An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsroomNewsArticle Display

Article - Article View

Playing it safe

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Willie Phillips, 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation head ski tech, files the edges of a ski to ensure it is smooth at Outdoor Recreation on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 16, 2016. Outdoor Rec. educates customers about the importance of safety and ensuring gear is properly maintained. (U.S. Air Force photo by Margie Arnold)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Willie Phillips, 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation head ski tech, files the edges of a ski to ensure it is smooth at Outdoor Recreation on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 16, 2016. Outdoor Rec. educates customers about the importance of safety and ensuring gear is properly maintained. (U.S. Air Force photo by Margie Arnold)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Willie Phillips, 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation head ski tech, sands the base of a ski at Outdoor Rec on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 16, 2016. The Ski Shop at Outdoor Rec has individuals with knowledge on different gear to use and how to properly maintain gear Airmen may already have. (U.S. Air Force photo by Margie Arnold)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Willie Phillips, 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation head ski tech, sands the base of a ski at Outdoor Rec on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 16, 2016. The Ski Shop at Outdoor Rec has individuals with knowledge on different gear to use and how to properly maintain gear Airmen may already have. (U.S. Air Force photo by Margie Arnold)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Willie Phillips, 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation head ski tech, repairs a snowboard at Outdoor Rec on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 16, 2016. Ski techs are required to document the work they complete on each piece of equipment and keep that documentation for seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Margie Arnold)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Willie Phillips, 21st Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation head ski tech, repairs a snowboard at Outdoor Rec on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Dec. 16, 2016. Ski techs are required to document the work they complete on each piece of equipment and keep that documentation for seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Margie Arnold)

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Outdoor Recreation offers a variety of services, including ski and snowboard maintenance. Having your ski and snowboard equipment professionally repaired and tuned is important to your safety and enjoyment on the slopes.

1. Your life is riding on your equipment – literally.
2. Older equipment deteriorates over time.
3. Safe, well-tuned equipment translates into an awesome experience on the slopes.

“A customer recently brought in their skis to Outdoor Recreation and asked to have the bindings calibrated to make sure they release properly,” said Willie Phillips, Outdoor Rec’s head ski tech. “For every person who thinks to have the safety of their bindings checked, there are lots of people who aren’t even aware that that’s a safety issue. It’s all about safety.”

Safety first

What could go wrong? If you take a spill on the mountain, your bindings need to release the boots from the skis/’board so you don’t suffer severe injuries from equipment twisting your legs in unnatural positions or knocking you in the head and beating you up on the way down.

Nationwide guidelines from manufacturers list equipment that is still safe to repair and use.

“We don’t care if you have old or heavily used equipment; we care that it’s safe to use,” said Phillips. “Even the most reputable equipment deteriorates over time and reaches a point when it’s no longer safe.”

Plus, all ski techs are required to document the work they complete on each piece of equipment they work on and keep that documentation for seven years.

If you’re thinking about purchasing your own equipment, new or used, the experienced technicians at Outdoor Recreation’s Ski Shop can help recommend skis and bindings that have good safety ratings and which can still be serviced.

“Safety is our primary concern. After that, we want to educate you about how to care for your equipment and, of course, we want you to have fun on the mountain, have the perfect day ’boarding or skiing,” he said.

An optimal ride down the mountain

Once you know your gear is safe, keep it well-tuned so you’ll have the best experience possible on the ski slopes. Tune it yourself or have a ski tech do it. You want your equipment to be responsive to direction changes and slope conditions, and give you a really smooth glide. In other words, an awesome run.

What’s involved in a tune-up? Scraping off old wax, repairing the bottom of that snowboard that took a beating from rocks and other debris you encountered, stone grinding the bottom surface if necessary, filling in any chips and scratches, applying wax, and polishing the edges.

For each step of the work, the ski tech judges by his fingertips. Are the edges smooth? Have the gouges on the bottom of the skis and snowboard been well filled and repaired? Will that coat of wax give the customer a good ride? Let’s test the bottom with a trickle of water. Does it zip smooth and fast down the bottom? Yes? Well, that’s how your skis and ’board will move down the slopes – smooth and fast!

Experienced, certified ski technicians

What can a ski tech do? They can take a snowboard with a shredded bottom and make it whole again. They can tune your skis to parallel the weather: an outer layer of wax to help you enjoy the speed of skiing on fresh snow on a cold morning, a different wax beneath that will adjust to warmer mid-day temperatures and slope conditions, and another wax to help maximize your last runs of the day as temperatures cool and trails ice over.

“Each of our ski techs is certified,” said Phillips, who is in his fifth
season. “We know bindings and ski fittings. We attend ski shows, ski tech conferences at resorts and receive specific training and certification.”

In addition, they do more than repair and tune equipment; they ski and snowboard themselves.

“We know firsthand what will give any skier or ’boarder a joyful ride. Without a doubt, we have the best ski shop services and the best prices in the area,” Phillips said.
_______________________________

Ski & Snowboard Tuning Clinics

For those who want to learn how to do it themselves, Outdoor Recreation’s Ski Shop offers a Ski & Snowboard Tuning Clinic for $45 on select Wednesdays: Jan. 25, Feb. 22 and March 15. Learn the basics and get a take-home repair kit.

One customer submitted this comment on ICE.

“My friend and I took Willy's ski tune class in the Outdoor Rec building. What a great guy and the perfect class for someone like me. He is the most knowledgeable person I've met when it comes to ski tuning and his easy nature enabled him to connect with all the students. He answered every question and made sure we all knew what we were doing before we left the building. I've already recommended that other skiers/riders look into signing up for his class. Good job 21st!”
_______________________________

For more information about Outdoor Rec’s Ski Shop Services or the Ski & Snowboard Tuning Clinics, call 719-556-4867, option 1, or visit www.21fss.com/about/outdoor-recreation/winter-sports-ski-shop/.


Sidebar:


Exceptional services at bargain prices

While Willie Phillips was talking about the Ski Shop services, he was working on a Hand Wax & Hand Edge order for a pair of skis a customer had brought in. He ran his fingertips over the surface and edges, often throughout the process, to gauge the smoothness of his work.

“The smoother, the better the run,” he said.

What’s involved in a Hand Wax & Hand Edge?

1. Clean surface with a citrus base cleaner and scrape surface of debris and old wax.
2. Polish edges by machine.
3. Use a base bevel to make edges sharp.
4. Use a side edge to smooth side edges.
5. File tip and front edges; buff and polish edges with gummi stone.
6. Hand brush to remove dirt and old wax.
7. Drip hot wax onto ski and smooth onto surface with hot iron until fully absorbed.
8. Polish base with a series of three high-quality brushes to perfect the wax texturing.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui