I’m the first to admit that I’m anal-retentive when it comes to setting up my skins. Why? Because spending an hour or so in the beginning getting your skins just right means you never have to fool with them again and that they seldom fall off or fail in the field. I can’t remember the last time I had a skin failure. Once skins are properly trimmed and adjusted, they can take all sorts of abuse, such as walking across rocks, asphalt and logs.
One of the most important parts of trimming out a pair of skins is to hold them back about 3/16″ from the edges. Many people just trim them “neat” to the edges (as much out of laziness as anything), but that makes it much harder to get the skins on the ski and you lose your sharp edge when you need it on firm snow. The tiny bit of extra grip you’ll get by going wall-to-wall is irrelevant compared to the problems it causes.
On the tip, if I think there is any chance I might adjust the length of the skin, I use a rounded end. This gives a bit more adhesive-to-adhesive contact, plus it allows the sides of the skin to grip a bit more, which helps to keep snow from packing in there (the beginning of the end). As most of my skis have dedicated skins, I cut the tip off short and sew it tight with some beefy thread. This ensures that the tip loop never comes off, gives a nice smooth contact profile to the skin and saves a bit of weight & bulk.
Category: 05 Uphill