Usually, the only care your boots need is a nightly airing and drying. Some skiers pull the inner lining loose every evening for better airing. Others wonít touch the lining unless itís soaked from snow getting inside the top of the boot.

One problem with older boots is the interior padding. Eventually, it flattens. This may create a problem because the boots no longer can be tightened adequately, or are physically uncomfortable to wear.

You can buy new linings for almost all boots. Ski shops frown on this for obvious dollar reasons and a) seldom tell customers they can buy new linings, and b) seldom recommend them - though they are skilled at recommending new boots.

Skiers who carry their skis on a car rack should protect the delicate bindings from salt spray, which comes from the salt used to keep winter highways open. Either carry the skis in a ski bag or wrap the bindings in a ski gaiter.

Skis should be placed in a car rack with the tips pointed backward to keep them from flapping at high speeds.

When you put your skis away for the day you should first dry them and wipe down the edges with a lightly oiled cloth. Damp edges can develop rust, even overnight.

Itís especially important to clean and wipe the edges with that lightly oiled rag before your skis are stashed in a cool, dry basement for the season. Skis should be stored upright. Individually. They should not be stored with the brakes holding them together like two impassioned lovers. This could affect the camber of those expensive barrel staves.

Hey, listen. Skiing with grace and rhythm for all to admire is tough enough when everything is super. So keep your equipment in top shape.

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