Friday, October 25, 2013

Home made rando race skins

I bought some light skis last fall to use spring skiing and rando racing and decided I'd like to use race style skins. This meant I needed to cut a tip notch since my Movement Random skis don't come with one.

Tools/Supplies I used.

  • Angle grinder with a cutting wheel
  • Bastard file
  • Speedy stitcher
  • Mat cutter
  • Scissors
  • 100% mohair skin material(BD Pure 125mm wide or CAMP mohair)
  • Shock cord
  • Rubber stopper
  • 100% Nylon thread
  • Epoxy
I first cut the notch in my ski tips. It's quite simple with a cutting wheel on my angle grinder. I didn't really flare my cut at all. I then filed down the edges to clean them up. Later I put a layer of epoxy in the notch to keep water out.

I then cut the skin material in half lengthwise. This gave me two 62mm wide skins. For me this was more economical than buying material the correct width, but for a simpler solution see CAMP mohair.

I used my mat cutter to get a very nice straight and exact cut, but this could also be done with a yardstick and a box cutter if one was careful. 

I then cut the shape for my tips using this blog post as a guide. It was also trial and error to a degree and I'm refining it. I plan on retrofitting my skins with rivets next year to improve on the sewing.

I then cut my rubber stopper in half so it would be less thick and drilled it. I pulled the shock cord through and tied a knot in the end.

I then sewed the loop of shock cord into the skin tip.

Once this is done I stuck the skin on the ski and decided where to cut the tail. I traced a jar onto the skin to get a nice radius and then cut it.

At first the skin glue is very strong, making it difficult to separate the skin from itself and the ski base, but with use it has gotten much smoother.

My wife and I used these skins for the Five Peaks team rando race and they held up great. At times I have found they are a bit narrow for my 76 waist ski, particularly when traversing steep slopes on hard snow. Other than that they have fared very well on everything from long rando races to 4 days of skiing in Grand Teton National Park where I didn't even bring a backup pair, but never had a skin failure. 

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