Trimming & Waxing Climbing Skins


Measuring and cutting climbing skins can be easily facilitated and more convenient by securing the ski to a vise. With the ski secure, attach the tail as directed by the manufacturer and pull towards the tip to measure the bend at the tip bale in place. Cut the excess and peel back and cut off 12″ (30cm) or so of the backing with the trimming tool. Lay the tip section on the ski base to assist the tracing of your tip template.

Pull back the tip section, leaving an inch or so to keep the skin attached to the ski to help trimming the tip. Once the tip is trimmed, peel off the remaining backing and pull from tip to tail and lay the skin down, centered on the ski, and secure the tail clasp.

If trimming to fit a shaped ski, apply reasonable pressure to the side of the cutting tool against the ski edge with a finger while slowly and continually running down the length of the ski, trimming the skin to match the ski profile. Disengage the tail clasp & pull upward with the skin tip secure, and lay it back down on the ski, with the trimmed edge 1/4″ (6.4 mm) from the edge onto the base. Repeat the trimming process on the untrimmed edge. After it is trimmed, reposition the skin on ski. You should see equal edge exposed on either side of the skin.

Black Diamond Climbing Skin Trimming Video:

Wax Your Skins

After spending a bunch of money on lightweight gear to maximize climbing efficiency, not having a few pounds of snow stuck to your skins is clear incentive to maintain your skins. Better gliding on rolling tours or downhill sections is an added bonus.

Rub on bar wax to increase glide and reduce ice build-up. Paste wax or spray-on may also be used if you are at room temperature, but bar wax may be more practical when out and needing to reapply. The paste wax or spray may cover more of the skin fibers than a rub on will providing a little more waterproofing and coverage and might be worth some experimenting.

Hot waxing climbing skins is hard for some to wrap their heads around, but is a very viable and more durable option. Use the same glide wax as for skis or snowboards.

Toko Climbing Skin Hot Waxing video: