With the use of heavy, metal-edged touring skis, it is becoming less common to see or hear of broken skis in the field, yet it still may happen. To fix the ski so it can carry you and your pack efficiently back to your car over a variety of terrain will take some time if the repair is going to last the distance.
Broken ski tip
This is no longer a common occurrence with the advent of metal-edged skis. The approach is to carry a spare ski tip, and slip this over the broken ski tip. Check that the spare tip fits the width of your skis. If you use non-metal edged skis, then it is worthwhile taking a spare ski tip.
Broken ski above the binding with the ski bottom (P-tex) still in one piece
A brace is required to provide strength and join the two parts together, and a 3-ply, plywood stove base is handy for this. Use the saw in your pocketknife or use a pruning saw to cut off a piece that is as wide as the ski and 10 cm long. Thoroughly dry the ski where you are going to apply the glue. Gentle heat from your stove will dry the required area of the ski very efficiently, far better than a damp and smelly thermal. Apply five-minute Araldite to both ends of the ski and to the plywood brace. Fix the brace to the top of the ski with the glue and binding screws. The top sheet of the ski is very hard to screw through. To assist the screw biting, drill a hole with your pocketknife first. Glue screws in place with Araldite for added strength.
You can buy pruning saws at any nursery, hardware or outdoor-gear shop. The type that folds back on itself so the blade is tucked safely out of the way inside the handle and can be locked into place when in use are generally most satisfactory. The saw also comes in very handy for other emergencies, such as building stretchers.
Broken ski behind the binding or the ski is in two parts
Move binding forward or backwards as required so the binding is centred on the longest remaining part of the ski. Given the shortened length of the ski, it may act more like a snowshoe than a ski.
Binding screws are usually glued in at the time of mounting. Ski shops often use Araldite as the preferred glue. If you heat Araldite to above 60°C the holding properties of Araldite cease to work. Use your stove to warm the binding and screws if the screws are refusing to come out.
A suggested ski repair kit
- 1 x 3 pin binding
- 9 self tapping screws
- 5 minute araldite glue
- 1 stock basket
- Pole splints
- Wipe on glide wax
- Plywood (3 ply) stove base
- Jet, duct or gaffer tape
- Cloth lined tape
- No 3 posi-drive (Phillips head screwdriver)
- Stock tip, especially if it’s a Leki stock
- Pocket knife
- Pruning saw
- Small long neck pliers
Optional, depending on type of equipment used, length and type of trip
- 3 hexagon screws for release plate
- Release plate spring, outer housing and locking nut
- Needle, dental floss & shock cord
- Spare skin basket
- Spare ski tip
- Hexagon nut key