Choosing the right ski climbing skin and properly attaching it to your skis are vital steps in ensuring a quality and comfortable experience while climbing the highest peaks in the world. The climbing skins are best known for providing the needed grip and traction while on the slopes. Knowing how to choose, trim and attach skins will keep you safe and make the climb much easier than expected. In this article, we will discuss how to effectively choose, trim and attach ski climbing skins for the best and safest climbing experience.

How to Choose Ski Climbing Skins

Types & Size

When choosing ski climbing skins, it’s important to consider the type and size desired. There are several types of climbing skins available, including mohair and synthetic, each with their own unique benefits. Mohair skins offer superior traction, synthetic skins are overall stronger, and hybrids offer a combination of both. It’s important to pick the type of skin that will best fit your needs and style of skiing. Additionally, the size of the skin should match exactly with the width of the ski, so make sure to measure before you purchase.


Another factor to consider when choosing climbing skins is the adhesive. The adhesive of the skins help to attach the skin securely to the ski, making it easier to climb. Most skins come with a pre-applied adhesive that may not be very durable, so it’s important to check it out before purchasing. Applying a purchased adhesive to the skins is often recommended to guarantee a secure bond with the ski.

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How to Properly Trim Ski Climbing Skins

Measure & Sketch

Once you have purchased the perfect ski climbing skins, the next step is to properly trim them. Start by measuring the length of your skis as precisely as possible. Then sketch an outline of the ski on the skin along with its measurements to get a rough idea of where you need to cut. It’s important to keep the measurements exact and consistent throughout the whole outline.

Cut & Add a Tip Loop

Once the measurements have been taken and sketched, the next step is to cut the skin. Using the sharpest knife possible, begin to cut along the drawn line and discard the unnecessary material. After trimming the skins, adding a tip loop guarantees that the skins will not come off the skis. The tip loop is an adjustable cord that attaches the tail of the skin to the tip of the ski, preventing it from slipping off.

How to Attach Ski Climbing Skins

Clean & Dry the Skins

Attaching the climbing skins is the last step before you’re ready to go out and climb. The first step is to ensure that both the ski and skin are clean and dry before attaching them. This is important because dust, dirt, and moisture can affect the adhesion of the skin.

Place the Skins

Once both the ski and the skins are clean and dry, it’s time to start attaching the skins. Start by placing the skin adhesive side down on the ski, position it correctly with its cutout shape, and make sure there are no air bubbles.

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Iron it Out

The next step is to iron the skin. Ironing removes wrinkles and air bubbles and ensures that the skin is securely attached to the ski. Once the ironing is complete, it’s important to let the skin cool and inspect to see if any air bubbles have popped up. If there are any, iron out the area and repeat the process until all bubbles have been removed.

People Also Ask

How often should I re-trim my climbing skins?

It is recommended to trim your climbing skins once every three years, or when the skins start to show signs of wear.

Is it okay to leave skiing skins on while skiing?

No, it is not recommended to leave your climbing skins on while skiing. This is because they are designed to provide grip while climbing, not while skiing down.

Are my climbing skins waterproof?

Most climbing skins come with water-resistant adhesive to prevent against water and snow build-up on the skin. Additionally, mohair climbing skins are known for their water-resistant properties.

Do climbing skins have nylon straps?

No, most climbing skins do not come with nylon straps, although attaching one to the tip loop adds an extra level of security.

How long does climbing skin glue last?

The longevity of climbing skin glue varies greatly depending on the usage and conditions, but most adhesives can last anywhere from 1-5 years.

Final Words

Knowing how to choose, trim, and attach ski climbing skins is an important skill to have. Ski climbing skins provide a secure grip that helps you climb higher peaks and ski down more safely. Following the tips provided in this article will ensure that you select the right skin and attach it correctly for the best climbing experience. So make sure to do your research, purchase the right skins and attach them correctly to get the most out of your ski climbing experience.