Mysteries of Pomoca and Dynafit Climbing Skins — Review


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 4, 2014      
Pomoca Climb Pro is all mohair, interestingly has the same or eve less glide as the 70 percent mohair Climb Pro Glide.

Distinctive green colored Pomoca Climb Pro is all mohair, interestingly has the same glide in our testing as the 70 percent mohair Climb Pro Glide.

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.

Pomoca Race model climbing skins are the most glide optimized.

Pomoca Race model climbing skins are the most glide optimized.

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 also has distinctive coloration and is our favorite.

Climb Pro Glide also has distinctive coloration and is our favorite.

“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 color coded as well.

Climb Pro is color coded as well.

“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 appears to be optimized for durability and price.

Climb model appears to be optimized for durability and price.

“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.

Free model climbing skin is a 100% nylon offering that's durable and price conscious.

Free model climbing skin is a 100% nylon offering that's durable and price conscious.

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.

Dynafit Speed climbing skin tip fix is our favorite.  Only downsides: the tail hook rivets sometimes rip out or the tail hook gets bent.

Dynafit Speed climbing skin tip fix is our favorite. Only downsides: the tail hook rivets sometimes rip out or the tail hook gets bent. The rubber tab at the tip can break if you yard on it too many times, but it’s super easy to replace.

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.

Shop for Pomoca Skins.

Pomoca website.

Comments

34 Responses to “Mysteries of Pomoca and Dynafit Climbing Skins — Review”

  1. jbo August 4th, 2014 9:18 am

    FYI Pomoca has ditched the tip cables for 14/15 in favor of swappable metal buckles that can be matched to the width of your ski. Two sizes will ship in the box (based on the width of the skin), with others available. No more tape.

  2. Bill Porreca August 4th, 2014 9:27 am

    What other brands use Pomoco? I thought La Sportiva used them as well.

  3. Bruce Goodlad August 4th, 2014 9:57 am

    Dynastar also use Pomoca skins as far as I am aware, though I did have to ask them directly to find out. As a guide in the Alps I have found the Pomoca are consistently the best blend of grip, glide and packability in your rucksack.

  4. Lou Dawson August 4th, 2014 10:28 am

    Thanks jbo, I’ll check up on that. Meanwhile there are still skins for sale with the cables so we’ll keep that info in the overview. Lou

  5. Sam S August 4th, 2014 3:50 pm

    I tour and race on a set of Pomoca Race Pro skins, and despite what you would naturally think, they actually have pretty good grip. In the Imperial Challenge in Breckenridge, there is a section just below the top of the T-Bar which is very icy and steep. As I was going up, the racers around me were losing grip, sliding all over the place, and generally dropping like flies. I went straight up without so much as a single slip. They’re a great choice so long as you can live without a tail attachment (which has never given me a problem either).

  6. Lou Dawson 2 August 4th, 2014 4:43 pm

    I think much of my ski touring could be done without a tail fix, am planning on revisiting that during this coming winter. Can always fallback with duct tape or a lash strap. On the other hand, if your skin _does_ come off and it’s 25 below zero Fahrenheit, a tail fix can be fairly useful… Lou

  7. Nick S August 5th, 2014 10:17 am

    Lou, One nice thing about the “American” glue is that as you mentioned it sticks better in cold temperatures. A huge factor during cold Colorado skimo races where none of us have tail clips, and skin failure is a common occurance. If you give the clip-less thing a go next season (which also improves glide, and weight) you may find that you like the sticky American glue too, especial on those cold mornings. Rosignols’ pre cut skins are also pomoca, I believe the 70/30 baseline blend.

  8. Lou Dawson August 5th, 2014 12:13 pm

    Understood!

  9. stefanon turk August 6th, 2014 12:36 am

    the metal wire attachment on the tip is too weak and slim and easy to be cutted if you touch it with the skis edges (can happen when you turn) it happened to me the third time i was using them

  10. Lou Dawson 2 August 6th, 2014 8:01 am

    stef, I did mention that in review, jbo says it’s fixed, am check up on it today as I’m in Utah at trade show where they have some of the latest Pomoca skins or so I hope. Solution with the older version with cables is they sold some of the later versions with metal protectors on the cables, or just wrap with some tape to cushion the blows from your ski edges. I cut two sets during testing, was very surprised that a company such as Pomoca would go to retail with such a fragile tip loop. Shows you how difficult it sometime still is, despite all our technology, to design and manufacture things that work. I’ve been doing quite a bit of economics reading lately, and a common thread in terms of the future is how important it’s still going to be to have humans involved in design who can “ideate” as well as follow the manufacturing from start to finish with real-world hands-on testing of products. Stuff that automation can’t do. I digress, but fascinating stuff in my view. Lou

  11. kate August 6th, 2014 11:52 pm

    I think pomoca skins are easily the best skins out there. They seem to have done the impossible deliver great glide and grip and durablity. Colltex are the other major brand here (switzerland) and whilst offering great glide the grip is poor and they aren’t very durable. We use the race ones and the green ones and both work really well. Even the race ones have so far clocked up around 60 000metres of vertical. You can now also get extra glide help in the form of a can of rub on stuff (also made by pomoca) which gives even better glide with no compromise on grip. It doesn’t last very long but is definitely the edge racers are looking for.

  12. XXX_er August 9th, 2014 1:02 am

    I broke “the rubber jingus” on the dynafit system and couldn’t find a local replacement so I made tip stretchers using 3mil shock cord (available at most out door stores) and a 2.5″ aluminum roofing nail with the head cut off

    Tie a big knot in the shock cord making a loop in a piece of the shock cord just big enough to put your pinky thru (gives the right amount of tension on the shock cord) put the nail thru the loop, clip it into the slot in the skin tip and you got a fix that works good as the original for much < the 14$ each for dynafit stretchers

    I found dynafit skins are 100 grams a pair lighter than my G3 or BD

  13. ty August 10th, 2014 3:33 pm

    cant see any reason to not use BD nylon skins, since they work really good and last a long time, but then again, i favor durability and design over light and not-durable

  14. Josh anderson August 30th, 2014 12:04 pm

    Totally, ty. I’ve found shag carpet to work even better. Can’t beat the price, just offer to tear out gramps’ old carpet… Free skins for life!

  15. Mike B October 23rd, 2014 11:20 am

    For a pair of Kastle FX94s (176cm), can anyone please recommend whether I should get the Pomoca Climb Pro Glides in M or L length? The ski length is on the borderline. Thank yoiu.

  16. Kent January 3rd, 2015 1:56 pm

    Can anyone comment on the Dynastar L2 skins. I’m in the market for skins for my Cham HM 97’s and I see Dynastar offers a precut L2 for them (at least in Europe). Thanks.

  17. wade metzler January 15th, 2015 8:43 pm

    Just picked up my new skis with new pomoca skins cut to fit and noticed they did not come with skin savers; wondering if my shop forgot to include them, or if pomoca does not include savers with their skins in the first place. Thanks.

  18. Lou Dawson 2 January 16th, 2015 2:13 am

    In my experience, with Pomoca you should use the skin savers definitely during storage. No need during day/use. In the past, the plastic ones that come on new Pomoca are only for at-home storage. Lou

  19. Geoff January 17th, 2015 5:32 pm

    Lou, how does the sizing work on the Pomoca Pro Glide? Should you choose a length from the Pomoca chart that is shorter than the length of the ski? Have you gotten any further info on Europoean vs. North American glue?

  20. Lou Dawson 2 January 17th, 2015 11:03 pm

    Geoff, I looked at the chart and you’re right, it’s not very helpful. Sgjh. Try the ski picker at pomoca.com or customer service for that one. As for the NA glue all I still know is that there is no way to tell what you’re getting, but if you’re in North America you’ll probably get the NA glue. Frustrating. Lou

  21. Geoff January 18th, 2015 10:48 am

    It seems that the length sizing depends on the mounting hardware. The videos on
    http://www.pomoca.com/en/videos.php describe the various options.

  22. Dan Powers February 27th, 2015 8:17 am

    I got a pair of the Dynafit skins, blue color with the Dynafit tip attachment system. Impressed with the glue, which sticks well to the skis but not that hard to pull apart, and with the tip attachment. Disappointed with the glide so far, compared to the BD mohair/nylon mix I’d been using previously. Any one else encountered this? Tried the BD liquid skin treatment on them and that didn’t seem to help.

  23. Lou Dawson 2 February 27th, 2015 8:35 am

    Dan, Dynafit skins are made by Pomoca, in my experience the nylon/mohair mix does glide well but may need some breakin. I don’t have my Dynafit catalog handy but I’m pretty sure there are no 100% nylon Dynafit skins? If there are, make sure you didn’t end up with one by mistake. The Pomoca glue does seem to be a good compromise, don’t dry your skins in the sun and avoid chemical contamination, we’ve had some of the Pomoca glue get all gooey on us and since this isn’t a universal problem we’re thinking it was caused by some sort of contamination or sensitivity to UV light. The Dynafit attachment system is a favorite, but watch out for the tail hook rivets catching on stuff. Sometimes it’s a good idea to place the rivets on a solid steel mandrel and gently tap them tighter with a hammer so the heads on the fur side of the skin are nested better. If they do tear out you can repair with a patch and some sewing, and change to a Shark tail hook from Contour. Lou

  24. Kate February 27th, 2015 12:35 pm

    Pomoca now produce a glide enhancing spray that does improve glide without impairing grip (magic). Sadly it’s pretty expensive and the improvements don’t last long before you need to reapply, hard to find even in switzerland. It think it’s aimed at the skimo market particularly for races involving flat sections where xtra glide is gonna make a massive difference if your a top competitor. Maybe try one of the swix XC products now available for XC skis that use mohair or equivalent

  25. James March 2nd, 2015 2:08 pm

    I’ve got the Climb Pro Glides from two seasons ago.

    First, these skins are great. I am not sure the glide/grip combo can be beat. My skis are 115mm under foot and I don’t need skin savers to get the skins apart. To me that is a huge plus not having to deal with skin savers in the backcountry. They are also holding up great with use (and dealing with some less than snow days)

    Second, their customer service has been amazing. Like many others, the wire tips finally failed (despite taping). I was lucky to be in Switzerland at the time (or unlucky to have my skin fail on a Euro ski trip), but still. I wrote them and got an email response within an hour (10pm local on a Sunday) of asking about repair. I was able to swing by the factory the next morning and they replaced the tips with the new (non-wire) system for me in five minutes. They also replaced the previous plastic rivets in the tails with new, smaller, metal ones (since I had lost one of the plastic ones). They were super friendly and accommodating (threw in a tube of glue). I don’t think you can beat that service…

    As a general note: the don’t make the wire system anymore (for obvious reasons). And they are willing to replace or send replacement parts to anyone with the wire system. The replacement is the new clip lock system.

    A+

  26. Lou Dawson 2 March 2nd, 2015 2:36 pm

    I totally agree about the Climb Pro Glide glide/grip combo. Lou

  27. Rockarch October 28th, 2015 12:14 pm

    K2 skins are also made by Pomoca – does anyone know which skin they use in the K2 branded version?

    I’m trying to decide which skins to get for some Talkback skis Would have gone BD but thinking of taking a look at these instead.
    Any experience of the good, bad and ugly of the k2 skins? I’ll be skiing in Japan, Alps & spring in Canada so looking for versatility.

  28. Eric Rentschler November 25th, 2015 3:00 pm

    Just got some new climb-pro-glide Pomoca skins and had a question to bounce off the folks here. The “L” Pomoca skins are for skis in the 176-187cm length range and the “XL” Pomoca skins are for skis in the 186-197cm length range. My skis are 188 cm so I got the XL length. The adjustment straps on the tails of the skins have notches about a cm apart. Putting them onto the skis I only have one more of these notches that I could possibly make them any tighter before running out of range. While they seem plenty tight now, my concern is how much loser they might get when in wet spring snow. I’m concerned that if they stretch, for whatever reason I might run out of adjustment range to make them tight enough.

    Would others be concerned about only having one more notch of tightness possible on a new set of skins?

  29. Geoff November 25th, 2015 8:52 pm

    I think that the sizing instructions are a bit off for these skins. In spite of following the instructions, I also had a problem with the skins being too long. I had zero adjustment left and didn’t want to risk the skins stretching, so I exchanged them for the next smaller size.

  30. Eric Rentschler December 7th, 2015 11:18 am

    One elegant and simple solution to the skin length issue here (my 11-25-2015 post on this thread) is to just change the steel tip loop over to a narrower loop. This moved the skin farther forward, creating more margin. These skins ship with two sets of tip loops. But what I’m talking about here is getting an even narrower version, if needed.

    Kudos to the folks over at Cripple Creek Backcountry for pointing this out and getting me several sets of narrower loops; thanks guys!

    Problem solved!

  31. Dominik December 15th, 2015 12:30 am

    Hi, maybe a stupid question. Anyone has hot waxed climb-pro-glide similar to 100% mohair skins or that may damage impregnation?
    Best regards,
    Dominik

  32. alfred January 18th, 2016 3:29 pm

    One of my Pomoca proglide tail clips started sliding in the middle of 2nd lap. I bailed and chalked it up to in-field ineptitude, but when I got home the clip still slides when it should rachet. I can’t find anything visibly wrong with it, but I can’t get it to rachet, and I am not going back into the field without a fix, at least for anything other than up and back.

    I ordered a replacement tailclip from Skimo, hoping that will solve the problem

  33. Lou Dawson 2 January 19th, 2016 7:08 am

    Alfred, all I could figure out was to adjust the tail buckle then double it over and duct tape it so it won’t slip. It’s surprising how easy they come out of adjustment, I think when the plastic strap gets wet it slides more easily, or something like that. Lou

  34. Lou Dawson 2 January 19th, 2016 7:11 am

    Since I’m in this thread, I’d add that recently I have some Pomoca skins that glide super well, but are the color of the “Free” shown above. Hmmmmm. Lou

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 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 ski touring news and information here, and tons of telemark info.

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