Ski Trab Skin Fix System – A Radical Departure

Post by blogger | March 15, 2007      

We’ve been playing around with a pair of Trab skis along with their dedicated skin fix system. Check it out.

Trab backcountry skiing skin fix system
The tail fix is the heart of the system. You slide this cam lever into a slot that only Trab skis come with, tension the skin, then click it down. This shows the lever in the up position, just after sliding into the slot.

Trab backcountry skiing skin fix system
Rear lever down, in secured position. The lever works when oriented toward tip or tail, but is easier to flip up with your fingers when it’s oriented toward the tail. By using the cord (I added it) as a handle you can remove your the skins without taking your skis off, though I found doing so to be slightly more difficult than with systems such as the WildSnow rat tail.

Trab backcountry skiing skin fix system
Skin tail with system installed. I found it a bit tricky to install these myself without having done it before. Good service for a shop to offer.

Trab backcountry skiing skin fix system
You put the tip fix in before you do the tail. It also fits in a dedicated slot as shown in the photos above and below. I found this to be quite elegant compared to the old tip loop system. The hole in the ski has nothing to do with the skin system, it’s there for hauling the skis or building a rescue sled.

Trab backcountry skiing skin fix system

Our take: If you choose Trab skis, you’ll find their skin fix system is adequate, if not elegant. Downside is it’s a bit fiddly,the latch is tricky to work with thick gloves or mittens, and it requires quite a bit of duct tape to use your skins on non Trab skis. Durability is unknown (we’ll report back on that next season). In all, a thumbs up.


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5 Responses to “Ski Trab Skin Fix System – A Radical Departure”

  1. Jonathan Shefftz March 15th, 2007 7:18 am

    A few comments (based on six outings with them so far):

    1. Instead of a fabric or cord loop for the tail cam lever, I’ve been using a cable tie loop (with a little bit of duct tape to keep it from getting smaller over time), on the idea that it won’t flop around as much.

    2. Alternatively, the tail cam lever can be used “as-is� if the lever is closed so that it points toward the tail of the ski (instead of toward the tip), as then it can be popped up by reaching underneath the split in the tail.

    3. Either way, once the tail cam lever is released, although I usually then peel back the skin from the tail, an additional option is to rotate the tip attachment 180 degrees and then peel back the skin from the tip.

    4. I agree that the initial installation (although it offers the option of using any old after-market skin, thereby saving $$) is time consuming (even with my second pair). I quickly learned that it is best to shape the skin to the attachment (using an Ascension or G3 template for shaping their skins to their tip loops) *before* riveting the skin to the attachment (although maybe that’s obvious?). And for the rivets, I eventually learned the technique of first forming a starter hole with a nail, then creating a bigger hole with a wide wood screw held by vise grip pliers.

    Overall though, I feel all this setup fiddling was worthwhile, given the setup’s ease of use in the field . . . as well as absolute security during tricky moments like extrication from a Sasquatch trap:

  2. tony January 29th, 2011 1:07 pm

    Anyone have updates on the durability or usability of the duo tail fix system? Also, do you have to be very precise in cutting the ski for length because there is no elastic or rubber in the system? Also, Jonathan, you talk about shaping the tail before installing the tail cam. Could you go into more detail about how you shape it/what shape you use?

  3. Greg Louie January 29th, 2011 6:03 pm

    I used the Trab system on my Duo Sint Aeros for several years and had no problems with durability. The are somewhat less user-friendly than a system with some elasticity built into either tip or tail, however – if you haven’t used the skins in a while they can take a few moments to stretch into shape before you can pop the tip fixture in and rotate it. Trab has tried to address this problem with a new type of tip fix in the Evo Polvere, though I haven’t seen this system in person.

    You do have to be careful in cutting the skin length, though if you have a little extra length you can leave the tail loose. You can always use a shock cord type attachment with a washer of some sort at the tip if you like (racers all seem to do this).

  4. tony January 29th, 2011 6:18 pm

    These skins are going on my Polveres. I was going to use the BD adjutable tip loop for the front, and the Duo tail for the back. Any suggestions on how to get the length of the skin correct? The instructions weren’t very clear…….

  5. Greg Louie January 29th, 2011 9:43 pm

    PS Trab made two different versions of the tail fix attachment – in addition to the metal cam lever shown in Lou’s pictures, there is a lighter, all plastic one with a small plastic bar that rotates to lock once you get it inside the tail slot. Typically I couldn’t actually rotate this piece (even the light Duo Sint Aero was too thick, maybe the race skis work) so I just hooked the thing over the end of the slot and applied the skin from tail to tip. With the one pictured, you have the option of applying/ripping starting from either end, plus you can cut your skins slightly long and not worry about it (the skins in the pictures seem to have about 1 extra cm of length).

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