It’s no secret that Pomoca is owned by Salewa, and so is Dynafit — and that Dynafit skins are made by Pomoca. After that, things can get a bit confusing if you’re in backcountry skiing gear shopping mode.
Presently, Pomoca lists six skin types on their website.
Some of the Pomoca offerings appear to be the same material only with a different chemical treatment. Between their website and a PR rep, here is the breakdown as I see it.
The two “Race” model Pomoca skins are 100% mohair, with minimal plush density and the thinnest backing material possible. Goal is reduced weight and enhanced glide. Durability and climbing traction are sacrificed to some degree. Available in two versions: “Race” does not have the special “Glide” treatment (though it probably slides quite well anyway), “Race Pro” has the “Glide” treatment, which in my experience makes a noticeable improvement in skin glide.
“Climb Pro Glide” is the sweet spot for ski touring. This 70% mohair skin has been in play here at WildSnow.com for more than 150 days. After that century-plus they were still cruising like a limo with exceptional glide and enough grip for all but the steepest skin tracks. The glue eventually went funky (easily transferring to skis and fingers), but I’m not letting that freak me out since I easily got a life-span out of these carpets.
“Climb Pro” is a 100% mohair skin. You get the glide of mohair, probably less durability, and a slightly lower price than the Climb Pro Glide. After backcountry skiing with Climb Pro Glide, I’m not sure why a skier would want this model. We have both models in play, and the Climb Pro Glide while being a 30% nylon glides as well or better than the Climb Pro 100% mohair (was hard for me to believe, but it’s true and shows that how a skin is made and chemically treated is of equal importance to the choice of materials.) Perhaps Climb Pro would be the one if the price was right, or if you just like more natural fiber due to ethical concerns.
“Climb” is essentially the Climb Pro Glide without the Pro Glide treatment.
In my view, price would be the only reason to consider the Climb model, though they could possibly be more durable for hardcore ski touring. Bear in mind that unless you’re doing much touring with a good amount of distance, the difference in glide between something like the Climb model and other more “glidey” skins is negligible and you’ll want to shop by price. But if you’re a human powered fanatic going for beaucoup vert and distance, tiny differences in glide and weight are valid concerns and worth a few extra coins to obtain.
Lastly, we have the “Free” giving a nod to the freeride craze. This 100% nylon brillo pad is said to be configured for the “starter” freeride ski tourer. Translated, that means it has less glide, is heavier, costs less, and is durable. Such climbing skins have their place, but for most of our readers I’d recommend mastering the technique for skins with better glide and slightly less traction. This especially so with wider skis, since gordo nylon skins can have so little glide you might as well be trudging on snowshoes.
That sorts out the Pomoca types and colors, but the plethora doesn’t end there. Apparently, Pomoca skins officially imported to North America have a different glue than those sold in Europe. It’s said to be stickier, with “better” performance at colder temperatures. I prefer “European” glue with its ease of removal and supple feel. But you hard-cores out there in sub zero Fahrenheit should keep the glue situation in mind.
Moving along to Dynafit Speed skins. Just which Pomoca model are they? According to sources, they’re a “basic” version of the Pomoca, probably the same thing as the “Climb” 70/30 mohair nylon mix model or else a “Climb Pro Glide” without the final more expensive gliding treatment. In testing, I’ve found the Pomoca Climb Pro Glide slides slightly easier than the Dynafit Speed, so the above makes sense from a practical testing standpoint. Both skins have plenty of anti-icing treatment and are more similar than different.
My only disappointment in terms of Pomoca is that both Lisa and I prefer the Dynafit tip/tail attachment system (the rubber jingus at the skin tip that catches in a slot at tip of ski). Why? Removing a skin starting at the tip is easier to do with skis on your feet; you simply kneel down and grab the skin tip rather than doing a royal christie with your skin tail — watch skimo racers and you’ll get the idea — super efficient. To get the Dynafit system, you have to go with the Dynafit Speed model climbing skin. (I’ve seen a retrofit skin tip kit, but installation appears too tricky.) Saving grace is while the Pomoca tip/tail systems don’t remove at the tip, they’re otherwise 100% functional so long as the thin cable tip loop is protected from getting cut by your ski edges. Current models have small metal protectors on the cable, and a bit of added Gorilla tape wrapped around the cable is probably a good idea.
In the end, I’ll jump into the sand pit of a product recommendation. Out of all the Pomoca models as well as the Dynafit re-branded Pomocas, we prefer the Pomoca Climb Pro Glide with the European glue. That said, if you tend to get mad at your skin glue unless it’s really sticky, we’d recommend this same climbing skin only with the North American version of the glue. How to know what you’re getting? I’m still trying to sort this out and hoping that it states the glue version somewhere on the packaging, since as far as I know the SKUs for both versions are the same. More on that as the info arrives.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.