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Need help with skins

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I would like to purchase some skins and an alpine trekker this summer but I would like some recommendations on skins. I have FOILs (174cm) so whatever works with them would be great. I'm probably gonna end up getting a bigger ski in the next year or 2 and if theres a skin that could accommodate both that would be even better. I pretty much need an entire skinning setup. Thanks!
post #2 of 18
When you say "bigger ski" do you mean longer, wider, or both? Skins should be cut to fit the profile of your skis. You can overlap them in the front, and some tail clips have length adjustment, so you can set them up to be used in the future with a ski that is up to 10cm longer, but skins that work with one pair of skis will not work with wider skis (unless the difference is only a few mm). Do not buy skins that are only as wide as the width of the waist of your ski! They should be sized based on the width of the tails because you can get away with some exposed base on the tips.

You cannot use skins that are wider than the base of your skis, the edges need to be exposed, and if you use skins that leave more than a cm on each side in the middle and 2 cm at the tips and tails showing you will not be getting sufficient grip for climbing. Optimally your skins should give "wall to wall" coverage of your bases, with just the edges showing. Anything less than that and you start to lose traction. This is OK for touring, but if you are climbing it sucks. How much slippage you can live with is up to you. There is nothing like the feeling of your skins letting go when you are going straight up a hill.

You can buy skins and use them on big skis and then cut them to work on smaller ones in the future, but it doesn't work the other way unless you get a ski with the same width and just a little longer.

Ascension and G3 are the top brands and seem to have the best glue. If you go to telemarktips.com you can find reviews of various skins.
post #3 of 18
Also take into account when you will be touring. I personally have a pair of old skins that were cut for my old G41's back in the day. 88 waist. Now I ride gotamas. 105 waist. They only slip on firm snow. I can climb anything if it's soft.

I do plan on buying another pair, but I just wanted to say that it's not necessarily the end of the world if your skins are narrower than your skis. (if you are climbing soft snow)
post #4 of 18
I have used the kicker skins for touring in the east. They work fine as long as the approach isn't supa steep. If I am touring at a local ski area after the season I just skin up a cat track or something. I skin up logging roads in the woods around here. If you're going to be above treeline or whatever than yah wall to wall. If its more reasonable slopes don't sweat it so much. If there is an extended flat approach remember the more carpet the more it sucks on the flats.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips guys, I will be lookin into those different skins and figure out something.

As far as a "bigger" ski goes, id say a good comparison would be going from FOILs to GUNs......something around there.
post #6 of 18
PM me if you want to buy a pair of used Trackers in excellent condition- I might sell mine. There was an excellent skin review in Couloir magazine this year, but they have merged with Backcountry Magazine and I can no longer find hte review section on the website. I have been very happy with my Ascension skins (marketed by Black Diamond). I have the ones with the STS clip on the tail, but have used the clipfix, and it is excellent, too.
post #7 of 18
Short version - get the regular (orange) Black Diamond/Ascension STS skins that are close to the same width as the tip of your narrowest skis. Trim to fit for the narrowest skis, then slap them on the larger skis to make sure the shape is okay there - further trim as needed.

Normally I'd say get them the same width as the tails of your skis, but since you'll be trying to fit them to two skis the extra width in the tip of the skins will be welcome.

The STS atttachment system is the easiest to adapt to different pairs, and the BD/Ascension skins are as reliable as they come, and BD's warranty is golden. G3 also makes good skins that are similar, but I think BD's are just a smidge more reliable. It's a fine line and possible that I just skin too much.

You can get your local backcountry ski shop to do the trimming, or I can help you with the trimming instructions.

Edited to add: Be sure to get the largest tip loop that will work with your smallest skis.
post #8 of 18
Regarding tip loops: at Outdoor Retailer this past year, G3 was showing their new dual tip 'clasps' for wider tips. (I didn't find them on their site.) Initial impressions were that they'd be nicer than loops. They were attached to the skin a around 10 o'clock & 2 o'clock and created a triangulated force, with the adjustable tail connector: http://www.genuineguidegear.com/telemark_skin_tip.html .

Regarding trimming of skins:

Quote:
Climbing Skins: measuring and cutting climbing skins can be easily facilitated and more convenient by securing the ski to a vise. With the ski secure, attach the tail as directed by the manufacturer and pull towards the tip to measure the bend at the tip bale in place. Cut the excess and peel back and cut off 12" (30cm) or so of the backing with the trimming tool. Lay the tip section on the ski base to assist the tracing of your tip template. Pull back the tip section, leaving an inch or so to keep the skin attached to the ski to help trimming the tip. Once the tip is trimmed, peel off the remaining backing and pull from tip to tail and lay the skin down, centered on the ski, and secure the tail clasp.
If trimming to fit a shaped ski, apply reasonable pressure to the side of the cutting tool against the ski edge with a finger while slowly and continually running down the length of the ski, trimming the skin to match the ski profile. Disengage the tail clasp & pull upward with the skin tip secure, and lay it back down on the ski, with the trimmed edge1/4" (.5cm) from the edge onto the base. Repeat the trimming process on the untrimmed edge. After it is trimmed, reposition the skin on ski. You should see equal edge exposed on either side of the skin.

Rub on bar wax to increase glide and reduce ice build-up. Paste wax or spray-on may also be used if you are at room temperature, but bar wax may be more practical when out and needing to reapply. The paste wax or spray may cover more of the skin fibers than a rub on will providing a little more waterproofing and coverage and might be worth some experimenting.
FWIW, I've definitely had trouble skins from narrower skis on wider boards when on slick, firm tracks. Having fast wax increases the problem at the exposed sections and requires lots more effort or shallower approaches.
post #9 of 18
Black Diamond Ascensions are pretty much the only way to go for skins.

BD glidelights weigh a bit less, and glide a bit better (huh, wonder where they got the name then huh?) pack down a little tighter, but do not have even close the to the same amount of grip. Out of all the people I know that have skins, probably more than 90% of those have ascensions.

I have a brand new, uncut never used pair of 120mm ascensions, (which I think would be about what you'd need for foils right?) I would sell you for $120, shipped.

That isn't an absolute can't pass it up steal, but its a pretty good deal.


EDIT: I know I don't have too many posts here, but I post as leroy jenkins over on TGR, and have sold and bought a lot of stuff there, if you search my user name for threads I've started you will see several threads where I sold a bunch of gear without any complaints.
post #10 of 18
Just thought about something regarding a single set of skins for multiple pairs of ski widths.

Somebody (volkl?) is releasing a lightweight skin that is actually two narrow skins per ski. they attach leaving the center of the base skinless.

When you have a narrow skin on a fat ski, you have base exposed near the edges. On hard snow... this sucks. you slip. Not so much on verticle climbs, but on switchbacks because you are angling your ski into the slope to maintain edge... and henceforth, no skin-grip.

Splice your skin down the middle. On your wider skis, move the skins to the edges of the ski. On narrower skis, adjust accordingly.

On hard snow, and switchbacks and fat skis, this adjustment makes sense.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
Just thought about something regarding a single set of skins for multiple pairs of ski widths.

Somebody (volkl?) is releasing a lightweight skin that is actually two narrow skins per ski. they attach leaving the center of the base skinless.

When you have a narrow skin on a fat ski, you have base exposed near the edges. On hard snow... this sucks. you slip. Not so much on verticle climbs, but on switchbacks because you are angling your ski into the slope to maintain edge... and henceforth, no skin-grip.

Splice your skin down the middle. On your wider skis, move the skins to the edges of the ski. On narrower skis, adjust accordingly.

On hard snow, and switchbacks and fat skis, this adjustment makes sense.

I have heard of that new skin thing coming out too, but didn't even think about it.

The problem would be that if you were to splice a normal skin all the way down the middle you would have to rig up some tip loop type thing for the tail, which could make it a pain getting the skin on and off.

I was actually in a similar position to eastcoast not too long ago. I just got into skiing bc this year, and use trekkers, so I don't have just one touring setup.

I was originally thinking of just buying one pair of skins and using them for all three of my skis. I have ANTs (133/106/123) Squads (130/104/117) and 193 EHPs (130/112/118). After toying with that idea, I decided I could overlap skins for the squads and ANTs, but that I'd get a second pair for the EHPs.

You can make skinnier skins work with wider skis, but it is really nice to have somethign that fits. Trust me, after six or seven tours you'll be thinking the same thing.
post #12 of 18
I want to get skins for my twin tipped Pocket Rockets. I'm pretty sure I want to go with BD ascensions but I'm not sure what tip attachment to get. I'm also thinking about giving the new Marker AT binding a try. Not going to be the lightest set up but realisticly I will be using these more or less equally between inbounds, side country, and backcountry. I'm guessing this would still be lighter than Trekkers in alpine bindings. Any "tips" on which attachment choice I should go with would be greatly appreciated! Thanks bears!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4cznskier View Post
I want to get skins for my twin tipped Pocket Rockets. I'm pretty sure I want to go with BD ascensions but I'm not sure what tip attachment to get. I'm also thinking about giving the new Marker AT binding a try. Not going to be the lightest set up but realisticly I will be using these more or less equally between inbounds, side country, and backcountry. I'm guessing this would still be lighter than Trekkers in alpine bindings. Any "tips" on which attachment choice I should go with would be greatly appreciated! Thanks bears!

Its not the tip attatchment that you have options with, the tips are all just little loops. Its the tails.

The sts system is widely thought to be the best, well really the ONLY option.

Clipfix is pretty much the same thing, except its non adjustable, which is silly. Not only does that make it so that you can't use it on more than one pair of skis, but it makes it so you have to be a lot more careful initially cutting the skin to the right length, because theres no room for error.

Also, I have found that weight is not the worst thing about trekkers, its their sloppiness. The trekkers tend to wiggle around in the alpine bindings toepeice, making it a pain to traverse across sidehills and stuff.

Also, fwi, many people say trekkers suck in look bindings because they hit the heelpeice on the way down. Not only have I found that that is not an issue, I have found that trekkers have almost no slop in the toe pieces of P18s, don't know about other looks.



And I will reiterate what I said a few posts ago, I have a brand new uncut pair of BD Ascension 120mm skins, for $120 shipped.
post #14 of 18
4cznskier - get the STS kit, it's the easiest to use and adjust. That said, I use the Clipfix but you have to have it carefully dialed in. Be sure the tip loop fits your PRs. You can use a Dremel tool to put a notch in your tail if you feel the need.

Lots of people make a case that you can get by without a tail attachment system - just tip loops and the glue to hold them on, but I've been on a few tours where powder or wetness or something causes glue issues and the skin wouldn't hold unless there was a tail attachment, all the duct tape in the packs notwithstanding. The tail clip can be all that holds the skin.

You guys talking about splitting skins - I'd think real hard about doing some intensive bargain hunting before I split a pair of skins down the middle. If you have two or three pairs of skis chances are good that you can afford kick down for a sale-priced pair of extra skins in the right size. I just suck it up and get skins for each size range of skis that I'm using. Granted, I've got a gear problem and I should seek help, but having the skins to fit my skis seems a lot better than mangling a pair to try to fit a couple of way different sized skis.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Its not the tip attatchment that you have options with, the tips are all just little loops. Its the tails.

And I will reiterate what I said a few posts ago, I have a brand new uncut pair of BD Ascension 120mm skins, for $120 shipped.

But my tails are tips! Thanx for the advice guys - much appreciated!
I'd take those skins (assuming they have the STS kit), I was thinking 120 mm would be what I want for a 122mm wide ski, but I just got back from the lake and discovered I have a (hopefully) little problem with my boat. Boat....... B.O.A.T. - "Break out another thousand". Maybe if you still have them in a couple of weeks..... anyhow - thanx again guy's.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
Somebody (volkl?) is releasing a lightweight skin that is actually two narrow skins per ski. they attach leaving the center of the base skinless.
That's a good idea. I still have fairly skinny skis I use for touring, but some of my friends are in the 100+ waist category. On 2 different trips we've had to cut the skins down because there was too much grip - it made moderate slopes real slogs.

I agree with everything Maggot says, especially regarding STS and Ascensions.
post #17 of 18
All I've ever owned are Ascensions, except for some Voile Snake Skins when I started going BC in the early 90's (they sucked, of course).

Get the biggest tip loop, the STS tail and overlap a bit on the tip. I wouldn't be overly worried about having complete wall-to-wall coverage on the tips and tails. Most of the pressure will be distributed under your binders. I'm nota huge fan of ultra-steep-pull-your-hamstrings-even-on-the-highest-lift skintracks. I'd much rather cut a few extra switchbacks or boot it.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
MAGGOT- thats sounds like the skin i need and the size would work. if u want to email me with more info my email is xxxxx
thanks!
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