Skin ski questions

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PortlandORXCER
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Skin ski questions

Postby PortlandORXCER » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:26 am

I have some questions about skin skis. Thinking of getting a pair for most classic skiing days but not completely sure.

The questions:

Do you need different skins for different conditions?
How different are they than Zeros? (I have a pair of Fischer Zeros)
How much slower are they than a properly waxed classic ski?
Due to the positive grip, do people develop bad habits such as a late kick?
How do they work in conditions ranging from just below freezing to very warm? In other words, klister conditions.

Anyway, TIA!

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Neuro
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Re: Skin ski questions

Postby Neuro » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:58 am

On my second season skin skiing now. (Salomon Equipe RC 16/17 (long hair yellow skin))

- No, one skin works for all conditions, although some skis come with 2 types according to how much grip you want and the difference is the length of the hairs. The Atomics are easily interchangeable with a magnet system (adds weight), the Salomons are glued so must be changed with a heat gun.
- Never tried zeros.
- Not much slower than properly waxed skis. To my surprise I find I'm faster than almost all skiers on the trails. I suppose because the skin is quite small, and most people wax a big area. Only club racers out training have better glide.
- The grip is not as good as I was expecting, in fact slightly disappointing. But I suppose this has to do with being racing skis that needs to be jumped on. This might be different with regular 'trail' skis.
- In warm klister conditions they really shine. In cold klister conditions (icy), they are not that amazing but still work ok.

Can heartily recommend skin skis. I don't know why regular skiers would ever want anything else.

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JeffOYB
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Re: Skin ski questions

Postby JeffOYB » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:02 am

i just got a pair of atomic pro c2. they're wider for more allround duty. 48-50 approx.

i skied a long day in icy slush and they seemed great. occasionally grabby. better kick and glide than those around me.

i've been skiing them on my local trail as well and sometimes they seem grabby. sometimes the kick isn't the best.

i also tried them in fresh 5 deg F somewhat soft conditions and they were ok. i traded w a new skier and he cdn't get them to grip. i could if i was careful.

i also have 48mm zero-type skis -- they are great in a wide range but then they fail on ice so that's why i got the skins. i also got the skins because some common ice around here can be so hard and abrasive that it just shreds off any klister and binder. and is too hard and slick for the zeroes. word is the skins are the thing in that common situation.

due to our nasty climate change situation with the polar wind getting split and going south below us and sending warm storms upward (i kinda think that's how it's going anyway) we lately are often getting big snowfall followed by melts and then immediate low temps again so monster ice conditions.
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Neuro
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Re: Skin ski questions

Postby Neuro » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:55 am

As was evident from Birkie testimonials viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5139 skins will not work if completely soaked, so keep in mind that they need to be impregnated for long use in wet conditions. (I use normal silicone spray which seems to work fine, but there are dedicated products for this).

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JeffOYB
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Re: Skin ski questions

Postby JeffOYB » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:55 am

friend suggested that F4 paste also works fine -- whattayathink? i guess i'll just test it sometime.

i haven't yet experienced saturation.

i did see all those birkie complaints that one year. kind of pitifully hilarious how the skins seemed to blow up on them. i guess we all need to learn how they behave and what tricks work to rescue them when they don't then be prepared...

another angle is that what is considered best for WC skiers might have totally different helpful use scenarios for normal mortals.

like zeroes are famous for the impossible fresh-freezing condition -- but for mortals they're also great almost all the rest of the time as well. how well is this fact sold to the public? i see the zero material used almost entirely on top shelf NON VERSATILE race skis. maybe 1 or 2 models today are in the 48-55mm range of rec skis. sure, a wax tech could spend the time/$ and come up w a better combo. ...but that's not us!

kind of also like how there are the several little-known ski techniques that we're teaching our friends: none of them will help anyone win a WC race. they COULD help win a citizen race. and they definitely help fun skiers have more fun. (one of the fun moves is illegal for an official classic race but is fun everywhere else.) conversely a lot of ski tech and prep that IS taught has NO RELEVANCE to average fun-hog type skiers.
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Re: Skin ski questions

Postby PenokeeRanger » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:15 am

As far as dealing with icing (correction: soaked skins) in skin skis, two methods have worked for me. The first i tried was the start aerosol HF spray (~$30) and seems to work well. The other is the toko hot wax method I learned from the Toko booth at the 2017 Birkie. I’ve done it twice on my older RC Skin and just recently on my S/Race Skin. No one I’ve talked to at any of my local ski shops are aware of the hot wax method for skins. I can’t even find it online (before replying here). If only I could find my handout from the Birkie. I’m guessing people find it too risky?

I bought the RC Skins used in 2016 and had to replace the skins at acquisition due to excessive klister stuck to them (guessing from the 2016 Birkie). I think the bad skins that came with this pair of used skis were an outlier as with 600km+ of skiing I haven’t been able to replicate their condition on the replacement skin.
Last edited by PenokeeRanger on Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Neuro
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Re: Skin ski questions

Postby Neuro » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:17 am

I've never had ice in the skins, even in the worst of conditions were people were literally lining the trails scraping (the icing I got was on the normal sole near the skin where I couldn't scrape as well with the Kuzmin), and from the Birkie report I linked to earlier even untreated skins didn't appear have icing issues when normal klister skis did.

@PenokeeRanger: About klister in the skins, have you tried normal base cleaner? I've heard top skiers use it with no issues and I've done it myself once to get rid of klister spots which worked well.


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