It's important to keep ski equipment tuned up and in good repair. Ski and
snowboard technicians prepare this equipment for the slopes. This can mean
cleaning, repairing and waxing the body of a ski or snowboard.
Are the edges sharp? A good skier knows that it's impossible to carve turns
without sharp edges. Ski and snowboard technicians use machines or sharpen
edges with a hand file.
Bindings need to be mounted on skis and snowboards, and often need to be
adjusted. Technicians must know the different settings to use, depending on
the skier's weight and ability.
Technicians work with people. They need to be polite and courteous when
diagnosing a problem or explaining it to a customer.
Ski and snowboard technicians work in retail or repair ski shops. These
shops are located in towns with ski hills nearby, or are located in shops
at the ski hill. Technicians can run their own business or work for larger
ski outlet stores.
It doesn't snow all year! Repairing and maintaining skis is seasonal work.
Many ski and snowboard technicians rent out and repair bicycles or inline
skates in the warm months, or do other work. "I only work at this for six
months," says Jason James. He's a snowboard technician in Washington.
Ski and snowboard technicians are at work before the ski hill opens, to
help rent out and adjust equipment for skiers. They remain in the shop through
the day, and often stay until after the ski equipment has been returned.
As with other retail businesses, ski shops are often open on weekends.
"It can be long hours during the ski season," says Sean Harris, a ski technician.
A ski or snowboard technician works with cleaners, irons, waxes, files,
sharpeners and waxing machines. This requires some mechanical ability and
manual dexterity. However, the physical requirements are not extreme.