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Protecting skis on a roof rack

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

We normally have a roof box which takes our skis and various bits when driving to the alps. This year though we will be too high for a car park we’ll need to use daily, so have gone for a dedicated ski roof rack.
The question I have is what’s the best way to keep them protected on the drive over? Would a blast of WD40/GT85 on the bindings and a coat of zardox on the bases/edges do the trick? I’ve heard some people wrapping them in cling film!

Any advice or tips welcome.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bubble wrap, pallet wrap and tape. Road salts on a long trip are a killer if left unprotected. I've had 6 pairs wrapped like this on the roof before.It looked like a dead body up there. Cool
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ski bag? The roof doesn't get nearly as dirty as lower parts of the car.
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You see naked skis on top of cars all the time, everywhere, in the Alps in winter. They can't all be falling apart next day.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ish303, What specifically are you worried about / trying to prevent?
Even though I mainly board, I do own a few sets of skis and have been known to use them from time to time.
I have noticed that they are pretty resilient to cold and wet weather, they even work in the snow.
The only transport damage my kit ever suffered (About 25 years ago) was when some over stretched bungees failed ( I since only use webbing straps), and my mono-ski and a bag with skis and poles flew off the roof and landed on the carriageway in northern France at 3 AM and were hit by a 40 tonne truck before I could retrieve them. The skis were fine, the mono-ski needed a wax and one of the poles was bent.
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You can get long plastic covers to wrap large patio umbrellas when they are down. One of those per pair affixed with decent tape should do the trick.

I would add bubble wrap too.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 28-02-22 9:19; edited 1 time in total
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Mollerski wrote:
Bubble wrap, pallet wrap and tape. Road salts on a long trip are a killer if left unprotected. I've had 6 pairs wrapped like this on the roof before.It looked like a dead body up there. Cool

This. You should see the state of a pair of skis after a one hour drive from the city to a resort. A rusty mess, bindings full of crap Shocked If they're not rock skis, wrap 'em up. There is a *lot* more salt on Alpine roads than in the UK – the car needs a regular wash just to be able to see out of the windows. People do drive around with skis on their roofs all the time. It doesn't mean it's a good idea.
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@ish303, MollerS is absolutely right - salt spray terrible - including initiating delamination - we wince as we see cars in the ferry with expensive skis just slapped on the top. I know enough about what’s happening to bindings and skis to worry about travelling around the Valais resorts on days when there’s spray on the main-road sections. I was shown a couple of years ago a brand new pair of Fischers which had done one week on the snow and two unprotected journeys to and fro UK-Alps. Seriously corroded binding internals and blown edges, with serious delamination on the tails. Killed by salt. A very upset owner, with no warranty claim possible. WD40 plus thick wax not good enough I am afraid - you can’t wax the wall-edge joint and that’s the one which can blow with corrosion, and the salt mix is thrown at the skis at 80mph. It’s like jet washing them with a salt solution for 10 hours. Horrid.

So….you are right to be concerned.

The last trip I had to transport two pairs of skis and a snowboard (drat, the Grom is growing fast and I needed to restock in CH). I used black rubble sacks from B&Q (other sacks are available) and gaffer tape. You can cut the bags to provide very durable plastic sheeting, or just use 2 sacks taped together. Obviously 180+ skis need a middle section since the bags don’t meet, so we just cut a third bag into sheeting and used that on two pairs of skis for the middle bit, then used a bag each end. We also put thin elastic ties round which stopped flapping - you could use re-useable zip ties too. Totally secure and watertight. Slit carefully with a pair of scissors, and you can reuse on the way back.
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pam w wrote:
You see naked skis on top of cars all the time, everywhere, in the Alps in winter. They can't all be falling apart next day.


Local journeys.

Door to door is 18hrs for me. Confused Bagging or wrapping them is way easier than cleaning 1200 miles of road grime off of them.
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@Mollerski, absolutely.

Position 1: ‘it’s fine…you see skis naked on the roof of cars all the time….’

Position 2: ‘I know, I think I will jet wash my skis with saline solution for 18 hours…’

Position 3: ‘time to bag the skis for the journey…’

Er…I think I know which I go for….
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As @Mollerski, said, but wouldn't use bubble wrap. The stuff on the roof only needs to be protected from the elements and bubble wrap is primarily for when things are thrown around to protect them. I would assume you are placing them on your roof and then taking them off only. The pallet wrap stuff is a good idea and would protect your skis/board. You could get this from a warehouse/packaging company for a reasonable cost.....very similar to cling film but in a larger scale.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Another option is to buy a few old ski bags on ebay and some elastic ties. That works well too.

this is interesting….

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/134033263664?hash=item1f35014c30:g:s5cAAOSwbcJiDRY8

Nice touch that you can click it into seat belt.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
We put ours in ski bags if they are going on the roof, as they really need protection. But this winter, travelling without the dog, there is room in the back of the car. We will probably take the ski rack for the roof for any daily trips.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The key for me was to avoid flapping. Any flapping leading edges in the pallet wrap would eventually create a noisy mess on the roof. I prefer the wrap and tape technique. Bubble wrap under the pallet wrap softens the sharp edges of the skis and bindings which gives the pallet wrap more chance of going the distance. Ski bags can become surprisingly porous when exposed to 18hrs of 80mph driving precipitation and they flap.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 28-02-22 11:26; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mollerski, definitely avoid flapping. Our skis would get wrapped first then put in bags which are then secured. OH can’t stand flapping stuff on the roof.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Pamski wrote:
OH can’t stand flapping stuff on the roof.


Me neither. Razz An absolute pet hate along with rattles and loose items in the car. Madeye-Smiley
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@Mollerski, …flapping terrible (and pushes up fuel consumption) and HOWLING too. Our Yeti has Thule square bars with top range Thule bike racks on them all year. A necessity for us. No howling. Took bike racks off, put on ski carriers at Christmas. No howling. Although MPG dropped by about 10mpg. For return trip this time, no need for skis carriers so just had naked bars. The howling was so bad I had to stop and take bars off - so fatiguing. Was going spare with it after 40 km and no way could face 9 hours of that….
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Random thought - how about taking the roof box for the main trip, then removing it when there and using it on the return trip?
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kitenski wrote:
Random thought - how about taking the roof box for the main trip, then removing it when there and using it on the return trip?


Did exactly this in a multi storey in Dublin on a golf trip once, took box off, drove car in, put box back on and repeated to get out.
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@kitenski, yes of course, we used to drive to our place in Les Gets with the roof box full of stuff. Skis were kept in the chalet practically all the time unless we were going elsewhere, roof box off and stored and ski racks on for local driving. Roof boxes do reduce mpg so we now try to avoid unless really necessary.
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Anything on the roof plays havoc with the fuel consumption. Car designers spend a fortune refining aerodynamics to gain tiny improvements and we the strap a large brick shaped thing to the roof. Razz
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4" soil pipe cut to size with a socket plug either end?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mr.Egg wrote:
4" soil pipe cut to size with a socket plug either end?


6" maybe to allow for bindings? I wouldn't go near the Ukraine with that rig. You could be mistaken for a homebrew rocket launcher and blown to smithereens. Confused
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kitenski wrote:
Random thought - how about taking the roof box for the main trip, then removing it when there and using it on the return trip?


Have considered this, however need somewhere for the skis to go daily driving to the slopes.
Have basically bought this:
https://www.thule.com/en-gb/winter-and-water-sports-carriers/ski-racks/thule-snowpack-l-_-732600

Each day we only need to drive just over a mile, so am not too concerned about that trip, can wipe them down and make sure they are clean after each day.
My main concern is the 13 hour drive to the resort.
Ashamed to admit I didn’t do a good job of drying the skis before chucking them in the roof box coming home on a prior trip, and had little spots of rust on the edges, luckily small enough that my holmenkol gummy block could quickly sort them.
So I think I’m leaning towards giving the bindings a spray of either WD40 or GT85 to protect them, giving bases, sides and top coat a run over with my zardox puck, and then wrapping them in copious amounts of pallet wrap with some duct tape to secure.
This should not interfere with them going in the above rack.
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@ish303, yeah so can't you put the thule ski adapters in the roof box, then remove roof box when you arrive and put them on the same bars when you get there??
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Before I had a ski box I used to bag my skis and tie them in tight next to the ski carrier which stopped any twisting. I’ve also, for several resorts, driven down with a box on but taken it off to get into the car park. Box has been left if we’ve used the car with rack on to drive somewhere.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@ish303, ….those are the carriers which we use.

Simple: rubble bags and tape. Then elastic bands, string (I mean it) or such either end to stop any flapping. Takes 10 mins per set of skis. Don’t bother with all the WD40, zardoz puck stuff.

Done. Slit at resort. Out come skis. Retain bags.

Ski and travel with them in rack when in country (we drive 10 mins to nearest, sometimes 40mins to villages, no motorway, no spray).

Re bag for return with extra gaffer tape.

Done.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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@ish303, wouldn't argue with a the suggestion of how to cover them so far to choose from, I would use WD40 as routine as well. It's particularly good at chasing water out of crevices etc and helps preserve the edge steel as it goes down into the ski base next to the ptex.

It leaves a film of mineral oil after evaporation Cool
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
And never use bungee cords to attach stuff to your roof bars. Especially big things wrapped in lots of layers.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Mollerski wrote:
pam w wrote:
You see naked skis on top of cars all the time, everywhere, in the Alps in winter. They can't all be falling apart next day.


Local journeys.

Door to door is 18hrs for me. Confused Bagging or wrapping them is way easier than cleaning 1200 miles of road grime off of them.


In Canada naked skis is the norm, even for long distances. Most people drive up to resort each day so even "local journeys" add up - could be 15-20mins each way* 30+ days a season and you are looking at 15 hours plus per season. A few of the freeride world tour guys had them naked on the roof from Calgary to golden which is about 260km (although I seem to remember something about in Banff national park there is limited salt put on roads as it attracts wildlife but could be mistaken) - sure they get free skis so maybe don't care in that regard but you'd think they'd want their kit performing up to scratch for the comp.

That all said, I'd probably still wrap them, at worse it's a minor inconvenience and at best it might help.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I wouldn't use regular WD40 on skis. For a start, it is a solvent and will remove wax from your bases. I would use WD40 silicone lubricant (other brands available). It will do as good a job at repelling moisture and will be kinder to the bases.
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thecramps wrote:
I wouldn't use regular WD40 on skis. For a start, it is a solvent and will remove wax from your bases. I would use WD40 silicone lubricant (other brands available). It will do as good a job at repelling moisture and will be kinder to the bases.


Which solvent is present ? as it doesn't appear to have anything detrimental. Anecdotally I've used it for many years with no changes in ski structure.

On the other hand, internally creeping corrosion will finish most structures like this if it propagates.
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@ski3, I can't post links for some reason, but standard WD40 itself is a solvent according to many websites. I have used it myself to remove sticker gum, grease, caked oils, etc. I would put any on my skis anyway. They get WD40 silicone.
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https://www.wd40.com/myths-legends-fun-facts/
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@endoman, yes. But do read that very carefully. It doesn't say WD40 isn't a solvent, it says WD40 doesn't contain Stoddards solvent as such, as that description is inadequate
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Many of them are speculative and put the "spooky" unknown solvents as cover all when they don't research fully, interested if any name something specific. And they don't specify interaction with polyethylene (ptex) in assessment.

Loosely, it's mineral oil (the component left on surface after evaporation) isopropyl alcohol as dispersant to get the oil to flow into small gaps, with many aerosol using Butane as propellant to get it out of the tin.

Interesting topic though, I've favoured specifically avoiding corrosion as I know that is highly detrimental to the structure, very pointedly if the ski has exposed aluminium inter layer along sidewall.
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thecramps wrote:
@endoman, yes. But do read that very carefully. It doesn't say WD40 isn't a solvent, it says WD40 doesn't contain Stoddards solvent as such, as that description is inadequate


Never said it didn't contain a solvent, but water is a solvent. Agree re keeping nasty stuff off skis, especially around adhesives, I spend a lot of my working time with some pretty nasty solvents that will dissolve my intended target on contact. If the Si based one is safer then use that.
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Hmmm re sidewall skis with titanal layer that’s exactly right - the Fischers I described earlier were that construction and the back of the skis had delaminated seriously - blown top surface with loads of white metal oxide protruding…very upsetting for the owner and very new skis….
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Aluminium alloy is very vulnerable to corrosion effects, depends if the owner wants to take reason from a hypothetical "solvent" interaction (I've not produced one yet, but that's anecdotal ) or just make sure of destruction by not protecting from corrosion, with absolute certainty Very Happy

If the skis are stored in a ski locker overnight in use there's evidence of corrosion usually where the edges touch when paired, I stand them separately if possible at end of day. And you'll definitely get it even packed in a ski bag if packed wet/damp for return journey. I spray them at end of use and before packing to travel back.
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I bought one of those plastic skitube boxes off ebay. Works a treat, like a mini roofbox just big enough for skis Happy
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