Power Assisted Skin Ripping

| December 21, 2009 | 5 Comments

Super sticky skin glue can be a mixed blessing – it is great for adhering to your bases, but can nearly impossible to pull apart.  The little center strip of non-glued material definitely helps with this as do the nylon mesh skin savers, although I personally just throw the mesh in the trash right after I open the box and never use it.

Separating your skins has gotten even tougher as many of them are getting so wide nowadays.  My usual technique for overly sticky skins was to press them onto our dog-hair infested carpet a few times, which took some of the initial tack off, but last spring I saw an even better technique from Heather Paul Featherman.  Having nearly separated my sternum many times by using the brute force approach, I loved the brains vs. brawn simplicity of this.  As Heather said “Why not use the strongest muscles in your body?”

Starting with your skins stuck together, grab the tops as normal...

Starting with your skins stuck together, grab the tops as normal...

... place the skins between your legs and wrap them over your thighs...

... place the skins between your legs and wrap them over your thighs...

... then use your leg muscles to pull them apart in a series of 2-3 segments.

... then use your leg muscles to pull them apart in a series of 2-3 segments.

It works great and is so embarrassingly simple I’m amazed I’d never seen it or thought of it before.  Thanks Heather.

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Help support StraightChuter.com and strip some uber-phat Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS Skins from Backcountry.com. Click on the photo below…

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Category: 02 Gear

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 (5)

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  1. dug says:

    wait, i HAVE seen that before. who was it? who was it?

    oh, right, that woman from three’s company, right?

    i’m afraid if i tried that a hernia would be the least of my problems.

  2. Jason says:

    Splitboarders have used this technique for several (or more) years now. It’s the only method I’ve ever known.

  3. Mac says:

    Forgive me for potenitially lowering the tone, but wow! All the ski tourers I see are hairy, slightly nerdy guys and failed / frustrated climbers to boot.

  4. ptor says:

    I like putting the tip loop on, peeling a little back, sticking it on and then pulling the rest down. Then generally you’re pulling down with one arm and pushing with the other so more force than pulling with both. Never a problem. If you’re in heavy snowfall or high winds, peeling the entire ski before sticking it on is definately not ideal.The new split style skins with the light material in the middle are great to eliminate the “bullworker” effect. I chuck those mesh things in the garbage right away too although I’m trying to figure out another use for them. Maybe covers for sprout jars, splinting material or a some kind of kinky costume?? Anybody have any ideas?? Sawdust also works great for making skins less sticky as does good old dirt.

  5. BC Sparks says:

    This video from Voile-USA demonstrated this technique.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mayZW1sz2cU

    It’s been online for a few years.

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