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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
annoying beginners' question #6: Are all skins the same? To buy skins, is there something other than price (and dimensions) to consider?
post #2 of 11
There are some differences in material, and they do perform differently.

Natural (seal) skins are traditionally the best, providing traction without clogging with snow which makes them slip.

There are some plastic ones, like snakeskins(TM), that get mixed reviews. The snakeskins I used did not attach with glue, but strapped onto the ski and I did not like the function of them at all.

I'm sure there are more synthetic skins out there these days, but do not know the materials they use for them. They do make super-wide "skin-Stock" these days that must be trimmed to fit wider or shaped skis, it is important for the skins to cover the base, but not the edges.

There are also some sprays and cleaners that help the skins stay free of snow.

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[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 29, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 11
1) Snake skins suck! they are half the price of glue on skins and a rip off.

2) Natural skins glide better, therefore less resistance and easier skinning.

3) Synthetic skins grab better, so you can hike a steeper track.

4) Surface area is your friend, the more you got, the steeper you can climb. The skin should cover the entire area of the base of the ski but not the edges. You may still need to use those.

5) A tip and tail kit (if not included) is a very worthwhile investment. Makes taking the skins off and on is well worth the money.

Personally, i like Ascension synthetic skins and buy the wide stuff to cut to fit my G41's

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
post #4 of 11
Bearing my ignorance... what are skins? And what do they do? Advantages? disadvantages?

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #5 of 11

A more descriptive name is climbing skins. Strips of material that attach to the bottom of telemark or alpine touring skis so skiers can ascend slopes without postholing. Seal skin is often used as the fibers are well suited to preventing the skis from sliding back while allowing some gliding too.
post #6 of 11
Roto, I'm not positive, but pretty sure that while back in the day, skins were made of seal skin. But with the advent of environmentalism and the expansion of the mormon religion, natural skins are now made of mohair. The real problem is how you skin all those mormons for some mohair. Go synthetic.

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
post #7 of 11
I have tracked you down JW. I am the guide from Fernie ridgeHiker and Roto are on it. I would however rent for the first time or have a look at a few makes in Fernie with me when you get here prior to purchasing. There is nothing like seeing it and understanding the good and bad with them in your hand.


post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
hey Steve, check your email
post #9 of 11
ah, mohair does ring a bell. It makes sense that they are no longer made from seal. Synthetic sounds good. I'm not sure I could manage to hang out long enough to gather the mohair. I do need some wider ones. I tried out some AT gear last year and liked it a lot. My skins are all too narrow for the new gear.
post #10 of 11
For long treks you can't beat glue-on skins.

But in-spite of all the (apparent) hatred towards them: I've found strap-on Volle Snake Skins are really an excellent quick-on/quick-off solution to short traverses/up-hills when just climbing a last bit to get to that extreme descent!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Todd Murchison (edited August 05, 2001).]</FONT>
post #11 of 11
Roto, slap some ascension synthetic trim to fit skins on some 120mm tip wide bodies and you will be amazed at what you can climb!

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
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