Nordic cross country skiing with skin skis
Should I get some skin skis?
Skin skis are a strong trend in nordic skiing these days. And so they should because they are very effective when it comes to dealing with wet and icy conditions.
When its warm and wet or icy the skin ski’s create a consistent predictable source of grip to ensure that you can go classic skiing in those spring conditions and enjoy it with a smile on your face.
They have earned the reputation as a “klister killer” because you can achieve blister like grip with skin ski like convenience.
The way they work is you have a mohair skin on your grip zone that creates the grip you need in this wet or icy conditions.
A classic skier could have a pair of waxable ski’s for optimal conditions and a pair of skin ski’s for those icy or wet days.
In the past you were left to put Klister on for those conditions. And as effective as Klister can be I for one am too lazy to deal with it. So I am definitely a big fan of the skin ski’s.
Personally I have found that skin ski’s definitely have their place and they are effective, however I have found that they will work better in icy or wet conditions than they will in optimal conditions and this can be a source of frustration.
For example, lets say it’s -11 on trackset, firm snow and you are heading out skiing, lots of us assume that if the skintecs work in bad conditions they will work great in good conditions and this just isn’t the case, In these optimal conditions I find you can’t beat a well waxed ski with blue extra which ensures great grip and unlimited glide, whereas the skintec tends to have an over grip effect and you get that grabby feel when you should be enjoying great glide.
The skin ski’s, I find, ski slower in these optimal conditions.
What do you do with this new technology?
We should ideally have both ski’s in our ski bag and that ensures that when you get to the trailhead you can deal with any conditions you encounter.
To me the ultimate ski collection for the nordic enthusiast is a set of skin ski’s, classic waxable ski’s and a pair of skate ski’s.
If you want to just use skin ski’s thats absolutely fine. Just be aware that they will work in those optimal conditions, but you may have less glide than you like.
Who makes good skin ski’s?
We have put a great deal of product testing, research and discussion into our mix of skin ski’s and we are offering the Rossignol R-skin as a good performance skin ski. It is easy to use, predictable and very effective. The R-skin is evolved from the Rossignol Delta classic ski which has been one of our favourite skis to recommend to our athletic customers and is used by myself, my workmate Susan and many of our staff. And it has been a durable, reliable and effective ski for over 10 years at Wilsons.
You may want a faster and higher performing ski. As fast as the R-skin is we have a faster ski in the Salomon Equipe RC skin. It is a beautiful ski indeed and it works great This ski demands that your are confident in compressing this ski to create grip and your technique is really good. Good technique will translate very nicely with this ski.
How do I pick a ski?
The question is do I want a convenient, reliable and good performing skin ski or do I need optimal performance to match my athletic ability and strong technique.
Next you need to know your weight. The skin ski’s have no adjustment for grip zone as the skin is fixed in place so each length has 2 cambers and specific weight ranges. The closer your weight is to the middle of that range the better the ski will suit you.
Once you have a ski you think will work, we have put the time, effort and investment into our demo fleet so you can try the ski’s and make sure you feel good about them.