Since Gecko skins have revolutionary glue, and their Innsbruck offices are near here, I drove over there for a morning chat with developer Michael Puelacher and cohort Peter Geiger. Interesting to get the whole story.
Turns out the oddly sticky-non-sticky surface of the Gecko is a concoction of silicone, basically the same type used in breast implants, only stirred up with a few secret ingredients to make it work as skin glue.
Both guys are very aware that their hook&loop tip fix is not the slick final version of attachment they’d like to have for backcountry skiing. I recommended something like a G3 or BD tail fix and they seemed to be considering that sort of thing, so we’ll see what they end up with. Best news was that their latest skin material will not require edge fusing after cutting, and that their latest plush is a bit more glidy than what I’ve been testing (what I’ve been using is actually pretty good, so more slide will be exceptional). Once they get a better tip of tail fix method, I’d recommend giving Geckos a go if you’re in the market for a new set of mohair skins. I have to say I really like the hassle free adhesive — just remember it’s in some ways the opposite to conventional glues in that you need to take more care when applying but less care during and after removal.
As for Gecko providing a nylon version of their skin, they said they’re considering it. I tried to explain that North American skin tracks tend to be suited to nylon since they’re on average steeper, and that many skiers have come to depend on the durability of nylon as well. Crux for guys like this is that the whole North American ski touring market is about the equivalent of one EU skiing country such as Switzerland or Austria, so what we need over the pond is not a big motivation to what they make here. On the other hand, we red blooded American male backcountry skiers should take note of what Michael mentioned is one of the top selling points of their product: that you can touch breasts several times a day by using Gecko skins! That, my friends, is a definite change to the world of backcountry skiing.
(Some of you might wonder why I keep covering these skins. Simple answer. Basically, skin glue has been doing the same thing in the same way for about thirty years. Thus, I regard a change in how glue works as super important and worth as much blog time as I can give to it. Rumor holds that other skin companies are scrambling to come up with their own versions of this sort of adhesive, so when that happens will get them into the mix as well. Till then Michael and Peter are stealing the show.)
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. For more about Lou, please see his personal website at https://www.loudawson.com/ (Blogger stats: 5 foot 10 inches (178 cm) tall, 160 lbs (72574.8 grams).