How to Choose Climbing Skins || REI

– Hey, I’m Katie with REI
and today we’re gonna talk about how to choose climbing skins. Let’s go. (upbeat hip music) So climbing skins are these
things that you can put on the bottom of your skis
to enable uphill travel as well as being able to ski downhill. You’ve got three decisions to make when you’re looking at climbing skins. You look at material, width, and length. With those three things
you’re balancing cost, weight, durability, and
then glide versus grip. So we’ll start with material. You can have synthetic, mohair, or blend. Synthetic, usually nylon,
is gonna be the most durable and the least expensive. It gives you great grip but
it also tends to be a little heavier and it doesn’t give you as much glide as with mohair. One thing some manufacturers
do to try and balance those weight savings and
give you a little more glide is they’ll have a scaled plastic section up here at the tip. So that reduces the weight a little bit and gives you some more
glide up at the tip. It does come at the expense of grip, especially up there at the tip but most of your grip is gonna
come from the underfoot area where most of your weight is anyway. Mohair is gonna be the
other end of the scale. It’s lightweight and
gives you the best glide but not as much grip as nylon, especially on icy or steep surfaces. Mohair also tends to be the most expensive and the least durable. Blend is gonna split the
difference between those two. So if you’re going on long
tours you may want the mohair for the weight savings
and the increased glide. Everybody else is probably
gonna do just fine with nylon or a blend. So the next thing you’re
gonna consider is the width. You’re gonna balance between the best grip and the least weight. For the best grip, you’re gonna get a skin in the width that’s just
five or seven millimeters less than the widest point of your ski. Usually the tip. So if you have a ski where the
tip is 130 millimeters wide, you’re gonna get a skin
that’s 125 millimeters wide. That way by the time you trim the skins, you’ll get good coverage over almost the entire base of the ski. For the most weight savings, you’re gonna go with
the skin that’s as wide as the narrowest part
of your ski, the waist. So if you have a ski that’s 105 underfoot, you’re gonna get a skin
that’s 105 millimeters wide and then by the time you trim
you’ll have good coverage underfoot where all of
your weight is sitting and a little bit less coverage
towards the tip and tail, but you’re gonna have
lighter weight in your skins. So again, for longer tours
you wanna prioritize weight savings by getting the narrower skins. For steeper terrain, you
wanna prioritize grip, getting the wider skins. So, the last decision you
have to make is length. Skins are sold in length ranges. So for example, a 180
to 190 centimeter skin. You’re gonna get the
range that fits your ski and then trim the skins to match the exact length of your ski. Your three decisions are
material, width, and length. If you have questions, as always, come in to your local
REI and ask the experts and we’ll be happy to help you figure out which skin is best for you. That’s all we have for you today. Thanks for watching and
we’ll see you next time.

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