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So You Bought Some Skin Skis...

So, You Bought Some Skin Skis….


 Are you one of the tens-of-thousands of new Nordic skiers who bought Skin skis over the course of the pandemic?  Well then, this is for you!

  If you already own a quiver of Nordic skis, there is no need to continue reading.  This is for those of you who have discovered Nordic skiing with your first pair of skis being skins.  We have to assume that you, like the vast majority of skiers, are thoroughly enjoying your skins.  Yes?  That’s what we thought.  Skins have great grip and glide in any snow condition, as long as it’s groomed and firm.  From fresh-fallen groomed snow to icy and glazed trails.  Skins nearly always work great.  But, guess what?  There is a ski that has even better grip and glide than your beloved skins.  Waxable skis!!  If you think your skins have bomber grip and fantastic glide, you really need to try out some waxables!  We know, you love your skin skis.  They are fast and reliable.  But, trust us, your ski experience can be even better!  And, contrary to what a lot of racers might tell you, grip waxing can be EASY!

  A lot of folks who give grip wax advice tend to concentrate on race waxing.  While that’s great, and super helpful to folks who are trying to actually race.  Let’s face it – Most of you don’t race!  Like myself, you love to ski.  But don’t need to get super confused about how to get the absolutely best wax job to go as fast as humanly possible.  You just want really good performance without all the fuss and chin scratching.

You CAN have that.  Grip waxes have come a long way over the last few years.  Personally, I usually have one of two different grip waxes on my waxables.  A “new snow” mid-temp (think blue wax conditions – low teens to mid twenties F), and an “old snow” mid-temp.  These two waxes overlap very well.  I can use the new snow for at least 3 days after a fresh snow event, easily.  And days 4 and 5 are usually OK as well.  The “old snow” will work on day 3, but is better on days 4 or later (And, yes, my waxables have considerably better grip and glide than my skin skis do! Really not even a contest.). If conditions are outside of that, I’m using my skin skis.  I’m always sure to smooth the kick wax thoroughly.  I’ve found that, if I play it right, I can just “ski off” the grip wax, regardless of which it is, and simply add another layer or two for my next outing – again, regardless of which one I’m using.  The only time I’m removing kick wax is if I have a lot of trail detritus (pine needles, oak leaves, other skier’s klister) stuck in it, or if it starts to get too lumpy and hard to cork out.  Removing is easy – a quick drag on each side of the groove with a klister scraper, a quick wipe with wax remover and, BAM!, ready for new wax.

  So, if you’re out there having a blast on your skin skis, that’s awesome!  Rock on.  But, if you love that bomber kick and really love to glide….you should seriously look into a pair of waxables.  You will NOT be sorry!


Mick Dodds




Links to FREE Skihut wax clinics: https://www.skihut.com/wax-clinics/