Front-Half Skins

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akmtnrunner
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Front-Half Skins

Post by akmtnrunner » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:30 am

I've have been trying to get my X-Skins to work better on my Asnes Gammes, but I am afraid they just won't cut it. I find the front to protrude into the snow and drag, and in firm snow it props the skin up off of the snow and it can't grip very well. I then modified the front by pulling off the thick plastic and epoxied the skin to just the metal clip. Much thinner and sometimes it works beautifully. But other times, snow begins to creep under the leading edge of the metal clip and get between the ski and skin and soon pulls the skin off, caked with snow, and essentially can't stick to the base until they dry out indoors.

I am curious if anyone has tried traditional skins (attached to the tip) but only extending to the front of the kick zone? That way, I could have my kick wax for the gradual terrain and good speed, then be able to add the front-half skin to climb steeper grades. Would that significantly help kick? I am assuming I wouldn't want to cover the kick wax with a skin, as the wax would degrade the skin glue and begin to pull the entire skin off. Is that right or am I wrong?

Thanks for any help,

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phoenix
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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by phoenix » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:32 pm

Hate to see a thread with no replies; first is no, I have never heard of using a skin forward of the kick zone. Second, about using skins over kick wax... quite commonly done. That said, I draw the line on blue (assuming Swix colors), or maybe blue extra. Wouldn't really want to try it on anything softer myself, but very possible some folks have.

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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by Krummholz » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:46 pm

I ran across these about 5 years ago from Nordic Ski Skins. Probably a garage operation. Worked great on medium climbs and easy to put on/remove. But you hit a gully and the skins come off the snow coming up the lip and backwards you go. Length is about 22”. Used them on Rossi BC70s. They just hook on the tips.
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lilcliffy
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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:32 pm

I agree with Pheonix as far as skin on grip wax- I draw the line at Swix Blue-
I scrape off grip wax any softer than Blue before putting on a skin.

I am curious as to what the snow and temperatures are like that you are having negative experiences with the integrated kicker skins...
(I am generally thrilled with mine- and must admit that I have not found a big difference in glide performance between the metal "Skin-Lock" and the plastic "X-Skin" attachment (the plastic one does not like rocks though!))
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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:35 pm

The very short skin on the tip would allow you to get away without scraping off soft kick wax or klister.
Interesting idea!
Let us know how you make out with this!

BD's Nordic skis have tip loop that is specifically designed for a narrow, traditional Nordic ski tip:
https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/e ... 050_1.html
Could trim those to a short length...
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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by bgregoire » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:13 pm

I have friends that do this...add bd kickers skins starting at the tip for better climbing. They use them on scaled skis. Always thought they were weird....but so am I.


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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by akmtnrunner » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:07 pm

Thanks for the great responses so far!

Lilcliffy, so far, conditions have been fairly cold (10-25F) and dry. Usually, if I am using these narrower Gammes, that means my route will have been somewhat broken in and semi-firm. I know it's hard to compare, but the speed difference wasn't to far from wearing full length skins, and the kick was certainly not better than using kick wax. After modifying, it was far better speed and kick, but like I said, can fail to adhere. I've attached photos of the modified X-Skins for a better idea of what I did.

In any case, I think I got my hopes up too high for these X-Skins. I have a good grasp of kick waxing as I am a professional xc coach so I think I'll just go that direction unless I need super grip for steeper climbs. Fortunately, I came across a narrow set of full length skins meant for nordic skis (~35mm width) this afternoon at a consignment outdoor shop for $10(!) that I will try at full length first then maybe I'll try cutting the length.
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IMG_8280.jpeg

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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by bgregoire » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:23 am

I like your mod. Basically bringing it back to the original asnes half skin attachment. Check out the orange combat Nato half skin to see what I am talking about.

You could have shaved the front bot of the skin hairs for better adherence of the metal clip. The clip might actually dig deeper into the skin that way and provide an improved non-grapping effect?


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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by akmtnrunner » Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:59 pm

bgregoire wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:23 am
I like your mod. Basically bringing it back to the original asnes half skin attachment. Check out the orange combat Nato half skin to see what I am talking about.

You could have shaved the front bot of the skin hairs for better adherence of the metal clip. The clip might actually dig deeper into the skin that way and provide an improved non-grapping effect?


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It is shaved underneath the metal down to the white fabric material. Just enough material to absorb the epoxy.

I checked out the Nato skins, I wish I had gotten those. I can't believe they don't design all of their X-skins that way.

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Re: Front-Half Skins

Post by bgregoire » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:23 pm

akmtnrunner wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:59 pm
I checked out the Nato skins, I wish I had gotten those. I can't believe they don't design all of their X-skins that way.
They used to. They thought the plastic cap was an improvement. Several here stated it was, at least glidewise, when the new version was rolled out. Personally, I think the metal version has several advantages. Wonder which one is cheaper to produce???
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