In preparation for the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse and other Spring Touring and racing I have compiled a list of things you can do to help improve your overall skinning experience. During these races we spend the most amount of time skinning (Vs. skiing downhill without skins on), so any improved efficiencies you can gain while on the skins will result in a faster, more enjoyable experience!
Skin to Win!
Top 10 Skin Tricks
1) Coat a thin layer of Black Diamond Gold Label glue on them immediately after purchasing. For cold, dawn patrol Colorado starts....the "Euro" glue just doesn't cut it!
2)Don't screw around with the tip applicators they give you at the store. Just buy the skins straight off the roll and make your own "bungee tip with plastic tip washer" for easy on/off (see pictures)
|buy a small bungee cord and a nylon washer at the hardware store|
|This is a Dynafit skin that happens to come with a good tip application, "straight out of the box"|
3) For racing purposes....end the skin about 6-8" before the actual end of the ski. No tail fix needed! This aides in glide, and you will still climb just fine!
4) Cut the skin with a skin tool cutter, leaving the skin "straight cut"...ie. don't make the skin fatter in the tip/tail where the ski gets fatter. For example if the race ski is 63mm under foot, run with a straight cut 63mm skin
5) When in doubt ALWAYS go Mohair...and Euro Mohair! Its lighter weight when compared to its heavier USA made mohair brothers
6) Iron in 2 or 3 layers of cold/hard wax into your skins for Winter skiing on traditional North facing pow …..(slightly warmer wax for Spring conditions). This will make them more water resistant, and help with glide.
7) Ski the hell out of them (via DH skiing) to wear them down....they only get faster the longer you use them! ...and yes they will still grip just fine! Dare I say...improve your skinning technique….its not the skins…ITS YOU!
8) For racing....get two pair immediately!! You will always need a second pair during normal racing conditions.
9) Whether racing or dawn patrols....always carry them against your body to help keep the glue sticky!
10) Belt Sander technology....to only be used under adult rando supervision...contact Wick & Sully for more details. This really helps when you know the ski tour is fairly mellow (i.e. Elk Mountain Grand Traverse). Start with an old pair of skins that you don't really care about to learn on first.