As the skiing season begins, and you take out your gear, you might notice the lamination chipping off the ski surface. If you want to save your skis, immediate ski repair is a must!
What is the Cause of Ski Delamination?
Delamination of the cross-country skis is mainly caused by moisture entering the skis through damaged edges. Modern cross-country skis are made of different laminated layers sandwiched together. If they are not stored in the right conditions or hitting rocks while skiing, it damages the tip or the edge of the ski bases, marking the beginning of delamination.
How to Fix Delaminated Cross-Country Skis?
Fixing a delaminated cross-country ski may seem like a daunting task to beginners. However, it’s no rocket science. No matter where you ski, if the snow conditions are less than ideal, you are bound to find a few rocks and stumps that can ultimately damage your skinny skis. Fortunately, there is always a good chance to repair them with and without professional assistance.
This guide focuses on delamination repair, however if your skis suffered a deep core shot that actually penetrated the ski structure, always go to a professional ski repair shop.
However, if you are short on money, it’s better to take the DIY ski repair route. All you need are some basic tools:
- Containers (for the epoxy)
- Razor blade (Optional)
- Heat gun (Optional)
We recommend you always keep epoxy at home to prevent the top sheet from delaminating by sticking it back the moment it starts chipping off.
Epoxy is a versatile substance that can be used for temporary and permanent repairs. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you fix delaminated cross-country skis. Follow the instructions carefully to repair your favorite skis:
1. Clean the surface
Firstly, prepare the ski’s surface by cleaning it to eliminate any wax or debris. You can use sandpaper to properly remove dust particles and make the surface ready for epoxy application. Rub the sandpaper thoroughly on the ski’s surface and then wipe the debris.
2. Mix epoxy until transparent
Now, prepare the epoxy solution by mixing the epoxy resin and hardener in a 1:1 ratio. Wear protective gloves and pour the hardener into the container first. Then add the same amount of epoxy resin and mix it thoroughly. Continue mixing for five to seven minutes till the solution becomes transparent. Note, if the epoxy becomes too hard to work with, use a heat gun on low setting to warm it up for easier use.
3. Apply epoxy
Now carefully apply the epoxy solution to the ski’s surface. Use a heat gun to make the glue solution more fluid. Cover all the edges, place the delaminated top sheet and press it lightly to prevent any air bubbles. Make sure to wear gloves throughout the process.
4. Clamp together
Now take as many clamps as you have and place them tightly along the entire length of the ski.
5. Leave it to dry
Once the clamps are fixed, leave the setup for 24 hours, or at least overnight, to dry and harden. Once the epoxy is dried, unclamp the ski and check if it is fixed properly.
6. Remove excess epoxy
You might notice some drips along the ski surface and edges that need to be cleaned. Use a razor blade to cut off the excess, then gently rub the sandpaper on the drips to clean all epoxy residues. That’s all. Now, you have a neat and smooth ski ready to use.
Now you know how you can fix topsheet delamination and keep your cross-country skis in action. Hopefully, this article helped you repair your favorite pair of skis all by yourself! In the future, make sure you appropriately wax your cross-country skis both in storage and on the trails to prevent your skis absorbing any moisture.
Another tip: if conditions are not perfect, the snow is thin, bring your other ski (some call it rock skis) which you won’t regret damaging. Keep your best pair of skis to the right conditions.