Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

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Verskis
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Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by Verskis » Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:44 am

Before last week I had never tried a fishscale ski since being a toddler, but now I am a total believer (when the conditions are not good for grip waxing).
Let me start by telling my short XCD ski history: I started a few years ago with an OAC Kar147 skis, which were a great gateway drug into this world, but after a couple of winters I was not happy with the glide of the permanently installed kicker skin on the OACs, especially since I acquired an old, waxable pair of Merrell XCD GT's as my rock skis and also bought waxable Madshus Eons, where the glide was really superior on both of them. But as the rock skis are often needed when the snow is warm and waxing is frustrating, I bought the Madshus Intelligrip kicker skins for the Merrells. The grip issues in warm snow vanished, but there I was again, very slowly gliding because of the drag of the skins. I was not wise enough yet, and bought even more kicker skins, this time for a pair of Åsnes Rabbs. The mohair X-skins have a good grip, but the glide is lacking in those as well. So far the skiing in warm temperatures had been a frustrating experience.
This all changed when I got the Fischer S Bound 98 skis, with fishscales (of course). Now, the warm snow is finally pleasant to ski on! The grip AND the glide is good!
I had read that the glide of the fishscale skis is not that good, but it is a million times more pleasant than any kicker skin. It is not quite at the level of a waxable ski, but much better than I had anticipated.
Now I can keep the cold wax on my waxables all winter and probably never have to use the kicker skins again! I'm excited! 😁

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phoenix
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by phoenix » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:17 am

I love my XCD-GT's! Since you now have a quiver to choose from, consider using one of the waxables as a dedicated klister ski for warm conditions; there's some excellent skiing to be had with waxables and klister.

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fisheater
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by fisheater » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:03 am

Verskis, I’m glad you are enjoying the S-98’s. When my close to home skiing does not favor wax the snow is not only wet, it is generally hard pack. In those conditions I do not care for my S-112. I don’t like the vibration of the scales. Also when my snow becomes warm, the cover will thin out fast. So while I have kicked around the idea of a skinny waxless ski, I get by nicely with a Asnes USGI surplus ski and red/silver wax.
Red/silver is a bit goopy. If I don’t plan on skiing the next day, which really means I don’t know when I’ll ski again do to warming snow. I will use one ski as a wax scraper to remove the sticky wax from the other ski. My regular wax scrapers just don’t handle red/silver, it tends to roll under the scraper rather than scrape off. When using a ski as a scraper, one or two passes clean it up nicely. I use my hand scraper to clean of the gooey edge of the ski.
I bet that S-98 is fun going downhill in your forested trails. If you don’t mind, post about your night skiing practices. I’ve noticed your after dark photos. I have a lot of baby head, and even grown up head cobble. I have been apprehensive of skiing those trails at night.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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fisheater
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by fisheater » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:10 am

Verskis, I’m glad you are enjoying the S-98’s. When my close to home skiing does not favor wax the snow is not only wet, it is generally hard pack. In those conditions I do not care for my S-112. I don’t like the vibration of the scales. Also when my snow becomes warm, the cover will thin out fast. So while I have kicked around the idea of a skinny waxless ski, I get by nicely with a Asnes USGI surplus ski and red/silver wax.
Red/silver is a bit goopy. If I don’t plan on skiing the next day, which really means I don’t know when I’ll ski again do to warming snow. I will use one ski as a wax scraper to remove the sticky wax from the other ski. My regular wax scrapers just don’t handle red/silver, it tends to roll under the scraper rather than scrape off. When using a ski as a scraper, one or two passes clean it up nicely. I use my hand scraper to clean of the gooey edge of the ski.
I bet that S-98 is fun going downhill in your forested trails. If you don’t mind, post about your night skiing practices. I’ve noticed your after dark photos. I have a lot of baby head, and even grown up head cobble. I have been apprehensive of skiing those trails at night.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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Woodserson
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by Woodserson » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:13 am

Verskis wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:44 am
I was not wise enough yet, and bought even more kicker skins, this time for a pair of Åsnes Rabbs. The mohair X-skins have a good grip, but the glide is lacking in those as well. So far the skiing in warm temperatures had been a frustrating experience.
I think you're overreacting just a little a bit.

Don't get me wrong, I really like fishscales too, here in New England they are indispensible and I would like every ski I have to be in a wax and fishscale version. But I have had good success with mohair skins and enjoy nice glide.

The Rabb isn't exactly a kick & glide ski, with its soft camber- softer than the SBound 98. I use the 30mm Asnes X-Skin Mohairs on my double-cambered MT51's and Gammes and they have surprisingly nice glide in warm snow with the benefit of being silent. The trick is to go skinny with the skins if you're looking for glide-- 30mm skins and trim for your weight or ski length as advised by Asnes. Also, wax the skin.

With fishscales the manufacturer tunes the ski and fishscale combination and then one is stuck with how they are produced. With kicker skins and the variety of widths and choices it is up to the skier to find the appropriate combination to either enhance glide (mohair and skinny) or enhance grip (nylon and fat) or something in the between.

If you are on the 58mm or 45mm Mohair on the Rabb, glide isn't going to be any good at all, even on the 30mm with the soft camber it might be frustrating and then you can run into climbing issues with not enough grip. Usually I would approach the Rabb as a ski-up-ski-down only ski, and glide wouldn't be a priority.

In the conditions you are describing with the ski you are on, yes, the fishscale will probably glide better than the skin. But a blanket statement of "kicker skins suck" is not accurate.

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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by bgregoire » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:30 pm

Sounds like you had a great outing on your fishscaled skins. Awesome. But time will tell...as Woods so elegantly put it, you will come to know the advantages/disadvantages of scaled, skinned and waxed on different skis profiles, snow/ice conditions and types of outings.

Can you imagine...there was a time, only a few years ago, that nearly the one skis talking about and promoted here were fatter SCALED single camber xcd skis. No mention of Asnes skis either. Imagine that! I am happy times have changed and several here now appreciate the variety of options available. Its always compromise. There is no perfect ski.

Enjoy the ride Verskis!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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Verskis
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by Verskis » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:44 pm

phoenix wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:17 am
I love my XCD-GT's! Since you now have a quiver to choose from, consider using one of the waxables as a dedicated klister ski for warm conditions; there's some excellent skiing to be had with waxables and klister.
Sorry, I don't want to mess with klister.
I plan on using the fishscale S Bounds during soft springtime conditions, and once everything turns into pure ice, I will be mountainbiking on studded tires.

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Verskis
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by Verskis » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:47 pm

Fisheater, I don't know how the S Bounds will handle hardpack, but we have enough warm and soft cinditions that I suppose I will be happy on the S Bounds even if they don't handle hardpack all that well. In the soft snow they were really good, in my opinion.

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Verskis
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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by Verskis » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:52 pm

Woodserson and Bgregoire, maybe I am just overenthusiastic at the moment, because the fishscales seemed to work so well on recent conditions. But I know that with the skins I would not have been nearly as happy. I know they have their place on real mountains ( at least full length skins) but on my molehills they really are not the right tool for the job on most occasions: it's too much hassle to take them off for the downhills, and the glide is not there for enjoyable downhill skiing, or for enjoyable XC.

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Re: Kicker skins suck, wax and fishscales rule!

Post by fisheater » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:15 pm

Verskis it sounds like you found a ski that works in your conditions. That is a good thing. I hoping to see more photos of your forested hills. Seems like a great place to kick around, and make turns.

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