Free Wax Friday and Recycle Day for Skis and Snowboards
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Free Wax Friday and Recycle Day for Skis and Snowboards

Tuning your skis for storageWhen the snow melts, FREE WAX FRIDAY is the best way to take care of your skis and snowboards.

Every spring at our annual Free Wax Friday you can drop off your skis and snowboards at Sturtevant’s and Ski Mart stores for a storage wax treatment.  If you’re not done yet we offer 30% OFF Super and Basic Tunes.

Come by on Friday, April 26th, 2019 at all stores.

How does it work?

We iron on a quality Swix® storage wax to clean and protect your base until next season. Come back next season and we’ll scrape it off for free. Your gear deserves some TLC.

LIMIT 4 items per person, please. Available in-store only at Sturtevant’s and Ski Mart in Bellevue and Tacoma.

Why is it important to tune your skis at the end of the season? Skis and Snowboards Need TLC

  • Bases 
    The thick coating of storage wax will keep the bases from drying out during summer and prevents the edges from rusting. When next season starts, you’ll need to scrape everything off—be especially careful around the edges. During spring skiing especially, dirt, tree sap, oils and base-clogging compounds can make their way into the snow. It is important to remove these compounds before putting your gear away for the season. If left to fester in the pores of your base, these compounds can break down the base material and make it less receptive to holding wax next season.
  • Edges 
    File off any burs or bring them in for an end-of season tune.
  • Bindings 
    (Do Not) relax binding springs or remove snowboard bindings. If you had any binding issues during the season bring them in for repair or evaluation while shops aren’t too busy.
  • Storage
    Store skis and snowboards in a cool dry place, not in a hot attic. Loosely strap your skis from base to base and place them in a natural position, with no pressure on the camber, rocker or brakes. If you use a ski/snowboard bag, make sure it’s clean inside. A strong warning: do not strap your skis in a way that compresses the camber or rocker. This can cause warping.

Come into our stores for tuning supplies or let us do it for you.

Here’s more info on washing your winter apparel and storing battery operated accessories.

Ski fenceRecycling your old skis and snowboards.

We accept old ski and snowboard equipment for our recycling partner. You can drop off skis, ski boots, ski poles and snowboards any time of the year and we’ll make sure it doesn’t hit the landfill. Hundreds if not thousands of skis are tossed in the landfill every year in the greater Seattle area.  Skis cannot be recycled in the traditional sense because they have a complex construction of glues, wood, metal, and plastic.  Ski Artistry finds craftspeople to take the skis and find new uses for them.  They could end up on a ski fence, in a bench, coat rack, bookends, toilet paper dispenser, and the list goes on.

Our recycle team is Brian Geppert of SkiArtistry.com located north of Sturtevant’s. Brian has been picking up gear from our stores for several years. Don’t toss your stuff in the garbage, drop it off at any of our stores and let Brian rescue those old skis or snowboards.

 

what to do with old skisFrom Brian: Efforts at a true ski recycling program began in Colorado where the Snowsports Industries of America (SIA) launched a pilot program in 2009.  It grew to 65 stores and collected over 700,000 pounds of equipment by 2013.

The program would take old equipment and put it through a large shredder (ski+bindings and all).  The hope was that the bits that came out could be used in various construction materials.  The shredder was mounted on a railcar and moved to various locations.  In the summer of 2015, Sturtevant’s had arranged to have the shredder sent up north for recycling but received news in July that the recycling program was discontinued.  The program had problems finding a revenue source since it cost approximately $0.35/pound. 

The idea for local ski recycling started after I decided to build a bench from old skis.  I had driven by the Cascade Nursery along Hwy 2 many times and seen their tremendous ski fence.  It occurred to me that maybe they had a few leftover skis they wouldn’t mind parting with.  I stopped one day and spoke with the owner, Jake Sharpe.  He was happy to give away a few skis from his vast collection.  After donating the bench to Mission Ridge, I couldn’t help but wonder where old skis go after they outlive their useful life.

At that time, Goodwill would have an annual ski sale in October at the Monroe site.  They were storing up skis all year, transporting them to Monroe then trying to sell them.  I figured they would have plenty of unsold equipment that would need to be disposed so I approached the head of the Puget Sound Goodwill, Randy Strong.  He was eager to recycle their skis.  In 2015, though, the Everett warehouse manager that stored the skis (Alex Smith) decided to cancel the Monroe ski sale because it was too costly.  He was not interested in recycling skis and did not want to receive any more skis because he all too often would have to throw them away.  In speaking with the individual stores, such as the Everett Goodwill (Israel Juarez), I learned that they still send their skis to the warehouse if they cannot sell them.  The individual stores say they cannot recycle them because they are required to send them to the warehouse if they cannot sell them.  The warehouse does not want them and claims to not have room to store any skis of any quantity for recycling.

turn skis into coat hooksI then decided that I should pursue other venues.  I approached Tracy Gibbons of Sturtevant’s to see if they would like to participate in ski recycling.  I figured if anyone would be open to ski recycling, it would be the premier ski shop in the Puget Sound, Sturtevant’s.  They were enthusiastic about ski recycling and remain the top recycler in the area.

Stevens Pass participates in a different way.  Although they don’t act as a collection point, they do end up with many skis/poles from either abandonment, lost & not found, or damaged rental equipment.  Stevens Pass donates all of their unusable ski equipment to the ski recycling program.

In a year, it can be several hundred skis that get picked up.  I build as many items as I can from the old skis and sell the functional ski art through Etsy.  Most of the skis find uses by others craftsman or individuals looking to build their own ski fences.  I work through Craigslist to find other artists and upcyclers that need skis for their projects.  I’ve had inquiries from as far away as North Carolina from artists looking for skis for their projects.  Usually the people are much closer to Seattle, but some will drive up from Oregon in search of skis.

Skis make for a great building material for projects because they are so strong.  Each ski has different uses depending on it’s characteristics.

Ski coat racksLong skis are good for shot skis since you need enough shoulder room between shot glasses.  Skis with beautiful graphics near the tips would lend themselves to wall-mounted ski-tip bottle openers.  If a pair of skis has interesting graphics and has a flat stop surface near the tail, then they could be made into bookends.  The flat top surface is needed for the tip and tail to be joined.  Skis with larger graphics lend themselves to wine bottle racks.  And shorter skis are best for coat/towel racks/hooks.  Fat skis provide a lot of material so that a single ski can be cut and assembled into a bird feeder.  Ski poles have two pieces that are useful – the handle and the basket.  The handle and pole can be used as a beer tap handle, attached to make a custom ice scraper, or a toilet plunger.  The pole + basket can serve as a coat hook on a ski.  If the pole is unsalvageable, then the basket and handle can be removed and the aluminum pole truly recycled.

 

Drop off your skis, ski boots, ski poles and snowboards at any of our stores. Take a look at Brian’s upcycled creations here at his Etsy store link.

Sturtevant’s in Bellevue at 13131 NE 20th Street.

Ski Mart in Tacoma at 2220 South 37th Street, #2.

Ski Mart in Bellevue will be closing for the season on May 5th, 2019.