster knife is ideal for this. Wrap up the whole works with a plastic bag or paper towel, and clamp it firmly (but not super tight) together. If you have flexible steel scrapers or bent plates to place over the top sheet and bottom layer before clamping, this is even better. Let it dry at room temperature or warmer for 24 hours before unclamping, unwrapping and cleaning everything up. This might require sandpaper, a steel scraper or chisel, etc.
The chipped topsheet can be patched with either urethane or epoxy...and you can try to match the original color by mixing in our epoxy pigments. Again, let this dry 24 hours, then clean up with the same tools.
If the delamination happens again, repeat this whole process, but finish it off by drilling a 1/8" or similar hole through the tip and putting in a similar-sized pop rivet with washers. Although it may not look especially pretty, it can really help hold things together. 

EPOXY APPLICATION
I have some epoxy and epoxy pigment. The epoxy doesn’t mix well or set well with cold, and the pigmant doesn’t seem to be coloring the epoxy very well. Does pigment go bad, or is affected by cold temperatures?
- Todd Hayne
Epoxy works best when mixed, applied and allowed to cure at room temperature or above. We recommend mixing the two epoxy components together...as well as mixing in pigment...under the heat of an incandescant light bulb or similar. This will also make it thinner and allow it to flow deeper into delaminations, cracks, nicks, etc. Sometimes pigment will separate in the bottle...especially over time or when it gets too cold. In this case, simply pop it in your microwave for a short time (try 10-second increments) to heat it up a bit. This, along with some shaking or stirring, should return it back to good working condition.

DELAMINATION WARNING
When waxing skis or snowboards that have previously been repaired for delaminations, be especially careful not to overheat the base, since it may soften the epoxy you originally used for the repair and subsequently weaken or even it.
- Luke Onesti, email submission


OTHER GEAR REPAIRS

POLE REPAIRS
To make a ski pole repair kit for back country skiing, cut a 4" long section from an old ski pole. Then take a hacksaw and cut this section lengthwise, so you have a 4" long sleeve that can be spread open wider or compressed smaller in diameter with some small hose clamps around it. Place over a badly bent or broken pole to splint it until you reach civilization again.

POLE PROTECTION
Use cylindrically-shaped plastic shrink wrap from hardware and/or electrical stores to help protect ski pole shafts where your ski edges nick . em most often just above the pole basket, or apply it just below the basket to help hold the basket in place. It goes on real easy with a lighter or heat gun, and multiple layers can even be used for extra durable protection.

COOL GLUES
When replacing baskets on ski poles, I use a special compound called FER-RULE-TITE...available at sporting goods stores that cater to hunters and archers. It melts easily with only a butane lighter, hardens quickly, and becomes soft enough to remove a pole basket if heated in hot water or steam.
To repair a ding or deep gouge in a sidewall, I use a product called MARINE-TEX... ordinarily used to repair hulls of pleasure boats. It' s available where boating products are sold. After drying, MARINE-TEX is easily sanded and painted.
For cosmetic repairs to ski tops that suffer scratches and small punctures from ski pole tips, etc., I' ve used various products. LIQUID PAPER, normally used to correct typing errors, works okay on white ski tops. If you want to match the color of a ski, try nail polish. There are enough colors, including metallics and glossies, to find a pretty good match. To fill small holes (such as ones made by tacks for holding on some x-c ski heel plates) use Elmer' s glue or similar, then cover with nail polish.
-Harry Frank, Flushing, MI

BASKET SAVER
Ever ruin a great ski day by losing a basket? Just wrap some electrical tape round the pole shaft directly below the basket and they won. t slip off accidentally again.
-Mike Leese, Seattle, WA

SAVE SOME DOUGH
Rental shops usually sell replacement pole baskets, boot buckles, etc. for a lower price than pro shops.

GOGGLE REPAIRS
When the foam padding of your favorite goggles wears out or gets hard or torn...replace is simply and inexpensively. Remove all the old foam and glue from around inside the goggles, then trace the goggle pattern onto wax paper or tracing paper. Overlay this pattern on a standard 1/4" thick household sponge and cut out a new pad with scissors or an exacto knife. Use hot glue, shoe goo or similar to attach the new pad and hold it in place with rubber bands or clothes pins while the glue dries. The finished product is as good as new and the total repair cost is about 65 cents.
-Dr. Ronald Giles, Washington, PA

BUSTED ZIPPER PULL?
Got a broken zipper grip on your parka? Take a small coin and drill a small hole in it near the edge. Fasten this coin to a small paper clip, which in turn you fasten to the old zipper pull. Wrap a little duct tape or similar around the paper clip so it can't uncoil, and now you have a zipper pull you can grip even with gloves or mittens on.
-Tim Leeuw, Fairfax, VT


REPAIR TOOLS

HOT BOX
ski repair hot boxIf resurrecting mashed, delaminated or exploded skis or snowboards is common in your workshop and you're continually searching for a safe refuge for clamped and curing boards, a hot box may be just the ticket. Inexpensive and convenient, it'll dry 'em before repair, reduce epoxy drying time and put an end to random clutter of clamp-festooned weapons lurking about. The box is made of 1/4" thick plywood and lined with a reflective material. Three regular 60-75 watt lightbulbs create a dry climate that varies in temperature from 110-140°ree;F. A full-length hinged door provides easy access, and insulation helps retain the heat. Dimensions can vary depending on the size of boards and skis you repair, but it' s good to leave enough room to hold several at once. Leave ski or boards in the box for 1 to 1.5 hours to let most epoxy repairs fully cure (harden). After hot waxing, leave gear in the box 15-20 minutes to allow the base to absorb as much wax as possible before you remove and let the skis/board cool before final scraping and brushing.
Mount the box on a wall or over a workbench to keep it convenient but out of the way. It's outfitted with shelf brackets to hold boards or skis base or topside up, and slots on the bottom to hold 'em edge up, as well. After hot-waxing, throw a board or skis in the hot box and let wax sink deeper into the base for longer lasting glide. The hot box requires little time or cash to build, and has endless uses from major repairs to keeping pizza warm!

Components
1/4" thick piece of plywood
2" x 2" framing and 2" x 4" slotted bottom rack
shelf brackets and removable/adjustable shelf
2 hinges and 3 door latches or hooks
foil-backed building insulation or aluminum flashing or foil
(commercial grade)
3-4 light bulbs and fixtures junction box with heavy-duty
electrical cord
on/off switch
and pizza rack (optional)
-Chris Doyle, reprinted permission of Transworld Snowboard Business ©Jan '94

ALL TANGLED UP?
Tired of dealing with a tangle of electrical extension cords in your workshop? Try suspending self-coiling extension cords from the ceiling...they' ll always be handy when you need them and coil up our of the way when you don' t.

POKING AROUND
Discarded dental picks are handy tools for poking around with on skis or snowboards. They' re made of good strong steel and are ideal for picking old glue or plastic plugs from binding screw holes, dirt or debris from p-tex ski bases, cleaning cracks in delaminated skis before gluing, etc...check with your dentist for a possible free supply of these!
-Bob Stephens, Reno, NV

COLORING EPOXY
To color match epoxy repairs to ski tops or sidewalls, pick up a vinyl repair kit that contains multiple pigments...these pigments are usually compatible with two-part epoxy mixes.
-Robert Schwell, Sanford, ME

MIXING EPOXY
If you can' t find your epoxy mixing cup, use the lid from a one pound coffee can turned upside down. The upturned edges contain the epoxy mix and it's impossible to tip over!
-Abbott Lahti, Cambridge, MA

A GOOD EYE
A headlamp works great for close detail work at dimly-lit workbenches or places where your head keeps blocking the light.

MINI KIT
I bring a small mini-tuning kit with me on all ski trips. It includes a multi-edge beveller, gummi stone, pocket stone, packet of F4 wax or similar, and small roll of fiberlene paper. It goes in a 3"x 8" nylon stuffsack with a list of these items written on the outside in magic marker so I can remove these items from my larger tuning kit when packing for a trip.
-Jeff Bialer, Seattle, WA

A CLEAN TOOL IS A HAPPY TOOL!
Ceramic Stones- scrub them gently with a brass Supertooth brush, using Ajax or Comet cleanser with water or vinegar and water to cut away grime.
Diamond Stones- scrub gently with a nylon Supertooth brush along with a little wax remover or Ronson lighter fluid.
Steel Files clean frequently with a file brush and rub a little chalk into file teeth occasionally.
Plastic Scrapers- wipe away wax build-up frequently using a steel scraper, ski edge, etc. Resharpen with a pansar file, drywall sanding screen, or Tognar Burrsharp.
Steel Scrapers- keep sharp using a flat file and burnisher or Tognar Burrsharp.
Base Repair Irons & Pistol- keep tips clean by wiping on an old scotchbrite pad while still warm.
Riller Bars/Tools- clean out teeth and ridges on structure bars/blades with a bronze brush.
Wax Irons- wipe off wax and any dirt from the bottom of warm iron (not hot) with a soft, clean rag or old t-shirt (preferably not on someone. s back at the moment!).
Scotchbrite, Fibertex, Omni-Prep Pads- Rinse pads under hot water (180 degrees F.) to melt away wax.


OTHER RELATED TIPS & INFO 

AN INSIDE STORY
Snowboard cores are usually made from wood...about one square foot (1' x1' x1") of it, in fact, including waste material. It provides about 25% of the board. s structural integrity, with the fiberglass wrap and topsheet providing 70-75%. Usually the wood core is made of one or more types of wood with varying degrees of hardness laminated together. These laminates can be as few as 10 veneer layers, or up to 80. The strength of the board is found in the glue of the veneers, which is usually a wood glue. Some manufacturers use soft woods in the middle and harder woods elsewhere...while others use a medium hardness wood for the entire core. An example of a softwood is aspen; maple and pine are hardwoods; poplar and spruce are medium. Hardwoods usually come from older-growth forests, while medium or softwoods come from younger forests.