Any recommendations for places to buy skins? By the looks of it, you have to cut them yourself. Especially if you have short skis.
Do you get ones the width of the ski underfoot, or the width or the ski at its widest point?
> Any recommendations for places to buy skins?
> By the looks of it, you have to cut them yourself. Especially if you have short skis.
Yes, albeit there are some precut skins for some skis
> Do you get ones the width of the ski underfoot, or the width or the ski at its widest point?
Widest point minus 5mm or so for wall to wall coverage. At least on modern freeride skis.
+ 1 for both of these, or Backcountry UK: https://www.backcountryuk.com/skins-22-c.asp
For wall to wall coverage, buy for the widest point of your ski. Cutting them is a bit nerve-wracking if you haven't done it before, but actually quite straight forward once you start.
I bought mine (from Braemar Mountain Sports online) with the width chosen to fit the widest part of my ski. I cut that set myself and whilst it's a bit scary making the first cut it's actually relatively easy. The skins normally come with a wee cutter tool which is pretty easy to use.
If you're not happy to DIY then if buying the skins from a physical shop you should hopefully get them fitted free.
> The skins normally come with a wee cutter tool which is pretty easy to use.
Yup, and I think the norm these days is the model that already takes into account the edges. No need to fiddle around, just attach on the ski and then cut from both sides to get a perfect fit...
At least the last BD or G3 skin I got a few years back already had such. Older cutting tools are handy BTW as emergency seatbelt cutting tools...
Pomoca skins, although pricey, are the best I've used. Black diamond the glue always gets super gummy, colltex seem to need replacing more often too.
Pomoca also come with hands down the best trimming tool out there. Double sided and offset about 3mm so you don't have to move the skin between cutting each side!
It depends a bit on your application, but the newest generation of glueless skins are really good. Can get difficult when repeatedly taking on and off during a day, but if they're dried out well are so much easier to use.
By far the biggest choice I've found is here Approach Outdoor https://www.approach-outdoor.com/72-peaux-ski-de-randonnee?p=2 They sell skins off the roll which usually works out a bit cheaper and you can make them up yourself. Many consider Pomoca to make the best skins and I've been happy with the Pro S Glide I have recently used for touring and their race skins for racing. I would not recommend going completely wall to wall (ie getting skins as wide as the widest point of the ski) as that will give you extra drag, more bulk and weight in the pack going down and no more grip. Get skins wide enough so that you can trim them around 5mm less wide than the ski over a meter or so from in front of the binding to behind it. Many dont like to do it but you can also omit the tail fasteners and cut the skin around 20cm short of the tail and just round it off so their are no corners to peel. That will also save you drag, weight and bulk and won't affect grip. If you do this you will need to especially look after that end of the skin so the glue stays in good condtion. It also means you'll be able to learn a new party trick and rip the skins off whilst the skis are still on your feet.
Now, what I'm about to say might sound obvious... but a lot of people make this mistake, especially on their first skin cutting experience:
Make sure the skin is pointing the right way before you start cutting it to shape!
The first time I cut skins I had a glass of wine with dinner then a beer (or possibly 2) whilst setting up and reading the instructions.
Then, cutting tool in hand, poised above the ski I stopped, thought for a moment, carefully laid the tool down and walked away.
I came back the next day with clear mind and steady hand and all was well.
It's an easy enough job but an expensive one to cock up!
I did exactly that, fortunately I took them out for a trial ski the day before a race! It took me a few moments of slip sliding around before I realized what I'd done ;-) I was able to rescue them.
Thanks all for the advice. The skis are Nordica Wild Belles (stupid name, I know... welcome to the world of women's gear) and I don't think there are pre-cut skins for them. Currently I'm using some that are much narrower than the skis and it's not ideal.
It looks as though I will have to cut it lengthwise as well, as the skis are 153cm and nothing seems that short. So you have to move and reattach the front hooks. On my OH's skis (which came with pre-cut skins -- lucky him), the hooks look sewn in. The whole cutting thing is what makes me nervous -- it seems like something I might screw up and you don't want to screw it up with £100+ skins.
You should find that the rear attachment points are formed by the skin being doubled over a metal loop and stuck back on itself, so that should be the easiest part of the whole job.
> You should find that the rear attachment points are formed by the skin being doubled over a metal loop and stuck back on itself, so that should be the easiest part of the whole job.
I think that depends on the skin. On mine, both the tip and tail attachment point are screwed through the skin. When I bought my skins one end was already in place, and I had to screw the other in when I was happy with the length. It was easy anyway.
Yes, cutting your shiny new skis is intimidating, but it is really much easier than it seems!
Cutting skins to fit is pretty easy and the advice given already to buy (widest point - 5mm) is spot on.
My wife has Wild Belles. The shape of the tail means a 'twin hook' tail fixing will be the most secure option - these typically attach to a pre-riveted tail fixing. The tips are reasonably pointy so a traditional tip loop (where you cut the skin a bit long and then fold it back on itself through the loop) will be fine.
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