Dynafit Skins Evolution

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

I love my job. Summer does go a bit slow sometimes, but come October and November my perspective shifts. Little things that seemed like nothing a few weeks ago loom in my mind as big as our sled loads last spring on Denali. Speaking of which, after the life changing experience of live blogging an Alaskan expedition, I’ll admit my mundane office and workshop have been a bit hard to transition back to.

But I feel the sap rising. Emails are going out to gear companies. Boot fitting equipment mods are in the works. Ski bindings are on order for review. Shoot, we even went skiing the other day!

The climbing skin pile is like a nest of rattle snakes.

The climbing skin pile is like a nest of rattle snakes. Mostly old, tired, and worn. G3 gets the prize for the best logo, eh? New Dynafit Speedskins still in box on top.

Dynafit skins, for example. The glue on my old pair of Speedskins (the ones for my Manaslus) is worn out, and the fur isn’t doing much better than the before photo in a Rogain report. That’s after a ton of use, so no fault of Dynafit. But new fur was required.

A shiny new pair of Speedskins arrived yesterday, pre-cut to width and length for my trusty ‘Slus, and sporting Dynafit’s latest tip and tail attachments. Check ‘em out.

Dynafit Speedskin attachment comparo.

Dynafit Speedskin attachment comparo. It's basically been the same system for about five years -- harkening to the type of attachment used by most rando racers, Dynafit skis have a slot in the tip that receives the rubber tab. The steel clasp fits on the ski tail. Note how the latest clasp has a wider stance. That's important as it pulls the skins more evenly rather than point loading them. My nice new ones are on the right.

All skin attachment systems have their pros and cons. Black Diamond, G3 and K2 (among others) allow for tightening of the tip/tail attachment. That helps absorb skin stretch and solidifies your attachment if your glue is wet or old. Dynafit’s system is super easy to remove, you just kneel down and pull the front tab, but it doesn’t allow for any length adjustment. I find the Dynafit system to be super fast on and off, and rarely need a length tweak; but once in a while I miss being able to tighten up the length.

Dynafit speed skins rear attachment clasp.

Dynafit speed skins rear attachment clasp.

Speedskins tip attachment system for backcountry skiing.

Latest tip fix system, on right, allows for replacement of the rubber tip with a slick 'snap out' system. On the left, the older system was held by a velcro fold. Older velcro tip fix was not as elegant, but did allow you to shorten the skin attachment by about a centimeter.

I’ll do a glide test on these things in a few days. They’re probably made by Pomoca in Switzerland (or Coltex as Dynafit says they are) and appear to be mohair or a nylon/mohair mix that’s mostly mohair (I used the Bic lighter test to be sure). Pomoca’s mix is 70% mohair; I’d guess that’s what these are. Euros like skins that glide, so I figure Dynafit Speedskins probably slide just fine but it’ll be interesting to compare to the older ones. Dynafit says these skins have unprecedented icing resistance. That’ll be interesting to check out as well. Words are one thing, iced up skins quite another.

Find some new Dynafit skins here.

Comments

81 Responses to “Dynafit Skins Evolution”

  1. bob yates November 4th, 2010 11:12 am

    any thoughts on the clip skins i saw advertised on tips?? they seem like a decent product..

  2. Ali E November 4th, 2010 11:21 am

    Any tips on refreshing the glue on Speedskins? They’re starting to lose stickiness. Mine were bought in Feb 2009.

  3. Nick November 4th, 2010 11:29 am

    I actually just got my new Speedskins in the mail for the Stokes. As a user of BD Ascensions, I was super impressed with (i) how much the Apeedskins can fold down, (ii) how much less “bulky” they are compared to Ascensions and (iii) how much less the weigh.

    However, definitely feel less burly. So trade-offs for everything. I will take lighter and less bulky for sure.

  4. Lou November 4th, 2010 11:41 am

    Bob, the “final” production version of the Clipskins just came out. We worked with the beta versions quite a bit but they were not ready for the WildSnow style of non worship reviews, and we didn’t feel good about doing a first-look since they were not in retail. Production/retail version will be in use by us in just a few days, and we’ll review ASAP. We think that if all bugs are worked out they will be a really cool thing, especially for powder skiing in cold temperatures, or use in harsh conditions such as continuous rain and wet snow. How they’ll compare overall to glued skins is something no one will know till perhaps at least a season of comparative use. Our experience was also that they required some assembly work that could be difficult for folks who are not handy with DIY work. We’ll evaluate that as quickly as possible and get our take out there.

  5. Lou November 4th, 2010 11:43 am

    Nick, yeah, the Speedskins are very “Euro.” They’re pretty much a Mohair skin, and intentionally use a thinner backing etc. I’d suggest to anyone that if they abuse skins they should use something thicker, with nylon plush. BD/Ascension products of that sort are excellent, as are the G3 Alpinist skins.

  6. Lou November 4th, 2010 11:45 am

    Ali, Goldbond seems to work with just about anything. I was going to pick up another can and use it on my older Speedskins, I’ll report back here. Meanwhile, if you get some Pomoca glue I’ll bet it’s perfectly compatible.

  7. Wick November 4th, 2010 1:50 pm

    Lou – were you being funny or did you mean BD Gold Label? Either way….Every “Euro” set of skins I get, I immediately coat a thin layer of Gold Label right over the top of “their glue”. Seems to do the trick for most of the Winter. I have never been impressed with the glue from “Alps region”.

    I’ll echo Nick’s comments that once I got my had on my first set of “Euro” skins…I have never bought a US based pair, because as Nick said they are less bulky, weigh less….they glide way better and I find the grip is totally acceptable. IMHO if you are having trouble griping…work on your technique…or mellow out your “straight up approach”…its not efficient to march straight up a 35+ degree slope!

  8. Jonathan Shefftz November 4th, 2010 1:59 pm

    “We think that if all bugs are worked out they [Clipskins] will be a really cool thing, especially for [...] use in harsh conditions such as continuous rain [...]”
    - I really hope you’re not counting on me to volunteer for that gear test!

  9. Lou November 4th, 2010 2:52 pm

    Jonathan, whadaya mean, isn’t that what makes all that ice you guys ski on?

  10. Lou November 4th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Wick, years later the Goldbond ads have put their brand in my mind in a way that should be the envy of any PR outfit. Yeah, GOLD LABEL, but we should be calling it Goldbond medicated glue, it satisfies the itch you can only scratch with a pair of skins.

    Agree about the Euro style skins. Once you experience snakey glide, light weight and tight packability, you grab a pair of North American style nylons and if feels like you’re working with the 35 inch rock crawler tires on my Willys.

  11. Jonathan Shefftz November 4th, 2010 2:56 pm

    Yes indeed, ’tis one of the sources of our famed “firm” snow in New England, but after the psychological trauma of all those days spent in the rain as an NCAA alpine race coach many years ago, although my waterproof clothing collection grows each year, it gets used less and less . . .

  12. Lou November 4th, 2010 3:06 pm

    Garbage bag with armholes, works every time.

  13. Jonathan Shefftz November 4th, 2010 3:10 pm

    Ugh, now you’re really bringing back some bad memories with your garbage bag reference, all those Vermont ski vacation days of my youth spoiled by rain . . . and of that ski resort slogan, “Some of the best skiing conditions are found on rainy days,” to which my father would retort, “Some of the best skiing conditions are found on sunny days with temperatures in the low 40s….”

  14. Lou November 4th, 2010 3:13 pm

    Did (does) a resort really have that slogan? According to Backcountry Magazine, all you guys do up there is ski powder, wasn’t aware it still rained.

  15. Jonathan Shefftz November 4th, 2010 3:21 pm

    Quite a few ski areas in New England, would (still do?) use that line in their conditions reports on rainy days. Plus they used to (still do?) hand out free garbage bags…
    And we actually do enjoy an impressively high number of powder days, but timing (and a flexible work schedule) is everything, as the powder is often followed very quickly but various expletive deleted forms of weather that means the powder is all too fleeting.

  16. Griff November 4th, 2010 3:46 pm

    Got a set of brandy new Speedskins with the Stokes and they don’t seem very sticky… certainly less sticky than other skins. Talked to the shop about it and they agreed. A call to Dynafit confirmed… “that’s the way they are”. Anybody else think they are a bit shy in the sticky department?

    BTW, the specs say they are 70/30 – Mohair/nylon.

  17. dale persing November 4th, 2010 4:07 pm

    Ha, I was offered a garbage bag on a ‘soft’ day at Saddleback last season but had come prepared with one myself. (As an aside, was very pleasantly surprised to find they allow self-powered ascending all season.)
    Ice in Huntington’s last week, things are cooling down here in the NE!
    Dale

  18. Greg Louie November 4th, 2010 4:10 pm

    The question isn’t whether the Dynafit skins are less sticky, it’s whether they are sticky enough to do the job . . .

    So far mine have been just right.

    My thinking is that it isn’t the glue but the “diamond” texture in the glue surface that makes for less sticking surface area. However, they have yet to fall off my skis and leave noticeably less residue than other brands in my collection.

  19. Lou November 4th, 2010 4:21 pm

    Griff and all, the whole idea is that they are indeed not as sticky. It is intentional. Makes them much easier to remove quickly, especially for tiny Euro chicks who might be buffed out for photo modeling but their size limits their pull strength. And especially for rando racers like Wick who may be human lungs but all muscle mass has gone to their diaphragm (double grin).

    Seriously. It is quite pleasant working with a skin that’s a bit less sticky. In terms of how they handle adverse conditions compared to say Ascension, I don’t notice much difference if any. Once either skin gets ice or snow stuck to the glue, time for the same measures and/or frustration.

  20. Silas Wild November 4th, 2010 7:02 pm

    At an event last night I heard our Dynafit rep say that the speedskins are 70/30 Mohair Nylon made by Colltex. I’ve used mine for 100 or so days, like the light glue for quick on/off of the ski, have had no issues with them failing in any way. Love the extra glide they often provide, had a bit of an issue with them this past Tuesday on stiff icy snow near Camp Muir on Rainier. Might have enjoyed better grip of nylon for that bit of skinning. Love the elegant simple near perfection of Dynafit gear. I’m a true believer since 1994.

  21. Griff November 4th, 2010 7:05 pm

    Lou & Greg,

    Good to hear that your experiences are positive. If they are “sticky enough”, then I happy to take all the benefits.

    “..tiny Euro chicks who might be buffed out for photo modeling…”

    I’m still laughing…

  22. Lou November 4th, 2010 7:11 pm

    It seemed to me it was more likely they are Pomoca, but if the party line says Coltex I’ll go with that. Both are similar.

  23. john November 4th, 2010 7:13 pm

    My Stoke skins have the new clip feature as well. I have been skiing them since April, and really like both the grip and glide. I just used the Stokes on Rainier a few weeks ago. The only downside is the sewn in tip bracket is breakable. My son Will was skiing with Wick last December and broke a Manaslu skin tip over in CB. Dynafit replaced the skins.

  24. Jonathan Shefftz November 4th, 2010 7:15 pm

    I have the baby-blue version on my Manaslu. At first, I was very doubtful of the glue, but they have never failed me, even during many multiple laps on very cold powder days and on very wet stormy days. But I always keep the skins inside my jacket while skiing, and I’ve never used them on warm spring days. They did fail a friend once on a very cold day on a subsequent lap, but the skins had gotten very cold in his pack.
    The attachment system has worked perfectly, and the glide is quite nice too.

  25. Lou November 4th, 2010 7:16 pm

    John, the rubber tip unit is NOT sewn in, that’s the whole point of the last photo in my post! If you break the rubber it can be replaced in 5 seconds. It just snaps into the skin. Really quite nice.

    Or are you talking about a different skin configuration?

  26. John November 4th, 2010 7:21 pm

    I have been told by Dynafit they are Colltex as well, although the divider is wax paper unlike Dynafits textured plastic. I will cut a set of Colltex skins this season to compare against BDs and Dynafit.

  27. John November 4th, 2010 7:23 pm

    Lou,
    Will broke the sewn in plastic holder, not the rubber piece with the pin.

  28. John November 4th, 2010 7:46 pm

    The Dynafit dividers look like the Pomoca ones.

  29. Dan Powers November 4th, 2010 8:33 pm

    My only complaint about the Dynafit skins is that I can’t get them off with my skis on. The tail clip is to small to grip, and I’m not agile enough to get them off at the tip. Anybody else have this issue? Any good ideas?

  30. Gaybe November 4th, 2010 9:01 pm

    Dan — yoga.

  31. Bar Barrique November 4th, 2010 9:31 pm

    Been using the Coll-tex mohair/synthetic skins for years, nice glide, light weight, surprising durability. I second the tweak with the gold label skin glue. As far as snow sticking to them; they are average (use wax). The pure mohair skins are best in this regard, but they lack durability.
    On the garbage bag tangent; many years ago I was an “eastern skier”, and, on a visit to Stowe, it was raining/wet snowing. They passed out wool blankets to us when getting on the chair lift. At the top of the lift, they were folded, and, placed on the chairs going back down. Pretty classy service.

  32. Lee Lau November 4th, 2010 11:35 pm

    Dan,

    While still in free heel mode bring your leg with the ski up. The tip of the ski should flip up to you. Rip off the tip of the skin and then tear off the rest of the ski. If the issue is that you’re not flexible enough to get to that point then maybe Bikrams yoga?

  33. Lou November 5th, 2010 6:32 am

    Or, while still in free heel mode, kneel down or semi-kneel down and reach to tip of ski. Grab skin tip, then as you stand back up lift ski and rip skin at the same time. That’s how most rando racers do it. Downside is if you’re in powder it’s hard to keep snow from getting on the skin glue.

  34. skian November 5th, 2010 10:03 am

    Buried with travels and typing on the Iphone so no quacks about the spelling hits here. A little clarification on the Dynafit Skins. You guys already touched on the (mothetic,MY WORD) material. Mohair and synthetic skins rule for travel Slide and glide. Full synthetic go straight up steeps better but glide like>> well this is a public forum and I don’t want my wife to yell at me for saying something not ok. Glue?? I’m with LOU on this one. Every year we as manufactures tell you our Secret Sauce rules. bottom line is with use re-glue.
    One thing i would love to see here Lou is a video of pealing the skins. Also a photo of the bottom of the skins. Dynafit skins have a unique pucker on the bottom. this allows for superior retention horizontally and easy peel vertically. Also they have a WP menbrane between the hair and the inside this stops water from getting through wetting out and Icing up. Also because the skins are so light when I hang them on my skis and have a nip of my favorite beverage on the summit of choice they dry out in the spring sun and have less weight for the next up. Stride and glide..
    Here is a good geek math quest. In a 3000 ft tour 1 lb of extra weight gives you how much extra lifting. Not including the extra stride you get with a Dynafit system.
    This brand makes tools for the UP down AND all around tour.

    “Get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry.”

  35. Greg Louie November 5th, 2010 10:59 am

    The trick is sliding your ski back a bit before you grab the tip rubber thingy.

    There used to be a video on the Millet website that had Stephane Brosse teaching a group of women how to de-skin (can’t find it now) – “chaussure (boot), fix (binding), peau (skin). You can see it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5qDWBvW5QA

    For the first ski, he slides his ski back; for the second he simply steps forward. Also helps to use 160 cm skis.

  36. Jonathan Shefftz November 5th, 2010 11:06 am

    Not just “a video” but the all-time best ski video ever! (Well, for those into that kind of stuff….) It actually happens to be top related/suggested video from Youtube when you click on the link you provided.
    The other trick is just to mount the bindings in the most forward of the two positions.

  37. earle.b November 5th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Why settle for a slower mixed skin?

    The Colltex 100% mohair skins have better glide and grip just as well.

  38. Wick November 5th, 2010 6:46 pm

    Amen earle.B!!!

  39. SteveG November 5th, 2010 7:33 pm

    Skian- You are my new hero. “when I hang them on my skis and have a nip of my favorite beverage on the summit of choice they dry out in the spring sun and have less weight for the next up.” I am older skier and new at this sport but my motto is ” If you cannot enjoy a view with a brew, why did you come?”

  40. Jim November 6th, 2010 7:44 pm

    Can you guys tell me if just ironing the 1 yr old DynF speedskin after roasting in a hot closet all summer, is nuff, or should I get a can of the gold label.

  41. Greg Louie November 6th, 2010 9:26 pm

    The ironing and the Gold Label address different problems.

    The first is for glide and/or to prevent snow from sticking to the plush.

    The second is for when the glue stops adhering to the base of your skis.

  42. Greg Louie November 6th, 2010 9:27 pm

    Or do you mean iron on sheets of adhesive?

  43. Mark November 6th, 2010 11:39 pm

    Painting several thin coats of Gold Label over old, tired glue has worked wonders for me.

  44. Jonathan Shefftz November 7th, 2010 8:59 am

    Several different types of ironing for skins:
    1. Iron in wax (very carefully!) on the plush for enhanced glide.
    2. Iron on top of paper bag on the glue side to remove dirt/debris.
    3. Iron on top of release paper on brushed-on (yet dry) glue to replace glue.
    4. Iron on top of release paper on EXISTING old glue to reactivate glue that has losts its stick-em because of excessive water contact during spring skiing.
    I know that fourth method sounds like it doesn’t make any sense. Well, I came across a reference to it, tried it last spring, and sure enough, the existing glue was back to normal. Note that this doesn’t work for dirty glue or missing glue. But if the glue still seems relatively clean, and relatively intact, yet not working well, try it!

  45. jim November 7th, 2010 12:35 pm

    Thanks Jonathan for covering all aspects. (Especially 2-4 which was my question, not 1). But did find that ironing wax on hair side really helped with glide and sticky snow for DF blue skins.

  46. Stephen November 8th, 2010 3:30 am

    I’ll be interested to hear the collective take on the “final” version of Clipskins. I tried them this southern winter, but due to no snow early on and various other issues they didn’t get as many days testing as hoped. I agree that not-so-DIY-oriented people may find fitting them challenging.

    So far, I think the concept is great, but will wait for the finished product before saying anything else, apart from mentioning I was surprised how well they glided. Ultimately, these are about the attachment system though, and there have been some changes since I got mine.

  47. Michael Silitch November 8th, 2010 4:23 am

    Just wondering if you, or anyone has ever had the rubber pull on the top of the skin break off? Does the rubber pull get dried out and cracked after a few years?

  48. Lou November 8th, 2010 7:21 am

    Michael, I suppose that could happen (never seen it, however) but the rubber can be replaced in about three seconds. Why do you ask?

  49. Lou November 8th, 2010 7:25 am

    Stephen, yep, we will review the Clipskins when we’ve had a chance to really use the final production version. A lot of websites and magazines jumped the gun and chattered on about Clipskins when they were only using a beta version that actually had some tricky aspects.The folks at Clipskins say everything is worked out now, so we’re looking forward to really going after it with the production Clipskins and seeing how they work.

    It’s an excellent concept and we think it’ll work. But the execution is a challenge.

  50. Michael Silitch November 8th, 2010 12:57 pm

    HI Lou,

    Just curious how durable the rubber pulls are because I was thinking of adapting them to other race skins. I’m not sure if you can buy the rubber pulls from Dynafit, but I did find another cool source for an aftermarket version: http://www.verticalworld.it/magento/index.php/speciale-sci-alpinismo/tessilfoca/tirante-amplatz.html

  51. Lou November 8th, 2010 1:31 pm

    Michael, I’m pretty sure you can buy them. Check it out and let us know.

  52. Greg Louie November 8th, 2010 7:01 pm

    I bought 2 from Salewa NA about a year and a half ago for $20.

  53. Stephen November 9th, 2010 3:43 am

    “But the execution is a challenge.” Agreed!

    No more testing down here until next winter, so hopefully we can learn a bit from those on the other side of the equator in the meantime; all suggestions gratefully received. :-)

  54. Dave B. November 14th, 2010 8:23 am

    Here in the east, we sometimes have to put in ridiculously steep skin tracks, bushwhacking much of the way. Traction is really important under the circumstances. For this use, which would be the better skin for my Stokes (just got them last spring and haven’t used them in the backcountry yet): Ascension or Dynafit? The better glide, lighter weight, and custom attachment system of the Dynafit skin sounds lovely, but I worry that the climbing grip won’t be as good as that of the trusty Ascensions I’ve used in the past. If this has already been addressed and I missed it, my apologies.

  55. Greg Louie November 14th, 2010 11:08 am

    In difficult PNW conditions – steep, high water-content snow that’s been packed by numerous skiers ahead of me, or thin fresh snow over hard frozen snow, I’d say the all-nylon Ascensions give me maybe 5-8 percent better uphill grip (strictly subjective assessment).

    When the snow is drier or you’re breaking trail, the difference is negligible.

    I suspect that on the days you choose to ski the Stokes the Speedskins might be the better choice.

  56. Lou November 14th, 2010 3:01 pm

    Dave, the Ascension is going to give you better climb and more durability. For bushwhacking it’s a no-brainer choice. They don’t bushwhack in EU.

  57. Greg Louie November 14th, 2010 8:29 pm

    I once asked my guide in Chamonix, who confirmed that “zere ees no word for boosh-wack een French!”

  58. Lou November 15th, 2010 8:03 am

    Greg, great!

  59. Paddy McIlvoy November 29th, 2010 11:40 am

    Michael,
    I’ve broken the rubber pull tab once, and the plastic piece onto which it attaches once. The second incident was on a solo traverse of one of our local mountain ranges — realizing that my girlfriend had my repair kit in her pack and that I was 15 miles and 3 passes from the car made for an interesting afternoon. :-) Love the speedskin glide, but I’ve gone back to G3.

  60. Kelly December 7th, 2010 3:57 pm

    Lou – I just picked up a pair of speedskins for my Stokes and am wondering about the extra piece of blue film that came with them. The instructions say that the film should be used for storage. Is this long term storage or also when skiing? Also – do you cut it in half and use it like Black Diamond cheat sheets or do you recommend storing them glue to glue?
    Lastly – I read a post where someone inadvertently lost a rubber pull when he was skinning. He knocked it out of the plastic holder with his opposite ski somehow (?) He recommended taping it to the plastic holder with duct tape/electrical tape – and always carrying a spare…….?

  61. Lou December 7th, 2010 4:29 pm

    Kelly,
    The blue film is optional, I don’t use it, but if you do use it you might get a bit longer life out of the glue. I store my skins glue-to-glue no problem, and try not to be lazy about getting lint on them.

    Play around with the tip pull, you’ll see it pops out pretty easily. If any concern, a bit of duct tape will secure it.

    Lou

  62. Kelly December 7th, 2010 4:33 pm

    Thanks Lou – really appreciate your help, as always!
    -K

  63. Jonathan Shefftz December 7th, 2010 4:36 pm

    My understanding was the blue solid sheets would be too prone to picking up dust (as opposed to other companies’ mesh storage sheets) to use for long-term indoor storage.

  64. Kelly December 7th, 2010 4:53 pm

    Jonathan – that’s really intesting! I have a roll of fiberglass mesh insect screen that I picked up at a lumber supply when we built our house – same exact material as BD’s (and enought to last a life time..) I think I’ll cut a few pieces and use them as cheat sheets. Thanks for for the tip -

  65. winterfiend January 12th, 2011 1:14 am

    Hey all. Just got myself the whole dynafit enchilada. TL5 boots, vert 10 bindings, Stoke 182′s and skins. Most of that sytem is great, except for the skins. I looked or a while for reviews of the dyanfit skins and really couldn’t find much. Anydody use the dynafit skins much? How do you like them? Does the glue work well? I just had the worst glue failure w/ them this weekend. I’ve had ascension/ bd skis for 8 years and never really had a time when they didn’t work. The dyanfit skins wouldn’t even stick to each other after the first lap. They rolled inward and snow had infiltrated the glue on all sides. They got worse from there and by the third lap were worthless. Incredibly frustrating! They failed on day 1? Did i get a bad pair? do i need more glue? should i switch to bd glue and/or skins? Thanks.

  66. Lou January 12th, 2011 1:18 am

    Wow! They’re just re-branded skins from Pomoca or Coltex (I forgot which) and all the ones I’ve encountered worked fine. The glue on such skins is not as sticky as Ascension, which is by intent, as Euros like to be able to pull their skins off easily during transitions. But it sounds like what you’re experiencing goes way beyond that. Sounds like they’re defective. Take them back where you got them and get another pair.

  67. Marskilowski January 12th, 2011 4:21 am

    winterfiend, I also had bad experiences with Dynafit Speedskins some years ago. First I added some “Goldlabel” BD glue, so they worked much better….until I lost one of this rubber tips. If they are indeed Coltex skins, I’m not at all surprised if the glue does not work well, especially in cold conditions. Here in switzerland, (of course) Coltex Skins are very common, but BD glue on Coltex skins even more, as far as I can tell.

  68. Lou January 12th, 2011 4:53 am

    I second the emotion on Goldlabel.

  69. Wick January 12th, 2011 9:14 am

    Any Euro skin requires a thin layer of BD glue right over the top of the OEM glue to get it to work in the colder conditions we have typically here…no need to return them….ride the glide!

  70. Michael Silitch January 12th, 2011 10:48 am

    Hi Wick,

    Judging from the video of Nationals at jackson hole, with the cold and loose snow, the BD Gold Label really was necessary. Do you just paint it on with with the little paint brush? Have you ever tried removing all the glue and reinstalling with the lengths of glue on backing? Even in Europe, we have been having some problems with the factory reglues.

  71. Wick January 12th, 2011 12:35 pm

    Michael – Its totally necessary…-27F here yesterday AM…euro glue just doesn’t like those temps… every new pair I get I just “paint” on a thin layer over entire length. I will rehit the tails every so often…no tail clips….never tried removing the brand new glue it comes with …can you get Gold Label over there?? I can bring some to Italy if necessary……

  72. john February 7th, 2011 11:30 am

    Hi,
    Any thoughts about K2 and/or Volkl pin system(s) :?: ?
    Thanks!

  73. Christian June 1st, 2011 1:37 pm

    I am sitting here with a roll of 62mm speedskins and two velcro speedskin attachments to be used on a pair of sr 8s. Any idea how to attach the attachments to the skin? (The skin glue does not hold, and I guess I am really looking for a method tjhat does is not destructive…

  74. Greg Louie June 1st, 2011 9:21 pm

    I put some of the polyethlene sheet material that the skins come with over the glue on the tip to facilitate sliding and sewed them on (took the plastic off afterward); the distance between the end of the skin and the edge of the slot was 3cm with Manaslus (maybe go a tad longer with SR8 because of no metal in the slot). I have an industrial machine, but used a regular #11 needle so I’m guessing you should be able to sew through the velcro with a standard machine if you “help” it by turning the wheel manually. Use a heavy duty all-polyester thread.

    The newer plastic fittings are a different story because of the thickness.

  75. Greg Louie June 1st, 2011 9:35 pm

    Actually the 3cm figure was for the newer plastic tip fittings, not the older velcro ones . . .

  76. Lou June 2nd, 2011 7:57 am

    When sewing through skin glue, be sure to occasionally lube needle with a bit of oil or even water. Any glue gumming up the needle, and things can get mucked up real fast.

  77. Frame June 3rd, 2011 1:42 am

    Different skins etc etc. But I took mine into the shoe repair shop and let them go at it with their industrial strength sewing machine. They had never seen skins before and will need to pass on Lou’s tip next time.

  78. Mark W February 24th, 2012 2:28 pm

    I sewed a tear in one skin and attached Lou’s rat tail attachment with a Speedy Stitcher sewing awl. Worked great. Good tool for repairs and mods. I sewed some crampon toe safety straps of my own design with one years ago. Still holds well.

  79. Craig March 11th, 2012 11:05 pm

    I got some new dynafit skis and skins, used them for the first time this weekend. Overall impression was very good, except with the skins. The glue seemed OK and was simple enough to manage. Mind you, I wasn’t breaking trail through deep snow so I’ll have to wait and see what the glue does. My problem was with the rubber tip connector; this afternoon I noticed that the left skin’s tip was already ripping. I’ve tried to be careful with putting the skins on but they are both quite tight and it takes some pulling to get them into the tip slot. After only 2 transitions it seemed a bit ridiculous for them to be failing already. I really could care less if this was a manufacturer issue, it’s a pice of rubber after all. Are these available as replacement parts? I really need this set-up for next weekend and I’m not having much luck finding the part online. I live in Edmonton, if anybody knows where to get these that would be awesome.

  80. Michael December 20th, 2012 6:41 am

    Hey Lou,

    I’ve used my skins for 2 seasons, on mostly powder to wet snow, so they are physically in excellent shape, but they glide and water repellency has gone down alot. What’s you take on proper Skin maintenance on the Dynafit SpeedSkins (the hair side, not glue) to restore/improve these properties. Periodic cold water washing? Some people apply general purpose silicone lubricant spray? (does this affect the Mohair strand natural oils since they contain powerful solvents?) wax?

    My local ski shop did not have any experience with tuning touring skis, is the base was type and waxing technique any different for touring Vs Alpine skis?

    Thanks

  81. Lou Dawson December 20th, 2012 7:57 am

    Michael, the lack of glide is usually caused by the hairs of the skin getting shorter with wear, and thus not laying as flat. Not much you can do about that except go ahead and rub with alpine wax in direction of nap. The SkiSkinproof product by Nikwax actually does work for waterproofing, albeit best when applied before every day of use. At some point you simply need new skins. We’ve been using the usual variety, am liking the Dynafit and Pomoca nylon/mohair mix ones. I prefer the Dynafit attachment method but you have to have notches in your ski tips for that. Pomoca’s generic attachment system is ok (basic tip loop and tail strap with clip), but is now repaired with duct tape after yesterday. And Louie broke the strap on the tail of his Black Diamond skins yesterday as well. How many years ago did we send a man to the moon, and we’re still breaking climbing skins? Oh well, it would be booring if nothing broke. Since we’re in Canada I should also mention that we still like G3s skins, provided we keep in mind that the regular Alpinist has more glide than most nylons, but consequently a bit less grip, and that they now have their High Traction version, which is a very good skin overall. .

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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