How to Reglue Climbing Skins

How to Reglue Climbing Skins
Climbing skins are removable strips of flexible plastic that hook over the front and back of your skis. There's adhesive on the bottom to help your skis grip as you climb upward, but over time this adhesive accumulates debris--pine needles, dog hair, dirt and anything else you may have happened to ski over. When this happens, it's time to reglue your climbing skins. You can pay a ski shop upwards of $100 to do this for you or do it yourself for pennies on the dollar.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Newspaper Scissors Brown paper bags Hot iron Old credit card Glue sheets Utility knife
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Brown paper bags
  • Hot iron
  • Old credit card
  • Glue sheets
  • Utility knife
Step 1
Attach the skins to your skis, adhesive side out. Spread newspaper out to protect the floor from glue, then place newspaper between the skins and the skis to protect the skis as well.
Step 2
Cut the paper bags into strips a little wider than the climbing skins, then work from one end of the skis to the other, pressing the paper on the skins and passing a hot iron over it to loosen the glue. The strips of paper bag will soak the glue up. Then remove the strips and discard. Repeat until the paper bag strips no longer soak up any glue.
Step 3
Scrape an old credit card or some other semi-flexible, smooth plastic edge over the skins to remove the last of the glue.
Step 4
Trim the glue sheets to about the length of your climbing skins, then peel back the adhesive backing and press the sheets into place on the skins, working from the tip of the skis to the tail.
Step 5
Pass a hot iron over the glue sheets, following up with a mini roller to smooth the glue down. Do this two or three times, working from tip to tail each time.
Step 6
Let the glue sheets sit until they're cool to the touch. Use a utility knife to cut off any extra glue sheet hanging over the edge of your climbing skins. Be careful not to scratch the underside of your skis with the knife blade.
Step 7
Peel back the protective paper over the glue sheets to survey your handiwork. If the glue is smooth and even, your work is done. If the glue is not smooth and even, put the paper back in place and go over the glue sheets with the hot iron and the mini roller again.

Tips & Warnings

If you have a covered center strip on your skis, you'll need to put masking tape over it and then apply Gold Label glue manually instead of using glue sheets. Apply three layers, as thin as you can make them, allowing about half an hour of drying time between each coat.
Work in a well-ventilated area to protect yourself from glue fumes, especially if you are applying Gold Label glue manually.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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