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. [Note: Our new skins are NOT vacuum skins, they are a hybrid two-layer glue system.] 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 am very confident the hybrid skins work extremely well for you with these tips. You will marvel at the handling advantages and 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 all our other ski models are unfazed by these conditions because they are equipped with tail clips that provide 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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There are differences in both the heel and toe. Read on for more and to see which is best for you.
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Here is a recent conversation that started asking how the Hagan Off Limits compares to the Altai Hok (no comparison). In the last paragraph there is a question about sand skiing with the Hagan X-Trace Pivot binding.