Before you can snowboard downhill, you want to first reach uphill. Getting uphill on a smooth snowboard or ski is very difficult because the base is smooth.
To help you get around this conundrum are split board skins. These are rough pieces of fabric that attach to the bottom of the skis or snowboard and provide you with the grip to get uphill on snow. They attach to the ski with glue, trim loops, or tail clips.
And once you finally get to the top, simply remove them from the split board skins, fold them up, and put them in your pack back. Now you are ready to enjoy the ride downhill again.
There are several factors that you need to consider when choosing the right split board skins. These include the length, width, and the correct size for the skis. You also need to know how to trim them so that they fit the splitboard perfectly.
This is how to attach splitboard snowboard skins. But first…
The material used for split board skins
Split skins are designed with different materials each with its properties. In the early days, seal skin was commonly used and it is here where the name was derived.
Now you can choose between mohair, nylon, or a blend of the two.
Also, ensure that you know what to wear when snowboarding.
Nylon is one of the most common modern materials used. It is less expensive and is durable. However, while it will provide excellent grip, it doesn’t offer the best glide. Nylon skins are also known as synthetic skins.
Mohair, on the other hand, is made from the fur of Angora goats. It is not as durable as nylon and is also more expensive. However, it offers an excellent blend of grip and glide.
Lastly, there is a mixture of the two. These are known as blend skins and they combine the best features of the nylon skins and mohair. They are affordable, provide both grip and glide, and are durable.
When choosing the best split board skins for you, it is a good idea to first understand the type of snowboarding that you will do. If you are a regular snowboarder, then you want something with more durability and is lightweight.
However, if you only snowboard during certain sessions, then you can opt for something with more effects such as mohair.
Choosing the right length for your split board skin
When picking the right splitboard skin for you, you will base this off the length of the splitboard itself.
Often the climbing skins will come in different lengths and feature tail attachments. These allow you to tune the skins to the length of your splitboard.
Think of it this way, climbing skins may come in different lengths. These are 147-161cm, 159-175cm and 172-186cms. You will need 159-175cm for a split board that is 164cm long. Then you can fine-tune the length to fit by using the tail attachment.
Some snowboarding skins will feature a tool for trimming the length to fit the splitboard while others simply do not have a tail attachment and will rely on glue for attachment.
To keep your eyes and face safe from the sun’s glare, wear only the best snowboarding goggles.
Choosing the right skin width
Width is the second factor that you will need to consider after the length. Many skins will feature a standard width which makes the choice pretty simple. You can then trim the width to allow the skin to fit the shape of the board.
If you find snowboarding skins with different widths, pick the wider one as you can adjust this to the split board for the best traction.
Trimming and attaching climbing skins
You will find the majority of splitboard snowboarding skins as semi-rectangular and will feature trim loops and attachment systems.
To get the best fit, you will require to trim the length and the width of the skins so that they fit the split boards. The metal edges will need to remain exposed. This allows you to get the best grip when you are moving through hardpacked snow.
The skins will function in the best way if they cover the majority of the snowboard or the skis leaving just the width of the edge exposed. If you are using narrow skins and plenty of the base of each side is exposed, then it may get slippery for you when climbing.
On the other hand, you also want to avoid skins that are too wide as these will cover the edges. This is because you will find these being very slippery on firm snow.
As for the tail clips, these will function best when there is some tension on the board. That said, it is important to ensure that they are not so tight that they are pulling the skin off the base of the board. Note that a bit of tension will allow the glue to stick better to the board.
The best snowboard jackets will keep you warm and dry when riding the slopes.
Pre-cut splitboard snowboarding skins
You can also find some precut skins from certain manufacturers. These will fit certain specific splitboard models. The benefit is that you will not have to go through the hassle of trimming the skins yourself. That said, note that you will pay more for these. They will generally come with a label for a specific board.
Ensuring proper care of skins
Keep in mind that skins that have glue will work the best when they remain dry. Make sure that snow, debris, and dirt doesn’t get to the glue side of the skin. Also, when waxing the snowboard make sure that you have scraped off all the excess wax before putting on the skin.
The best backpacks for skiing will allow you to store and carry the skins when heading downhill. You are also able to carry the rest of your gear.
Note that snow will get to the skin eventually so it is important to be proactive and do regular cleans before it becomes a problem. Make sure that before you can pack your skin into your backpack that you clean and remove the excess snow.
To do this take the skin and rub the glue end on the edge of the split board. If you notice that the skin glue is freezing or icing up and is failing, take off all the snow by using the snow technique and then take the skins and stash them into the jacket. The body warmth will melt away the excess ice.
To keep your lower body safe from the cold snow and ice, you will need the best ski pants.
If you are on your way up and the skin glue is failing, scrape away all the snow and then use duct tape to stick the skin onto the ski or snowboard. The best place to place the tape is right behind the heel of the split ski binding.
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By knowing how to attach splitboard snowboarding skins, you can now easily get up the hill for some awesome snowboarding fun and adventure.
More Snow Reviews:
- Snowboard Bindings
- Snowboard Jackets
- Snowboard Helmet
- Base Layer
- Ski Socks
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- Skiing In New Zealand
- Skiing In Italy
- Skiing In Switzerland
- Snowboarding Vs Skiing
- Trimming and attaching snowboard skins,jonessnowboards.com