Opinion on Skin Skis?

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Baaahb
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Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by Baaahb » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:00 pm

The new tech in nordic K&G is skin skis...rather than a fishscale pattern, a small patch of skin permanently affixed to the ski. Apparently, they are faster than fishscales. Anybody tried this? Is it just for track skiing or are there also skin skis that turn well on the downhill?

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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by Johnny » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:41 pm

They do work. They are awesome in fact. Plus, there is plenty of free space between the edges and the skins, which makes them awesome for skating without any drag:

http://telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2186

No skins for me on the downhill though. I use them for XC only. That is sacred, not a single hair is allowed to drag me down when I do the XCD DH-dance... 8-)
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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by Roelant » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:48 pm

Hi,
My main pair of track skis are Atomic Sport Pro Skintec skis. The skin is in a slot in the sole such that the furry surface is flush with the sole of the skis. Definitely less grippy than fishscale patterns, but very good glide. A bit less glide than wax, but barely noticeable. It doesn't grip well in icy conditions on old snow. And it requires pretty good kick technique.
All major manufacturers make these now.
Properly waxed track skis will be gripper and faster in the right conditions. Unfortunately this year we have a warm winter and we have not been able to ski below - 2 centigrade, and I have left my waxing track skis at home.
Åsnes make semi BC skis with similar skin inserts (mountain race 48 skin), I wonder what you can do when the skin inserts are not good enough for traction. Waxing or full length skins are not an option I suppose...
Edit; the post above says that I am wrong about add on skins :)

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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by Musk Ox » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:53 pm

I really love mine, albeit for specific purposes (new snow around freezing, and for when it’s a long day out and you know the sun’s going to come out, and spring 'snow', really). I have the Åsnes MR48.

I honestly haven’t found anything they won’t grip yet. They actually do really well on ice, I think. I was out on waxed skis on that hard, set granular knobbly stuff that seems to instantly require a warmer wax than the surrounding snow last week, and actually wished I had them.

While the MR48 really comes to life on not-too-deep snow on a firm base generally, they’re really a massive pleasure and in very certain conditions I don’t think there’s much to distinguish the skinned version and the waxable version.

Absolutely nothing beats the right wax, categorically. but it's a fact that they're... good, and really fun. The skin skis are fast as Hades pointed downhill on firmer slushy snow, but that would be hard to wax for anyway, and that's precisely why you buy skin skis. You might extend your season a wee bit without resorting to glue, of course.

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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by Cannatonic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:08 pm

Skin skis make a lot of sense to me - there are big areas of performance where waxless patterns fail badly - ice, collapsing snow, hard granular....short skins work better in all of these areas. I see them as an alternative to fishscales, not waxing skis. But I'm guessing these mohair-based skins probably glide better than scales on dry powder too. A good option for those who don't want to wax.
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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by oldschool47 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:56 pm

Permanently-affixed-to-the-skis skins seem like a good idea to me. Better than fish scales and more practical than wax. Never had a chance to try them.

I'd like to see Madshus or Åsnes make an XC and BC ski with retractable fish scales controlled by a key that fits a slot built into the side of the ski. You could adjust the scale angle to fit the conditions like pilots adjust the flaps on wings to make planes go up and down more easily. You could use the scales as a crampons.

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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by phoenix » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:24 pm

"The new tech in nordic K&G is skin skis..."
Well, not exactly new. I was replacing mohair strips on Trak waxless XC skis in the early 80's. Kinda like when Chouinard introduced the original Riva binding, which had a remarkable resemblance to bindings from the early 1900's.

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Re: Opinion on Skin Skis?

Post by 12gaugesage » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:05 pm

I got a set Fischer twin skin race a couple years back, concept seemed solid. The skin strips protrude more in the front than the rear to aid grip and glide and with the adjustable nis plate it's a pretty solid system.
In the right conditions they rock, no scale buzz, they run smooth. I like them on packed cold snow, sometimes they are good in an icy track, sometimes less so, haven't quite nailed down why yet. They can be draggy on warm wet snow.
The skis are a bit racier than I need, they are light and fast, but in some conditions they are finicky, both grip wise and on descents. They make some more general purpose twin skins skis now.
I had been very curious about a skin based metal edged Nordic bc ski, thinking it might be the ticket for frozen hardpack crust crap.
I have been experimenting with some e99s trying to trim an easy skin for an efficient traction base with mixed results.
The grip is stellar, glide is ok in some conditions, but they kind of worm around and walk laterally underfoot on harder surfaces if your not on edge. This is likely because the skin sits lower under the base in the kick zone on my particular setup, but nonetheless it's sketchy when descending.
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