Recommendations and advice for ski skins- those sticky things that allow you to go uphill!
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Grant on his way up in the Indian Peaks using Pomoca skins
Skins are those sticky things that you put on the bottom of your skis that allow you to go uphill. Without them, you'll have to strap your skis or board to your pack and bootpack or snowshoe to get to the top of a ski line.
One side of the skin has glue and the other has fibers. The fibers are laid in a certain direction so that when you slide forward there is little resistance, but there is a lot of resistance in the backwards motion (this keeps you from sliding downhill). Think of it like petting a dog- move your hand in one direction on their fur and there is no resistance, but go the other way and you meet resistance from the hair.
When you get to the top of a run, you rip the skins off, and store them in your jacket or pack during the descent. The glue can stay sticky even after many seasons of use with proper care.
I have personally used Black Diamond, Backcountry Access (BCA), and G3 skins, and I have found that they all performed pretty well. There has been no real noticeable difference between these brands from my experience.
Right to left, Black Diamond, BCA, and G3 skins
I haven’t personally used them but many people rave about Pomoca skins. They do pack up quite small and glide extremely well from what I've heard. I’ll for sure be buying a pair of Pomoca skins when I get my next pair of touring skis.
There are other good skin brands out there, but I would generally shy away from deals that seem too good to be true. It is likely an inferior product that you will end up replacing anyways.
Also, some ski manufacturers sell package deals that include skis and skins that are pre-cut to the exact ski which is convenient. But, it’s really not a big deal to trim your own skins and most skins come with a tool to do it yourself.
If you are unsure about what the skins are for you, then feel free to contact me through Curated! It’s a free to use service (I make money through sales commission and optional tips), and I love helping folks find the best gear for their exact needs.