Have you ever wanted to ski down a mountain but felt intimidated by having to climb back up? If so, uphill skiing might be the perfect sport for you! Uphill skiing is just like regular skiing, but with one small difference – you have to hike up the mountain.
Don’t let the challenge scare you away, though. Up skiing is a lot of fun, and it provides a great workout too.
When it comes to skiing, there are two main categories: downhill and cross-country. Downhill skiing is the more popular option, where skiers race down a hill on a snowboard or skis. Cross-country skiing is done on flat or gentle slopes and is used for traveling long distances.
Uphill skiing combines the two, where skiers traverse uphill rather than race downhill.
You need a different set of skills and equipment from downhill skiing. Here is everything you need to know about uphill skiing equipment, along with our product recommendations:
What are Ski Skins?
Your goal is to get up that mountain, but how? Some people use skins on their skis and walk uphill. They have a special material similar to animal fur – it has grains just like human hair – so when you step with the Downhill Walking Skins attached to the bottom of your ski shoes or boots, they open up, giving resistance as if walking across grassland.
The dawn of skis was not so long ago, and the first ones were made from seal skin. They had a stiff hair cover that gave better traction. They absorbed energy when hit by snow or ice, making for an easier glide across tough terrains like deep tracks or steep slopes without slipping off onto your backside.
Types of Ski Skins
Modern-day climbing skins are not made of seal hides anymore. Instead, they’re primarily composed of two kinds of fabric: mohair and synthetic. Let’s dig deeper to learn more about the types of the ski skins:
Most mohair skins are made from Angora goat hair, but they wear out much quicker than 100% mohairs. The best climbers use them at the competition level and only for intense training sessions because of the material’s short lifespan. Athletes who wish to climb more quickly or higher up without worrying about their gear failing should use other types of material.
The synthetic nylon skin provides an affordable and durable alternative to the more expensive polyester/cotton blend. It has a good grip and amazing glide properties, so skiers won’t need to work a little harder with their hands when doing shots off of shorter approaches or doing greens in severe weather conditions.
There isn’t as much slip available for traction against snow-covered surfaces compared to ‘normal’ types like those made out of natural fibers.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, mixed-uphill skiing skins are your go-to. These unique pieces combine 70% mohair and 30% nylon to offer a compromise between durability while also being affordable.
Most people who use this type prefer it because they can glide downhill without any problems or concerns about their purchase getting damaged on the terrain. For damages caused by other materials like glass, fiber would do just fine in those cases, though there is no need to worry.
Sizing and Cutting of Ski Skins:
It’s easy to size your skins correctly. Simply choose the right-sized model for you and follow these steps: First, measure how wide each ski is at its widest point before measuring lengthwise from the tip to the tail (this should be done in millimeters).
Once the measurements have been recorded on both ends of all desired pieces with the included ruler or a yardstick, trim away any excess material using a sharp utility blade along the outside edge only – do not cut through the bottom facing surface! Be careful when shaving off extra wax because it can easily get stuck under the other layers, which may cause them to shift during the installation process.
To get the most out of your ski, you should always have the skin close to 5-6 millimeters thinner than the widest part. This will allow for better coverage and protection on all sides.
The best way to get a good fit on your new ski is by making sure that you have enough skin exposed at the waist. Make any necessary adjustments below 5 or 6 inches long, as this will affect traction if an overturn occurs with less base covered underfoot.
If you want to save some time when browsing for new skins, consider checking out G3’s collection. They have an assortment of length options available in their precut spate ranges, which cover most skier sizes and shapes. For example, The Black Diamond Ascension Nylon Custom STS Skins come with 155-162 inch lengths as well as 161-168″.
When buying a precut skin, you need to make sure that your ski falls within the length range of what’s appropriate for it. The wider and longer they are beyond its minimum size limit, the more likely there will be an issue when trying to install onto both ends.
Tail-less skins are for the minimalist skier. These adventurers need to save every gram they can, which means that some of their gear doesn’t come with hardware installed on it in order to reduce weight and bulk, like how you would attach a tailpiece if ski season were coming up.
This style has an edge-able brim around itself but no additional fastening system or bracketing system beyond what’s already there. You can buy them readymade from retailers such as Mountain Tools USA, who sell these types of specifically designed tails at affordable prices, so enthusiasts don’t have too much trouble installing them.
If you’ve ever wanted to try splitboard skins but were wary of the hassle of putting it on and removing it from your board each time, then take note. They are designed specifically so that they fit both sides equally without having any excess material or overlap, which can cause dragging when riding downslope (and might even result in less snowballing).
The benefits don’t stop there. These new pairings are not only an easier option at uphill speeds but also provide greater control over speed changes while climbing. This is due largely to their shape which gives them better traction across varying terrain types including icy slopes.
Race-style skins are a tip rip skin with no tail attachment. This skin is typically used in ‘skimo’ racing on a 60mm wide ski. You can use this type of skin for any skis including skis that have notches applied to the tips.
They will need more tension when applying it from up high so that lasts longer before peeling away at certain parts where there’s less weight being placed onto those edges than others farther downline.
Attaching Skins to the Skis
Conventional Method: Glue
Traditionally, climbing skins stick to the ski base with glue and fasten at either end. The fixed points allow for a perfect fit so that once applied, there is little risk of snow getting between your skin and boot lid or the top edge. We all know that can happen when using other types of mountaineering tools.
The skin should be applied to cover the ski base, but not its edges. They are typically cut 10-15cm from the tail and curved at ends upfront for a nice finish on your skis. The best way is through professional help from one of our collectors with years of experience applying skins in just about any size or shape needed.
The best way to make your skis light and fast is by using shorter skins that won’t slow you down when climbing. You won’t have any gliding problems with these tensioned tip-free extras on the end of each ski.
The downside? They need perfect condition glue, or else there may be some coaster ride action during mountain lifts.
Innovative Glueless Mechanism
The latest generation of “glueless” climbing skins has gained popularity in recent years. These products offer a number of benefits, including no need for reapplication and minimal sensitivity to changes in temperature or humidity – they also don’t pick up grit or dust.
All it takes is some warm water washing when you get done kitting yourself out. Simple!
Whether you use synthetic or natural brands, your climbing skins need to be treated with care and attention in order not to have any of the problems listed below:
Glue joints are the weak link in your ski setup. You can get them unstuck by warming it up and re-applying. But if that doesn’t work for you, it’s time to give up on those skins. There is no way around this issue – poorly maintained glue or even just some snow caught between skin and wax during the application process is going to make these come apart while climbing Mt. Everest (even with spray adhesive).
For a smoother ride and more responsive skis, keeping your equipment in good working condition is important. Do this with ski wax or another dedicated product by rubbing them down before going out on the slopes so that any snow getting stuck under your skins has an easier time melting free of the dirtied edges which could cause lumps.
Rips and Tears:
When you ski, avoid possible rips and tears when gliding over rocks or sharp objects. It might seem like the easy way to navigate, but it’s better if we all take care in these areas, so that no one gets injured.
Gingerly inspect your ski bases for glue deposits. The adhesive is like a limited Velcro strip, which can be annoying on the way down but it just alerts you re-apply.
Ski Skins: Usage and Maintenance Tips
For the best possible performance from your ski skins, make sure to follow these simple but important tips:
- Glueing your skin together is not a good idea. It just leaves glue marks on the outside of them. You’ll have trouble rolling up these creases to give yourself an even fold when pokerdexing or shark fishing. Glueless skins work best since they don’t call for any sticking. Just roll them manually and without worrying about your tapes getting tangled around each other.
- The skis must be dried out before they can be properly stored for the winter. Make sure there are no fireplaces or radiators close by, as these may cause them to crack and become useless by next season.
- The best way to reduce the risks of getting lumps in your ski skins is by rubbing them with a block wax.
- It is recommended that you keep your skins close to your body so they don’t freeze. There shouldn’t be any snow or ice crystals on them.
- To avoid ruining your skis, always make sure that the skins are attached to them properly. You can ruin both the glue and base if you don’t clean the base of the skis properly before applying.
- In between seasons, store climbing skins in a plastic bag to keep them from getting squashed and losing their shape.
- Glue can be reapplied to a surface by first removing any old glue. Next, warm up the new role of adhesive and let it dry for at least 24 hours before using it again in order get the best results with your ski skins.
Now that we have a fair knowledge about the ski skins, let’s explore some of the up skiing equipment for your adventures:
1. POMOCA Climb Pro
Skiing is one of the most exhilarating and freeing activities in the world. There is nothing quite like hurtling down a snow-covered slope, the wind whistling in your ears, and the cold air biting your cheeks. But to enjoy this amazing experience, you need the right equipment. And that’s where our ski skins come in.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line pair of skins that will give you an edge on the slopes, look no further than the POMOCA Climb Pro S-Glide V2. This blue beauty is made with longer than average plush, providing exceptional grip and glide. At 1.35 g/cm2, it’s one of the heaviest skins in the POMOCA line, but that’s because it’s packed with high-performance features that are sure to take your skiing to the next level.
With 52 g/cm2 of grip and 213 kcal/h of glide, you’ll be able to conquer any terrain with ease. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Climb Pro S-Glide is the perfect choice for you.
- It is made from Premium-Grade materials and is designed to provide both exceptional grip and glide.
- With these skins, you’ll be able to fly down the slopes with confidence, knowing that you have the safest possible equipment to help you enjoy your time on the slopes.
- Provide exceptional grip (52g/cm2) and glide (213 kcal/h), making them one of the best choices on the market.
- Updated V2 tip and tail attachments offer superior stability and resistance to wear.
- Skin glue/adhesives might fail despite no snow contamination
2. Contour Skins Hybrid
For anyone who has ever dealt with the headache of re-gluing their ski skins every season or even multiple times throughout the season, we are here to provide a solution. The Contour Skins Hybrid have an adhesive layer that easily separates from each other with minimal effort, so you can say goodbye to those frustrating hours spent trying to pry them apart. They also come off the ski effortlessly and can be reused over and over again simply by washing the adhesive layer to restore tackiness. Even in very low temperatures, you’ll never have to worry about your skins slipping or losing their adhesive quality. So why not make your life a little easier with Contour Ski Skins?
- Minimal effort is required to separate the adhesive sides from each other
- Easily get removed from the ski
- The hassle of re-gluing is not required. All you have to do is wash the adhesive layer to restore tackiness of the skin.
- Superb ski to base adhesion on different ascents
- Durable skin – it remains intact even at very low temperatures
- Adhesive might not be up to the requirements of customers
3. Black Diamond Glidelite
When it comes to backcountry skiing, having the right gear is essential. The Black Diamond Glidelite provides the perfect mix of traction and glide and are significantly lighter and more packable than similar models. The pre-fixed tip and tail attachments make them quick and easy to put on, while the STS adjustable tails allow for 10 cm of length adjustment. With a width of 133mm, they’re perfect for powdery conditions.
So if you’re looking to take your backcountry skiing to the next level, be sure to pick up a pair of Ski Skins.
- Ski Skins are an innovative new product that provides a mix of 65% mohair and 35% nylon.
- More supple and packable than similar Ascension models.
- 60 g (1.4 oz) lighter, making them perfect for those longer ski days.
- Pre-fixed tip and tail attachments make it easy to get started, while STS adjustable tails provide 10 cm of length adjustment to ensure a perfect fit.
- At 133mm wide, Ski Skins provide plenty of coverage for all your skiing needs.
- Tail clip adjustments might not be suitable for some of the customers
4. Backcountry Access
Introducing the all-new BCA Hybrid climbing skins! These bad boys check all the boxes: good grip, good glide, easy to trim, easy to stash, and hybrid glue that works in a variety of conditions. No regluing is necessary. Just wipe down the adhesive layer to restore tackiness.
Plus, they include a flush metal top loop and an adjustable tail hook for easy attachment and removal, cleaning wipes for a quick and easy cleanup, and a sack for convenient storage. It also includes an offset trim tool to fit the skins perfectly to your sidecut. The 65% mohair and 35% nylon climbing skins (with Contour Hybrid construction) require minimal effort to pull apart and remove from the ski. They also stay on after repeated laps in the cold.
- Easy to trim and comes with an adjustable tail hook, making them a great choice for any skier.
- With BCA Hybrid climbing skins, you’ll never have to go through the hassle of regluing. Just wipe down the adhesive layer to restore tackiness.
- Made of 65% mohair and 35% nylon, so they’re durable and long-lasting.
- Work in a variety of conditions, making them a great choice for any skier.
- Adhesives are reported to fail in certain instances.
5. G3 Alpinist+
Looking for a versatile ski skin that can handle any condition? Look no further than the G3 Alpinist+ Universal Climbing Skin. Made from 100% nylon, this skin is self-aligning and adjustable, making it compatible with almost any ski. At 150-166cm long, it’s perfect for short to medium-length skis. But don’t let the size fool you. This skin can handle any terrain, from steep mountains to long valleys. Whether skiing on powder or on ice, the Alpinist+ will give you the grip you need without sacrificing the glide. So go ahead and tackle that backcountry tour. With the G3 Alpinist+, you’re ready for anything.
- It provides essential traction for ascending steep slopes and allows you to travel across long expanses of open terrain.
- Best all-around skin for touring in any condition.
- Updated this season with a stiffer tip to prevent snow from sandwiching between the skin and your ski.
- It offers great glide on the flats while still providing an excellent balance of grip on the steeps.
- Material: 100% nylon
- Tip and Tail Attachment: self-aligning and adjustable with Universal compatibility
- Available Lengths: 150 – 166 cm, 161 – 177 cm, 172 – 188cm, 183 – 199 cm
- The glue did not meet the majority of the customers’ requirements.
- The company has customer service issues.
6. Dynafit Speedskin
Dynafit Speedskin Free 97 Climbing Skin is made of a blend of 70% mohair and 30% nylon, giving you the perfect balance of glide and grip. The Dynafit-specific tip and tail attachments make it easy to attach the skins to your skis, and the mohair blend provides great glide across flat spots and an excellent grip on steep skin tracks.
- Feature a secure fit with Dynafit-specific tip and tail attachments.
- Allows a smooth glide over flat spots and grip on the steepest skin tracks.
- Crafted from 70% mohair blend and 30% Nylon skins, they are durable and provide great traction.
- Lengths are available in 163cm, 170cm, 177cm, 184cm to ensure the perfect fit.
- Budget-oriented product that isn’t preferred by customers due to its relatively low durability
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How many times can you use ski skins?
Some of the best skis in existence are made with high-quality ski skins. These durable fabrics can withstand up to 150,000 meters before they start wearing out and need a replacement. To ensure your skins last as long and are resistant to wear, it’s important you dry them properly.
Why are ski skins called skins?
Ski skins are also known as skins because they resemble the seal skin originally used to make skis. They’re also known as “seal” or occasionally “ Greenland” skis. They have since been replaced by more modern materials like nylon and mohair but can still be found at some resorts due to their low resistance on snow.
Are ski skins reusable?
Yes, you can reuse your ski skins, unlike other products on the market which only last one season and then need replacing with something new for the next year. Reusable means that they’ve been washed clean after each use and there is no dirt or bacteria buildup inside of them when stored away during off-season months.
Ski skins are made of high-quality materials ensuring durability while keeping the weight low enough not to affect the balance. This is perfect if going up hills is a trip requirement.
How long should ski skins be?
When buying new skis, you want the skin on your ski to be close or just over 5 millimeters thinner than its widest part. This will allow for a better fit when wrapping around and covering up all bases of any given width without having too much excess that could inconveniently hook underfoot during turns. If we were looking at an example like Volkl’s Nanuk with dimensions 131-96 -114, then 125 mm would work perfectly well as our tip dimension because these types are designed this way.
Should I wax climbing skins?
Yes, it helps to keep snow and water away by repelling these particles as you glide downhill after an uphill climb.
Waxing the plush side of skins also increases their grip when climbing, preventing slippage while going uphill or sliding down from any moisture present in air altitude levels at higher elevations.
How do you store ski skins for summer?
Make sure your climbing skins are clean and dry before storing them in the summer. If you remove all the dirt, hair, or other unwanted items from both sides of the skin with one glue-based side, it will last longer for future use. You can either purchase something like an extra ‘summer saver’ designed specifically to protect these types of garments during storage periods until they’re needed again.
Can you store skis horizontally?
Yes, you can, but that’s normally to store your snowboard. The vertical ski storage racks are comparatively easier to handle.
They’re better for storing multiple boards, but if you already have a lot of them, consider adding space for future purchases that may come along. Getting racks the same size or smaller than what you currently have will work just fine.
It depends on how many boards you have, however more than just the size goes into storing your boards. In essence, your durability is contingent on what kind of skis/snowboards you tend to end up using alongside what season it is.
Ski skins are the perfect way to keep your skin protected while looking great. With various colors and designs to choose from, you can find the perfect set of skins for your ski style. Ski skins will keep your skis in good condition and they’ll also make them easier to transport and store.
So, what is the best ski skin? In our opinion, it’s the POMOCA Climb Pro. They are easy to attach and remove, durable, and provide a good grip on various types of terrain. We also like the Contour Skins Hybrid for their versatility. They can be used with or without climbing wires attached.
If you’re just getting started in backcountry skiing, we recommend the Dynafit Speedskin. They are the easiest skins to use and don’t require any special tools or knowledge to attach them to your skis.
Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman or this is your first time considering purchasing ski skins, we hope this article has helped make your decision easier. Keep in mind the climate and the extent of the activities you plan on using your ski skins for. They may not be ideal for every situation.
Do you have a favorite ski skin that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!