Gold Label Glue Review

| March 23, 2011

Yes, is willing to take on the tough reviews that are too complex and sticky for Wild Lou and Randy Steve to even imagine.  Boots, bindings, beacons and skis?  Pffft.  Who needs ’em if your skins fall off in the parking lot?

Black Diamond has had a few bad batches, but for the most part, the glue they use on their skins (Ascension) is killer.  I took this for granted, but came to appreciate it more when a group of European Ski Mountaineering racers came over for the Wasatch PowderKeg and had two unusual shopping requests – Snowclaw shovels and Gold Label glue.  They wanted the Snowclaw shovels as they were the lightest shovel that met the ISMC requirements and the Gold Label because Europe had some sissy laws about using or selling highly toxic chemicals, such as meat-eating skin glue.  Here in Utah we laugh at toxic waste and rejoice at the chance to use products that can cause brain damage in small children.

Gold Label previously came in dainty little cans with a useless brush, but is now available in a tube.  As is says on the box, it intended “For ski skin touch-ups.”  I’ve tried it on skins which have had all of the glue removed, but it seems to soak in to the backing so much that it would take many, many coats to get a working surface.  If I’m completely redoing a pair of skins, I’ll use BD Glue Renew and take my chances.  But, for touch-ups, or for putting down a tacky layer on top of wimpy Euro glue, Gold Label works great.

The Toxic Tower of Adhesive Power. Prepare to get sticky.

Start with as clean a glue surface as you can.  If you suspect your skins need some extra ummph, don’t wait until they are all pine-needled and dog-haired to do it.

Clamp down the skins on a flat surface and lay some tracks. Squiggles or straightline - it's up to you. Go nuts.

It doesn’t take much Gold Label to freshen up a pair of skins and I get about three pairs of skins our of a tube.  Once tracks have been laid, spread it thin.

Any flat, stiff spreader will do, like a credit card or Deer Valley season's pass.

I’ve found the tails of my skins take the most abuse from being grabbed with gloves, so I lay it on a bit thicker in the ass end.

Extra sticky tails.

Extra sticky tails.

This is a pair of glue enhanced skins with about 30 days on them. Not quite virgin, but 100% useful.

This is a pair of skins with a horrendous glue job that I did myself. The fact that they still stick like mad dogs says something about the quality, or lack of it, that is required to apply a touch-up. Sobriety is optional.

Gold Label is suppose to dry overnight, or 8 hours, but I’ve found that the longer they dry, the better, up to about 24 hours.

If the glue is too tacky, try detuning it on a carpet covered in dog hair.
Help support and get ready for sticky snow season with some Black Diamond Glop Stopper Skin Wax from Click on the photo below…

Category: Gear Reviews

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (4)

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  1. Dostie says:

    Very timely, just before spring touring season goes full bore. Thanks Andrew!

  2. Ken McKean says:

    Andrew maybe the finest example of your smart ass writing style we’ve seen in a while I was beginning to worry that you’d gone soft and all politico after a half century on the planet. Nice work, and oh ya helpful as well.

  3. brian harder says:

    I don’t know, Andrew. I liked the old can and brush routine. Never had a problem with it and it spread the glue just fine. After a thorough de-gluing with the paper and iron routine, a single coat has worked for me for years. I probably freshen the last 10 inches once or twice a year. No tail fix either. But looking at that one pair of “serviceable” skins I’d say that my OCD is a little worse than yours.

    Maybe I will just squeeze the tube into one of my old cans, stubborn bastard that I am.

  4. Jed says:

    After you let it dry you can cover with parchment and iron over to smooth it out gives you a nice from the factory glue look. Can also do the same with your serviceable ones will make them good. I think the heat helps the glue permeate the skin material.

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