Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Regluing Your Skins

Yesterday, we talked about waxing skis and snowboards, which requires messing around with the base of your device of choice. Since we were already in the workbench mode, I thought that we might spend a little more time talking about something that deals with skis and snowboards and also requires some workbench time.

If you've got money to burn, then when the glue on your skins wears out you can just buy a new pair. But if you're like most of us and you don't have money to burn, then you'll probably be willing to spend a few hours trying to reglue your skins. And unlike waxing your skis, because of the fact that you will only have to do this once every few years, the likelihood of developing real proficiency at this task is low.

When searching for information on the internet about this process, I found that there weren't as many resources as you might think. The reality is that a lot of people don't reglue their skins because the process is not terribly fun and can be frustrating. Instead, they end up buying new skins.

With that in mind, you can enter the regluing process with a "what do you have to lose" mindset. If you screw it up, you'll just have to buy new skins anyway. So take your time and as the guy in the video shows, make sure that you have a beer cracked and ready to steady your nerves with another one waiting in the fridge...

To reapply glue to your skins, you will need the following materials:
  • Gold Label Glue
  • Scissors
  • Brown Paper Bags (about 3-4 medium sized bags should be enough)
  • Masking Tape
  • Old Credit card/Hotel Key
  • Iron
  • Newspapers
  • Old Skins with correlating skis.


In his blog, the individual who made this video has the following additional tips:

Step 1 Preparation
  1. Throw some newspapers down to protect against glue damage.
  2. Attach skin to ski upside down so the adhesive is facing outwards.
  3. Put newspaper between the skin and ski to protect the ski from glue.

Step 2 Cleaning the Skins

  1. Cut paper bags into strips just wider than your ski.
  2. Place strip on skin and run iron over to soak up old glue.
  3. Run credit card over skin for final clean up.
  4. Do this for the whole length of the skin, until all the dirty glue is gone.
  5. The cleaner the better.

Step 3 Apply the Glue
  1. If you have Black Diamond Skins that have a covered center strip, put masking tape over it to protect it from getting glued on.
  2. Very thinly apply the glue.
  3. Make sure to get the edges and do one thin coat. Go as thin as you can.
  4. Let it dry for half an hour and apply a second coat.
  5. Let it dry for half an hour and apply a third coat.
  6. Let it dry for 12 hours.
Things to remember
  1. Put the glue on thin. It is too easy to go too thick and get globs.
  2. Make sure you do not bend the skin when it is drying.
  3. When feeling frustrated have a sip of beer.
  4. Although the glue comes with a brush, and I use the brush in the video, I would recommend applying the glue with an old credit card/hotel key only. It goes on faster and smoother and the brush leaves hair on your skin.

For more information on regluing your skins, check out Skiing the Backcountry and TetonAT.com. In addition to both sites having more information about this process, they both include a number of additional ideas to keep in mind in the comments sections.

--Jason D. Martin

1 comment:

Andy said...

This is some good info! I'm just about to get into it myself.