Comment bien préparer ses skis ou son snowboard WEDZE

Repairing your skis and snowboard

Torn edges, holes in the base - each year, your equipment suffers its fair share of wear and tear. To better understand how to prevent and repair the damage, Laurent Cardot from the Workshop explains what you need to do.

Hi, can you quickly introduce yourself?
Hi, I'm Laurent Cardot, Workshop Manager at Mountain Store in Passy and Decathlon Ski Workshop Expert since 1987.

Can you tell us more about your work as a Workshop Expert?
An expert is the technical benchmark for the maintenance and repair of skis for all Decathlon Workshops, on a worldwide scale. So I am involved in training ski technicians.

What are the main types of damage most commonly repaired on skis and snowboards?
The main types of damage encountered are holes in the base and blunt edges. The edges of skis and snowboards are the metal angle between the edge of the base and its sidewall at a right angle.
They let you grip the snow when turning or stand on the snow when positioned across the slope at a stop. If they wear down, they are no longer sharp and don't grip onto the snow.

How does that happen?
It's the terrain that skiers and snowboarders use that causes it: on and off-piste, it's not uncommon to ski over a tree branch or small stones, and that can damage the base and edges of skis and snowboards.

On and off-piste, it's not uncommon to ski over a tree branch or small stones, and that can damage the base and edges of skis and snowboards.
What can you recommend to prevent it?
I often find that ski and snowboard maintenance isn't done regularly, which is a shame because good maintenance ensures good glide and equipment that lasts longer.

When should you sharpen your edges?
In general, we recommend grinding at the beginning or end of each season, i.e. once a year. But you can also sharpen your edges when you start to notice irregularities with the naked eye: these are often caused by using the ski on poor-quality snow (presence of stones or other obstacles). The best technique in my view remains the ceramic finish, the most accurate and effective.

And for waxing?
If you feel that your skis or snowboard aren't gliding properly or your base is turning white, this is a sign that your skis need to be waxed. Generally speaking, once or twice a year is sufficient if you make moderate use of your skis. Waxing is done on a base that's already been sanded or doesn't need to be sanded (new or recently sanded). A waxed base repels the water layer formed by the heat created during contact of the ski with the snow. And this is what ensures good glide and prevents the sensation of "sticking" to the snow

Is there one particular method to stick to?
All techniques known as hot waxing or ironing are the most effective for ensuring proper maintenance and good glide.

Since you've been doing this job, have you seen a change in the way equipment gets damaged and techniques used to repair it?
Equipment always gets damaged in the same way. However, it's worth pointing out that maintenance and repair techniques have evolved considerably in our Decathlon Workshops due to new robotic machines and the quality of consumables used, such as the wax, for example.

For all these activities, what are the things you definitely should avoid? It's essential not to begin a repair without knowing the right techniques and without having the right equipment available. So it's better to go through a professional Workshop technician to ensure the complete repair process while making the most of the latest technologies.

A last piece of advice?

In addition to day-to-day maintenance, I advise you to get your skis or snowboard sanded and waxed once or twice a year in one of our Workshops to optimise the performance of your skis. Sanding ensures optimum flatness of the surface of your base and eliminates any micro-deformities of the tip. It's also an opportunity to check that there are no cracks that could affect the structure of the ski.

Laurent Cardot (UK)
Workshop Manager