After a weekend testing skis using tried and true Ascension Nylon climbing skins (the orange ones), my shoulders look better while I’m leaning at the bar at our local dive, but still feel half out of the sockets from pulling the skins apart after the down, and pulling them off my skis after the up. Razz me all you want about how I wimp out in comparison to the 5.14 resume dawn patrol crowd at Black Diamond (shucks, their shoulders look better). But watch a smaller guy or woman struggling with skin glue, and you’ll have some sympathy for his or her plight if you have even a shred of humanity in your buffed out core.
Luckily, Black Diamond has such empathy. Next fall they’ll be changing over to a new skin glue formulation that releases easier from itself, and comes off the ski a hair easier as well. Don’t despair, this stuff is still sticky — just more tricky (in a good way).
I’ve got a set of the new skins here, and they have noticeably less adhesion to themselves than the older version. They still stick to themselves quite strongly when cold and you may still struggle a bit, but your shoulders will stay in their sockets. During testing, the new nylon plush seemed to glide a bit better but I’m having trouble believing anything can climb better than other recent Ascension full nylon skins.
If you want grippy skins such as the original Ascension, but are tired of that too-sticky glue, wait till next fall and consider these guys. Your labrums will thank you. Recommended.
Shop for Black Diamond climbing skins for backcountry skiing. As before, BD will sell skins in full nylon plush, mohair mix, and full mohair.