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Looking to replace skins on your skin skis? Check out our review of the best cross-country ski skins below and find the most fitting skins you will need this winter.
First of all, let’s clear some things. You might find various types of ski skins available on the market, but they fall in two distinct categories:
- Climbing Skins
- XC Ski Skins
Ski touring climbing skins are an optional attachment for alpine touring (AT) skis and they have been widely available for backcountry ski tourers for decades. On the other hand, cross country ski skins are a quite new invention in the Nordic ski industry, and they serve a very different purpose compared to AT climbing skins.
While climbing skins are only attached to the skis when climbing uphill, then taken off when on top, cross-country ski skins are a must-have accessory for waxless cross-country skin skis.
These skin skis were developed to combine the performance of waxable cross-country skis and the convenience of waxless fishscale cross-country skis. However, these skis require to have the skins on at all times to provide efficient glide and grip essential to cross-country skiing.
So, to be clear, the following list focuses solely on skins made for cross-country skin skis.
1. Rossignol Nordic Skins Short Skin R.Grip
While striving to add more thrill to skiing, skiers also look for skins that offer a high gliding capacity. If you are one of them, this product is what you need.
Rossignol’s R-Grip skin features 100% mohair construction, so you will be able to get a great deal of glide in your skiing sessions. It is also lightweight, making maneuverability more convenient. A stick-on backing allows you to attach the skin to your skis on the go.
The skis can cope with most icy terrains due to the minimal thickness of the skin’s material. This skin is an ideal match for R-Skin Race Skis sized 191 cm, but it is also available in other sizes. Include this skin in your skiing gear and you can explore the snow-capped landscapes like never before.
2. Fischer Easy Skin Mohair Mix Ski Skin
This skin is the perfect pick for beginners as well as experienced skiers. It is designed to fit Fischer E99 Easy Skin Xtralite Nordic Skis but can also work with many Fischer backcountry Nordic skis.
The material includes an appropriate blend of mohair and nylon, providing the optimum glide and grip needed. Whether you want to climb up a mountain or descend, when sharp turns come ahead, or you need to slow down, this skin has you covered.
It measures 65 x 5.0 cm and comes with a clip attachment system, which takes only a few seconds to install and uninstall. When not in use, you can simply fold the skin and keep it in your backpack. Interestingly, the material is durable enough to last long despite heavy use.
3. Salomon SkinGrip+ Replacement Skin Kit
Due to its exceptional durability and performance, the Salomon SkinGrip+ skin kit falls in the category of the most practical ski skins for cross-country-specific skis. You can use it for Snowscape and Escape skis of any size, excluding XXL and 120 cm.
The skin’s 100% mohair surface enables you to move ahead with minimum resistance without losing stability. So, if the track is not too steep to climb and you want to travel faster, give it a try.
Best of all, attaching this skin to your skis is not complicated at all – just a few simple steps, and it’s done!
4. Madshus Intelligrip Replacement Skin
Some icy trails, in the absence of traction, require extra effort to climb. Besides traction, you likely want a smooth glide to give you the ultimate pleasure of skiing. This all-terrain skin is a life-saver for situations where it’s difficult to choose between comfort and pleasure.
The skin works fine with most classic skis but has the best combination with Redline IntelliGrip Skis.
It is made up of nylon and mohair. Nylon enhances grip on the terrain, while mohair speeds up the skis. On uneven surfaces, the nylon might decrease your speed. Comparatively, the results are like those of fish scale pattern skis.
Another quality that makes this skin stand out is that it does not require waxing or maintenance. No matter what the terrain is like, the skin will keep you confident in your skills. Its metal tip loop has to be attached to the skis.
5. Fischer Twin Skin White Mohair Skins
This skin comes with a 100% pure mohair fabric aimed to accelerate your skis effortlessly. It means you will not have to take off the skin when skiing downhill. The self-adhesive backing allows for instant application and removal.
The accumulation of ice on the skin is one of the most common reasons for less glide and speed. If you choose this skin, you won’t find that happening because its non-sticky side is layered with Teflon coating. This coating resists debris and ice from building up and damaging the material.
You can opt for this pair of skin for the Fischer Twin Skin Carbon skin and Twin Skin Race.
6. Atomic Skintec Universal Cross Country Ski Skin
This skin is available in two sizes, 39cm and 41cm, and offers compatibility with each Atomic Skintec Ski.
100% mohair is used in its manufacturing, which provides a good balance between traction and speed. It also ensures that the skin serves excellently on nearly all snow tracks, including wet and powdered ice.
The adhesive backing makes the process of putting the skin on the skis very straightforward. Similarly, you can remove it without fearing damage. So, upgrade your skiing gear with this product and ski like a pro.
How to Change Skins on Your Cross-Country Skis?
Removing the ski skin properly is essential so that the skin and ski base remain undamaged. While applying the ski skin, make sure to prevent air pockets from appearing and attach every fixture firmly to its respective position. These are essential tips for a safe, comfortable, and joyful XC skiing.