A lot of people have issues with their skins. They are too sticky, or not sticky enough, or they collect snow, or they can’t pull them apart. Here are a couple of good little tricks.
1. If your skins are too sticky to pull apart, it may be the glue. It is either new, or it has been exposed to long periods of unnecessary heat, like a fire, a hot car, or something else. You don’t want to do this to your skins.
2. If the glue is fine, just really sticky because your skins are so wide, you can add a strip of electrical tape, athletic tape, or even duct tape down the middle in order to prevent the glue from showing. This will help you pull them apart.
3. Fold them in quarters. This will make them easier to pull apart because you won’t have to reach as far. Fold the tip to the middle, and then the tail to the middle. Fold them again after the glue has been stuck to the glue and you are good to go.
4. If you put the ski against your boot or the ground, and put the tiploop on the ski, you can pull downward on the rest of the skin and pull it out, so you don’t pull out your shoulder.
5. Dry them at room temperature. You don’t need to dry out the glue like everyone thinks. It is the hairs that need drying, so if you hang them inside, but not near the fire you will be fine. Too close to the fire equals messy glue. Very often there are drying racks near the furnace at cabins and huts. Use a ski hook by the door, or set up a hanger or piece of twine to string them on.
6. don’t let them near your dog or cat. or pine needles. things on the glue are not good and will help you have less sticky skins.
7. Carry some skin-wax or some warm (yellow or red) iron-in wax (just don’t iron it in) to rub on your skins during the spring. that will help you maintain water repellency and you wont carry extra snow on the way up.
8. Store them in your jacket for short laps, right against your belly. If you do it right, you should be able to store your skins across your belly. A lot of people will put the on their shoulders, which means you need to take your pack off. If you do it right, you can lay them folded in half (in 1/4’s but then not folded again) and stack 2 of them in there pretty flat. Your pack harness will stop them from sliding out hopefully!
9. Give yourself some extra room. If you are on the very end of a length adjustment, you don’t have a lot of room for error. It is better to have your skins a little longer, so if something goes wrong, you can adjust them down.
10. Learn to fold them in the wind! If you can take your skins off without removing your skis that is great. If not, you can pull the tails of the skin up first about half way, then fold the tail to the middle. that way you only have 1/2 the skin to deal with when you pull the tip off and it is flapping in the wind. If you do pull the whole skin off while the ski is on your foot, you can hold one end of the skin (probably the tail, because that is where you pulled it from) in one hand, and stand into the wind with the skin on your knee. the wind will give you some pressure, and you can fold the skin up and be on your way!