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Skin care?!

Like this precious sweater you only hand wash and hang to dry, your fresh new climbing skins need all the care and love they deserve on and off the snow. Pampered skins will quickly become your most precious tools in the backcountry. Here's the skin care routine you didn't know you needed.

About the tips and tails...

Less is more when it comes to tail clip tension. By using as little tension as you can on the tail clips, you will let the glue stick to your bases more effectively. Think of the glue as what keeps your skin stuck on those bases, the tail attachments are there "just in case".

 

Sticking your palms on the ends of your skins to separate them. Most if not all tip and tail hardware can't handle being used like handles and are a common point of failure. Less stress on those connection points means a longer lifespan. Using skin savers (cheat sheets) can be another solution.

About your skis...

Well-maintained bases interact with skin glue the best. Keep your ski bases waxed and free of dirt and other contaminants. If you wax your skis at home, make sure you scrape and brush thoroughly. Wax residue will eventually cause contamination issues.

 

If your skis get tuned at a ski tuning shop, the tuning machines always leave a greasy film on ski bases. This residue prevents the glue of your skis from bonding properly. Give your skis a good brush after a machine tune-up to get rid of that oil.

Do not "ski your wax off"! Not only is it poor style and environmentally irresponsible, but if you stick your skins on a base covered in wax your glue will become useless in a matter of a few days.

Beware of dirt. The material of your ski bases naturally attracts dirt, dust and other contaminants. Give your skis a wipe at the end of the day, especially if they have been in contact with dirty snow (roadside, trailhead, etc.)

About storage and maintenance...

In cold temperatures, stash your skins inside your jacket or put your skins inside your jacket for a few minutes while transitioning. This will prevent your skins from getting too cold inside your backpack.

 

 

Keep your skins on your skis as little as possible. Put your skins on right before heading out at the trailhead, and peel them off as soon as your day is over. Let your skins and skis cool off outdoors your car while you put your ski boots on to prevent snow from sticking to the plush.
When drying your skins, avoid direct sunlight, high temperatures, direct heat from stoves, heaters, etc. as they can cause damage to the adhesive coating of the skins.
All brands recommend using skin savers for storage in cold climates. Keep your skin savers clean and free of dirt, dog hair and any other contaminants and your skins will thank you.

In cold climates like in the Rockies, it isn't unusual for skins to need a fresh coat of glue after a few seasons of use. Regluing skins is an easier process than it is pictured on the Interwebs and it makes for a great "arts-and-crafts" project. If you have any doubt in your ability to reglue your skins, contact your local ski shop or tuning service to inquire about their services.

Regluing skins is a more affordable and more eco-responsible option than purchasing a new pair.

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