These tips apply to the all new Hagan hybrid climbing skins, especially the race climbing skins, where a little extra care is needed because of their tail hook less design. Yes, I was somewhat skeptical and apprehensive because of negative experiences testing other brands' vacuum race skins. After refining my technique with these techniques I lost skin adhesion just twice in over 60 days of testing, those two times on -10º (Fahrenheit) days. I quickly switched to using the hybrid skins 100% of the time in races and training. (I kept a back up set of traditional glue skins, which I never needed.) The vastly easier handling of the hybrid skins made transitioning much faster and I never again struggled with a "hair ball" of skins.
I also tested the hybrid skins with our other skis, i.e., with tail hooks. I never had a single failure and I am completely confident in their use. And with wider skins, the ease of handling becomes even more markedly pronounced over traditional glue skins.
While testing prototypes last season, I learned a few techniques to get the skins to adhere well to your skis. The first tip is specific to the hybrid race skins. The "don't stretch the bungee" technique only applies to the race skins, as the other skins have a tail hook.
1. For the race skins - Don't stretch the bungee at all!! It is too strong and will pull the skin off the ski while you are trying to apply it. Hook the bungee in your ski notch just tight enough to keep it in place. In practice this means that you don't need to stretch it at all. Just remove any slack. As opposed to thinner bungee cords, this is enough to keep it from falling out of the notch in use. Only stretch the bungee when removing the skin. Don't stretch it at all before.
2. More so than glue skins, the hybrid skins need pressure to get firmly attached to the ski. Don’t waste a lot of time rubbing them on with your hand. Instead, apply them with a little pressure and then with each hand holding the skin to the ski, place the ski down on the snow. Step in, and take the first few steps with full weight on the ski. That will "set" the skin and it will adhere firmly the rest of the climb. I only lost a skin two times in ~60 days of testing after doing this. (And it is much quicker to reapply the hybrid skins.)
3. If it is quite cold and you have snow crystals on the skins, wipe them across your thigh a time or two to brush off the snow/ice. Because they aren't traditional glue, that quite effectively removes the snow (without sticking to your pants.)
I hope the hybrid skins work well for you. I think they will with these tips, and you will marvel at the handling advantages and really enjoy not needing to store them with plastic foils - ever! There are two conditions that will test the adherence of the hybrid race skins – but would ANY skin: 1. Exceptionally cold temps (colder than -10º Fahrenheit.) 2. Very soft snow where it is difficult to "set" the skins. (Tip #2 above.) The hybrid skins for the other skis are unfazed by these conditions because of their tail clips providing additional hold.
The tackiness of our hybrid adhesive will only be impaired by dirt on its surface. The adhesive strength can be renewed simply by washing with standard detergent and water. For stubborn dirt and wax residue, our hybrid cleaning spray can be used.
After significant use, you can renew the water-resistance, anti-icing and glide characteristics of our Race skins with our specially formulated Hagan Dry Climb Skin Treatment. For quick field use, our Hagan Skin Wax will keep your skins from icing or collecting wet snow.
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Here is a small trick/tip to make it much easier:
2020/8/19 Update: Just received word that three of our new products received awards from Backcountry Magazine.
Hagan backcountry skis win a ton of awards. Which is especially impressive given we don't submit our skis to many reviews. Here's a sampling: BOOST 99 – Backline Magazine Test Winner (First Place), Backcountry Magazine Editors Choice award. BOOST 94 – Montagnes Magazine "Very Clear First Place" CORE 89 – World Ski Test "First Place"
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