How to Put Skins on Skis

How to Put Skins on Skis
Backcountry travel during the winter means access to unmarked slopes and quiet snowy glens. Winter backcountry access is easiest with skis and strapping on a pair of skins. Skins are the long thin pieces of nylon and rubber that affix to the bottom of your skis for traction on the ascent. Strap-on skins are easy to use and don't require much maintenance, but they must be the right size and affixed correctly.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cheat sheet divider
  • Cheat sheet divider
Step 1
Measure your skis at their waist, which is the narrowest point. Make sure your skins are this same width. If they are slightly smaller, just showing a few millimeters on each side, then this will work okay, but they should not be wider than the ski. Have them cut to the waist width for the best performance.
Step 2
Adjust the length of the skins to properly fit your skis by affixing the tip of your ski with the bracket at one end of the skin. Make sure the grain of the nylon fibers are running down, as if you were to pet the ski from top to bottom.
Step 3
Stretch the length of the skin to reach the bottom. The tail clip should fit snugly in the tail notch. If it doesn't quite reach or is too long and loose, then readjust the skin strap accordingly.
Step 4
Glide your hand over the skin in the direction of the nylon fibers once it fits properly to secure the sticky bottom of the skin to the base of your ski.
Step 5
Store your skins with a "cheat sheet" (thin plastic nonstick screen) in between them and then roll them up. This way you can pull them apart easily when you need to put them on. It can be an aggravating process pulling apart your skins from each other when the sticky surface has adhered together.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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