Spline Split Science Ep.#3 - Skins on, Skins off

I keep hearing people say that installing and removing skins is somewhat of their transition nemesis. They can switch their bindings fairly quickly but not their skins. With some practice it's really easy even in the most challenging conditions

Removing your skins:

Typically, on a transition I'll take my bindings off prior to removing the skins.

1 - Grab a 'ski' in one hand with the nose down/tail up and remove the tail clip.

2 - As you peel the skin off, i like to teeter- totter the 'ski' in my hand and peel all the skin off.

3 - As the skin gets removed, usually I'll plant the tail of the 'ski' in the snow.

4 - With your arms outstretched, flip the skin over so the glue is facing up.

5 - Put the tail clip between your teeth or under your chin.

6 - Looking down the straight side of the skin, use your free hand as a guide and fold the skin perfectly in half. If it's windy, turning your back to the wind will help minimize skin flapping.

7 - Throw it in your bag!

I don't use glue savers or sheets in the backcountry ever. They add an unnecessary step to your transition, making it longer and more fiddly. Leaving your skin out in the elements longer increases the chance of getting snow on your glue which you don't want.

Also, I rarely use the skin bag while touring as again it's an unnecessary step in the transition and typically your skins are dry. So a dry skin that's folded up well will be totally happy in your pack for the 10 minutes of downhill time.

Installing the skins:

Did you watch/read episode 2? That extra wiggle room is about to come in handy!

1 - Wipe any snow off the base of your board

2 - Install the nose clip onto your board and pull about 6" of skin and line that up on the straight edge of your board.

3 - Place your hand on that 6" to pull the rest of your skin apart. Pulling right off the nose clip could stress the clip and potentially rip your skin apart.

4- Use those shoulder muscles and pull the skin apart.

5 - Using your free hand, slide it down the edge of the board to place and line the skin up with the edge

6 - Place the tail clip on and give your skin a good rub down to make sure all the glue is adhered to the base of your board

7 - Install the other skin and go uphill!

Again, with a bit of practice neither of these steps will be hard to do.

Big point while installing or removing skins is to keep snow off the glue. So keeping them from flapping around, sitting in the wind or dropping them in the snow is of utmost importance especially on a day with multiple changeovers.