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  1. #1
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    Yet another newbie to skins thread

    So like a few people right now, I'm also trying to buy skins for the first time, and honestly, I'm getting conflicting information (or, maybe, I'm reading comprehension challenged, and the people I've asked also don't 100% agree...)

    Regardless, here are my questions.

    (1) Exactly how do you go about determining how wide of skins to purchase?
    It seems like some people say to go with width of the waist of the ski...but a couple of the guys I know that tour a lot say go wider and then trim to fit. How important is the width of the skin in the fore/aft section of the ski (vs underfoot?) Can anyone summarize this debate for a JONG in like, 2 sentences? 'Cause I'm getting all confused.

    (2) Which brands/models/etc perform best? There seems to be a lot of chatter about BD Ascention STS (sp?) skins...but, are there are other brands that are reliable? Can you actually tell a difference between brands, in practice? Are some skins really grippier, slideyer, and last longer?

    (3) Tip attachment types. How much do these matter? If you don't have a twin tip, does it matter at all?

    Danke,
    Jess

  2. #2
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    Ok, yeah, so people are going to say, "you should search,"....so, this is some helpful info. I've collected by searching. I don't know if I'm just retarded tonite, or what, but I can't seem to find much else/this info just confuses me more. If there is a good definitive thread that I've missed, plz post it up.


    *On Cutting Skins (cliff's notes: to cut your skins the first time, get the idea by reading/watching one of many available tutorials, then get an experienced perfectionist-type to help you the first time. If you cut it off three times, it's still too short.) [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1502170"]Dos and Donts[/ame], [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150025"]Coverage @ Tip vs. Tail[/ame], Couple Video Tutorials Here

    *On Storing Skins in offseason

    *Skin Sizing (width needed for specific skis) Dude purchases skins that were too skinny; Tail Dims are good and the best BC setups come with bacon; Pros&Cons of wall to wall vs skinnier, ppl like G3 Tool

    *Using One Set of Skins on Multiple Pairs of Skis & Split Skins: [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=173064"]72Twenty Experiments[/ame]


    *Feedback on "Other" Brands:
    - Climbing Skins Direct: [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101534"]Thread 1[/ame], [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72645"]Thread 2[/ame]


    *Skinning Efficiently, bc travel in general:
    - LeeLau's Efficient Skinning Thread
    - The famed [ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79349"]Backcountry JONG Thread[/ame]
    Last edited by jesski; 11-11-2009 at 06:23 PM.

  3. #3
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    I pick the width of the skin to be within 0-3 mm less than the width of the tail.

    I like the G3 Ascensionist skins.

  4. #4
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    i was always told to pick a skin width = to the widest part of your skis and then trim-to-fit.

    I"ve used Black Diamond Ascension and BCA Low Fat skins. Liked how the BCA attached to the tips and tails (metal "loops"). Really didn't notice too much difference between the two in terms of on-snow performance, but the BD ones I had kept popping off of my tails (they have a wonky metal clip attachment).

    That said, most folks recommend/extol the virtues of the BD skins.

    If you need more info, try here:
    http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache...&ct=clnk&gl=us
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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  5. #5
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    i was always told to pick a skin width = to the widest part of your skis and then trim-to-fit.
    Nope - buy a skin to cover the under foot mid section of ski.

    For example on a a 130-102-120 ski you only need 100mm wide skins.
    130mm wide skins would mean alot of trimming / waste.

    With wide skis you get alot more grip - so its not important the skin fits perfectly at tip and tail (IMHO)

  6. #6
    Hugh Conway Guest
    one question, and now you've three different answers

    1) sizing for tip width = you are cutting off a ton of material, and the few mm you gain at the very tip of the ski aren't worth much. Most expensive

    2) sizing for tail width = you are cutting off less material, have coverage to the tail and decent coverage to the tip with a few bare mms that aren't worth much. Save some money

    3) sizing for waist = you aren't cutting off anything, less coverage at tip and tail, can be irritating on some steeper sidetracks. Save the most, especially since skins 100mm or less can be found cheap right now.

    with newer skis I go for #1 or #2 depending on what kind of deal I can find on skins.

  7. #7
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    ^^mmmkay. after I've had sleep and looked at those threads again, it seems to me that there are multiple right answers to "what width skin?" and that it depends on:

    (1) steepness of terrain you intend on accessing (wall to wall better for steeper climbs to prevent slippage), and

    (2) overall width of ski in first place (ad'l width becomes more negligible on wider skis at some point, according to some.)

    So my dims are 124-90-113 on my dedicated touring setup,
    139-112-130 on my pow ski mounted with dukes.

    I'm thinking 120mm skins for the touring setup,
    125-130 mm on the pow setup?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    one question, and now you've three different answers

    1) sizing for tip width = you are cutting off a ton of material, and the few mm you gain at the very tip of the ski aren't worth much. Most expensive

    2) sizing for tail width = you are cutting off less material, have coverage to the tail and decent coverage to the tip with a few bare mms that aren't worth much. Save some money

    3) sizing for waist = you aren't cutting off anything, less coverage at tip and tail, can be irritating on some steeper sidetracks. Save the most, especially since skins 100mm or less can be found cheap right now.

    with newer skis I go for #1 or #2 depending on what kind of deal I can find on skins.
    I'd add option one is best for newbie skinners with poor technique, or for short steep skin tracks, yo-yoing...

    Option two still works on the steep tracks with decent technique, you can save a bit of money and weight, but the gains are about as negligable as the losses. If you get a good sale price at this width take it.

    Option three, is best saved for long low angle tours where weight and glide may be of high importance, Multi-day tour etc. Unless you have very good technique you will be stuck with low angle slopes and lots of kick turns.
    BEWARE OF FEMALE SPIES

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    THIS= excellent. Thanks, dookey!

    Guess since I'll be a newbie skinner with poor technique, wall to wall is the answer. I have a touring notch so I think the BD ascentionist STS/ adjustable strap system might be fine.

  10. #10
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    check the manufacturers web sites - most of it is we're the best type info but they do mention sizing and the pro's and less pros of their products. glide, glue and h20 repellency(sp??) are the big concerns.
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  11. #11
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    IMO the $ you save by cutting corners on skins is pretty small

  12. #12
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    STS and G3's equivalent are the most popular tail fixtures and are great when the skin glue/ski base bond is good (95%+ of the time if one properly attends to one's skins). I like Clip Fix for spring tours because they work better when the skin glue/ski bond fails (e.g. PNW spring pollen), but Clip Fix skins must be fitted just right, i.e., no room for error when trimming length. For a third tail fixture option see Lou Dawson's site re DIY rat tail mod.

    +1 to harpo's / HC's #2 advice re skin width.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesski View Post
    THIS= excellent. Thanks, dookey!

    Guess since I'll be a newbie skinner with poor technique, wall to wall is the answer. I have a touring notch so I think the BD ascentionist STS/ adjustable strap system might be fine.


    i actually first searched TGR and compiled a list of all the skin related posts, then noticed you'd actually found all the ones i was going to direct you to (the new way that TGR renames your URL can be confusing, which is why i was thrown at first).

    then i did a Google search on "sizing skins" and got that link.

    also, perhaps another good resource is Telemark Tips.: http://www.telemarktips.com/
    Big Tim, who posts on TGR, is one of the principles on that site and totally cool.

    anyway, this thread worked out well, since I still need to snag some skins (did my first skin tours last season down near Mammy with some fellow Maggots and got hooked). i'm still sussing out what my AT skis are gonna be, though (been patch skiing on AK King Salmons, have Dukes on Lib Tech NAS Freeride, but now eying the Fischer Watea 101 and the Voile Insane/Asylum, as well a few others...I want something in the 95-105 range with a short TR between 18-22 give or take).
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Steve View Post
    ... I like Clip Fix for spring tours because they work better when the skin glue/ski bond fails (e.g. PNW spring pollen), but Clip Fix skins must be fitted just right, i.e., no room for error when trimming length. ...
    Minor point of order: BD doesn't make Clipfix skins any more. I liked them too, but STS is fine.

    To save weight and money I buy my skins (BD Ascension) according to the approximate tail width, but I've got pretty good skinning technique. Full wall-to-wall is cool though and only costs/weighs a little more. I kind of like BD's new tip loop system because it's a bit lighter and it seems to me like it will be durable.
    Jesus rides beside me, he never buys any smokes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

    i actually first searched TGR and compiled a list of all the skin related posts, then noticed you'd actually found all the ones i was going to direct you to [...] then i did a Google search on "sizing skins" and got that link.
    Again, excellent work. As a person who relishes a surplus of information on any otherwise simple topic, I was very much thrilled

    If only I had had the forethought to consider use of "the google."


    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    anyway, this thread worked out well, since I still need to snag some skins... i'm still sussing out what my AT skis are gonna be, though (been patch skiing on AK King Salmons, have Dukes on Lib Tech NAS Freeride, but now eying the Fischer Watea 101 and the Voile Insane/Asylum, as well a few others...I want something in the 95-105 range with a short TR between 18-22 give or take).
    Exciting! Good luck choosing a touring ski! I really agonized over that decision. I actually had the chance to take a few runs on both the Libs and the Watea last year and both seem like awesome skis...the Libs turned me uber-ADHD ("let's do another run...but wait, is that a tree we can tap? Look, air! I want to jump on something. excuse me while i ride switch over to this little knoll over here...wormrolls are suddenly exciting") and I loved the low swingweight, and the watea seemed like a solid, all-around, damp, predictible performer.

    I just went ahead and ordered some ascensionist sts in a 125mm for my dedicated touring/dynafit setup for $125 from randogear.com, which seemed like a good deal until i remembered the TGR BC code and the fact that a website I work for is a BC affiliate. whoops. at least I have skins on the way! Now if only it will keep snowing in the PNW!!!

  16. #16
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    Hmm...you do not do many steep climbs, do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish_Skier View Post
    Nope - buy a skin to cover the under foot mid section of ski.

    For example on a a 130-102-120 ski you only need 100mm wide skins.
    130mm wide skins would mean alot of trimming / waste.

    With wide skis you get alot more grip - so its not important the skin fits perfectly at tip and tail (IMHO)
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    It's the same argument for prostitution. There's a lot of people in this world who won't be getting laid unless they pay big bucks or fuck an artificial life form. No amount of consolation, pity or comiserating is going to change that reality.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.D.V. View Post
    Hmm...you do not do many steep climbs, do you?
    If you had good skinning technique you wouldn't need the crutch of wall-to-wall would you? back at you

    btw - this thread is a good lesson to all JONGS. Make an effort to search and show you've done so and you'll have decent input on your questions

  18. #18
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    Hmm...you do not do many steep climbs, do you?
    Nope - I tend to avoid steep climbs, prefer to zig-zag up steep slopes.
    Its a much more efficient technique (jong!).

    With wider skis (100mm+) you get much more grip due to the larger surface area. IMHO it isnt totally essential that the skin fit's exactly at the tip and tails - so long as it fits well under the boot.

  19. #19
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish_Skier View Post
    Nope - I tend to avoid steep climbs, prefer to zig-zag up steep slopes.
    Its a much more efficient technique (jong!).
    It's also a technique that produces a skintrack still usable after several days.

  20. #20
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    What about Climbing Skins Direct? There are a couple threads on them if you search. I am about to buy a pair over the BD's since the clip fix was always falling off the rounded tail of my skis, and CSD makes a version with a ring similarly used on the tip, for rounded twin-tip style skis.

    Puder Luder

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    Minor point of order: BD doesn't make Clipfix skins any more. I liked them too, but STS is fine.
    Yeah, I just saw that. BD still sells the Clipfix fixture, probably to get rid of inventory. Glad I bought that extra set of Clipfix skins.

    Yes, STS is wholly functional when glue skin is working, i.e., almost all the time. Pollen is an issue for a couple weeks most PNW springs, and I luv the Clipfix for those conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by PuderLuder View Post
    What about Climbing Skins Direct? There are a couple threads on them if you search. I am about to buy a pair over the BD's since the clip fix was always falling off the rounded tail of my skis. . . .
    CSD skins are cheap but I've seen premature glue failure with them. Maybe they've corrected that issue.

    Grind a notch in your tail. A narrow groove works for STS.

  22. #22
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    Well dang, I guess I learned something here today between you and LeeLau! Thanks!

    I had always been a student of the wall-to-wall carpet a la my avi. training classes back in the early part of the century in J' Hole. Was told that it was the way to go, so, I never questioned.

    I guess my question would revolve around whether one should aim for the width of the waist of the ski or should one happy out the mean between the waist, shovel, or tail and save one weight while still increasing surface area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish_Skier View Post
    Nope - I tend to avoid steep climbs, prefer to zig-zag up steep slopes.
    Its a much more efficient technique (jong!).

    With wider skis (100mm+) you get much more grip due to the larger surface area. IMHO it isnt totally essential that the skin fit's exactly at the tip and tails - so long as it fits well under the boot.
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    It's the same argument for prostitution. There's a lot of people in this world who won't be getting laid unless they pay big bucks or fuck an artificial life form. No amount of consolation, pity or comiserating is going to change that reality.
    Slaughter is the best medicine.

  23. #23
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    FDV - thanks for the reasoned response. On TGR so many people get defensive that its sometimes hard to try to say anything bad as the butthurtedness spills over.

    - Steep isn't faster. I was in the Duffy and a friend of mine was setting the skin track. He liked the full on steep skin track. Anyone behind him was getting killed as he could stick to the new snow but the 3rd or 4th person behind would fall off the track then have to break their own track. Whenever I or another guy set track our tracks were a lot shallower. halfway during the day my friend with the Suunto altimeter watch pointed out that with the steep skin track we were going up about @ 300m/hour pace. On the shallower skin track we were about 370m/hour pace.

    - Like Scottish skier said - waist of ski is fine. Sometimes you're forced on steep tracks (re-using old tracks through tight trees) so now even for fat skis I'll compromise on aiming for slightly under width of tail. But I don't bother with skin near tip.

    There's a thread in the Backcountry Links sticky on Technique tips for skinning in the Slide Zone which talks about things you can do to make life easier when skinning uphill.

  24. #24
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    Thanks a lot LeeLau.

    I still have wall to wall for my CRJs, my EHPs, and my VCTs. Guess I will have to change that when I eventually buy a new set of skins for whatever gets added to the quiver next.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    FDV - thanks for the reasoned response. On TGR so many people get defensive that its sometimes hard to try to say anything bad as the butthurtedness spills over.

    - Steep isn't faster. I was in the Duffy and a friend of mine was setting the skin track. He liked the full on steep skin track. Anyone behind him was getting killed as he could stick to the new snow but the 3rd or 4th person behind would fall off the track then have to break their own track. Whenever I or another guy set track our tracks were a lot shallower. halfway during the day my friend with the Suunto altimeter watch pointed out that with the steep skin track we were going up about @ 300m/hour pace. On the shallower skin track we were about 370m/hour pace.

    - Like Scottish skier said - waist of ski is fine. Sometimes you're forced on steep tracks (re-using old tracks through tight trees) so now even for fat skis I'll compromise on aiming for slightly under width of tail. But I don't bother with skin near tip.

    There's a thread in the Backcountry Links sticky on Technique tips for skinning in the Slide Zone which talks about things you can do to make life easier when skinning uphill.
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    It's the same argument for prostitution. There's a lot of people in this world who won't be getting laid unless they pay big bucks or fuck an artificial life form. No amount of consolation, pity or comiserating is going to change that reality.
    Slaughter is the best medicine.

  25. #25
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    FDV, nobody is suggesting that wall-to-wall doesn't work best. I think the point is that wall-to-wall at the tip provides no enhanced purchase or a very limited return. Stated another way, a skin whici is wall-to-wall at the tail and exposes 1cm or so on either side at the tip is, effectively, wall-to-wall.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    - Steep isn't faster. I was in the Duffy and a friend of mine was setting the skin track. He liked the full on steep skin track. Anyone behind him was getting killed as he could stick to the new snow but the 3rd or 4th person behind would fall off the track then have to break their own track. Whenever I or another guy set track our tracks were a lot shallower. halfway during the day my friend with the Suunto altimeter watch pointed out that with the steep skin track we were going up about @ 300m/hour pace. On the shallower skin track we were about 370m/hour pace.
    Quoted for truth. Volken/Schell/Wheeler's book has a side bar on this matter written by a contributor, entitled "What's Your Angle?" or something like that. IME, skin track angle lowers with experience, settling on an optimum angle that is always lower than a noobie would set. Of course there's no hard fast optimum angle because it varies with snow conditions.

    IMO, if one is in the stiletto positon, the track is probably steeper than optimum. I think a noobie tourist would be well-served by avoiding use of the stiletto heel position.

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