Ski skins are an essential piece of equipment for backcountry skiing. These adhesive strips are applied to the base of ski boards or skis to provide traction when climbing up the hill. They allow skiers to navigate steep and slippery slopes without sliding backward, facilitating a more comfortable and enjoyable backcountry experience.
Ski skins come in different sizes and materials, with mohair and synthetic being the most common. However, storing your ski skins correctly is essential to their longevity and effectiveness.
Proper storage ensures that the adhesive retains its stickiness, that there is no contamination from other gear such as gloves or clothing, and that they remain tidy for easy use when you need them next. In this article, we will discuss some of the best methods for storing your ski skins so they can last multiple seasons.
The Importance of Ski Skins
Ski skins are a crucial aid in backcountry skiing as they provide grip on uphill terrain so that skiers can climb efficiently without slipping backwards. They form a temporary traction system between your skis/board bases with the snow surface beneath them. This process allows you to climb terrain previously not accessible by other means such as hiking boots or snowshoes while retaining more energy than using those tools.
Ski skins increase stability by enabling an even distribution of weight across both feet while climbing uphill; this helps you maintain balance so that you can conserve energy for later runs downhill where most people tend to focus their excitement. Therefore, owning well-maintained skin strips is a wise investment if you want to explore new backcountry terrains beyond groomed trails and lifts’ reach.
Method 1: Traditional Storage Method
When it comes to storing your ski skins, the traditional storage method is one of the most common and straightforward ways to do so. This method involves folding your skin in half with the glue sides together, followed by rolling it up tightly from one end to the other.
To begin, gently fold your skin in half, making sure that both of the glue sides are facing each other. This will protect the adhesive from dust, dirt, and other contaminants that could reduce its effectiveness.
Once you have folded your skin in half, use your hands to smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles that may have formed on either side. Next, roll up your skin tightly starting from one end, making sure not to let go of any loose ends.
You can use a little force when rolling up the skin but be careful not to apply too much pressure as it might damage or stretch out the skin’s fibers. As you roll up your skin, you may notice some wrinkles forming – don’t worry about them too much as they should smooth out when you apply them back onto your skis.
Once you have rolled up your skin completely and reached the end of it., use a rubber band or strap to secure it in place. This will keep everything tight and compact while preventing any unnecessary movement inside your backpack or gear bag.
Skin Savers: The Secret to Long-Lasting Ski Skins
Ski skins are an essential piece of gear for any backcountry skier, and keeping them in top condition is crucial to ensure they continue to perform well. One way to do this is by using skin savers, which are small pieces of fabric that attach to both ends of the folded-up ski skin. Skin savers are useful in preventing glue contamination and preserving adhesive strength, extending the life of your skins.
When you’re ready to store your skins after a day on the mountain, it’s important to first blot off any excess moisture or debris with a towel. Then, fold the skin in half so that the glue sides stick together.
Take one skin saver and attach it to one end of the folded-up skin by pressing it firmly onto the surface. Next, take the other skin saver and attach it to the other end of the skin.
Ensure that both ends are securely fastened. By using skin savers, you can maintain optimal performance from your ski skins for a longer period of time.
The fabric prevents dirt and debris from sticking onto your adhesive layer while reducing wear on your skins during storage and transport. When you’re ready to use them again later on in the season or next winter, simply remove the skin savers and unfold them as usual before hitting the slopes.
Preserving Adhesive Strength with Skin Savers
In addition to preventing contamination from dirt or debris, using skin savers also helps preserve adhesive strength over time. This is especially important if you frequently use your ski skins throughout a season or over multiple seasons.
While some skiers may be tempted just to fold up their ski skins without any additional storage measures, this can lead to issues such as glue separation due to contact with moisture or other environmental factors during transport or storage without protection. Using a simple tool like skin savers can help ensure that your ski skins stay in good condition for longer and continue providing optimal performance throughout their lifespan.
Method 3: Plastic Bag Storage
Plastic Bags as an Alternative Storage Method
Ski skins can be sensitive to humidity and temperature fluctuations, which is why it’s crucial to store them properly. If you’re looking for a convenient storage option that provides some protection against moisture and dust, plastic bags are an excellent alternative to traditional storage methods. They can be easily accessed and transported, which makes them ideal for traveling skiers who need to pack light.
However, using plastic bags as a storage method requires particular attention to detail. The bags you use must be large enough to accommodate the folded-up skin without creasing or bending it.
It’s also essential that you avoid trapping any air inside the bag since it can cause moisture buildup and compromise the adhesive quality of the skin. A high-quality ziplock bag is an excellent choice for this purpose since it allows you to remove all the air from inside using your hands or a vacuum sealer.
Labeling Your Ski Skin Bags
Since ski skins are an essential component of any skier’s equipment, keeping track of them with labels is useful. Labeling each ski skin bag with information such as date, temperature range, and snow conditions will help you keep them organized and choose the appropriate pair when skiing in different conditions. You may also want to include additional information such as where you used them last or any specific features they have that make them suitable for certain terrains or climates.
To label your ski skin bags accurately, use a permanent marker or label maker machine on the outside of each bag. Be sure not to write too close to the edges since it may become illegible over time if exposed to moisture or rubbing against other surfaces during transport.
When storing multiple pairs of skins in one container or backpack pocket, consider grouping similar skins together by season or snow condition so that they are easier to locate when needed. Proper labeling will help you to track your skins more efficiently and make sure they stay in good condition for longer.
Method 4: Hanging Storage
Hanging Storage: The Benefits
Hanging storage is an effective alternative to traditional folding methods. It allows the skin to hang vertically, which eliminates any chance of creases forming on the skin.
Creases can be problematic because they can prevent the skin from sticking properly to the ski base, decreasing its overall effectiveness and lifespan. Additionally, hanging your skins make them easy to find when you are getting ready for your next ski trip.
Hanging Storage: How to Do It Right
To hang your skins properly for storage, you will need a hanger or hook that allows for them to dangle freely without any tension. You can use a coat hanger or a specially designed skin holder that attaches directly to a wall or ceiling.
First, fold the skins in half with their glue sides together. Then, attach one end of the folded-up skin to the hanger or hook with a clip or carabiner and allow it to hang freely.
It’s important not to stretch out the skins too much while hanging them for storage; doing so might damage their adhesive layer or leave them unusable over time. If possible, avoid hanging them close together; instead, leave some space between each pair of skins so that they do not stick together.
Proper storage is important for maintaining and extending the lifespan of your ski skins. Various methods offer different benefits and drawbacks depending on what works best for you personally. Traditional folding and rolling methods are simple but may cause creases that reduce their effectiveness when skiing while plastic bagging helps avoid dirt sticking onto adhesive surface areas but environmental concerns should be taken seriously before adopting this method while using Skin Savers may increase longevity by reducing contamination from dust particles but extra costs must be considered against its benefits.
Hanging storage is simple yet effective and eliminates any chance of creases forming on the skin. Regardless of which method you choose, ensuring that your skins are stored correctly will help you get the most out of them for seasons to come.