Climbing Skin technology

Everything you need to know about how climbing skins work

What's a Climbing Skin Made of?

Plush

This is composed of directionally oriented fibers that allow a skin to slid forward but not back.

CORD

This is the strong backing material that the plush is affixed to and the glue is applied.

Adhesive

The temperature and water resistant glue that allows for temporary and repeated connection to a ski while climbing, and removal for descending.

What sets BSMP Skins Apart

Our goal…..value without compromise

We all know what a balancing act everything is in the backcountry. We are constantly having to adjust our plans based on snow quality, time, effort, difficulty and snowpack stability. At Big Sky Mountain Products we simplify some of your equipment decisions by designing our gear to give you the best balance of performance and value in each category.

The world's most reliable skin glue

Our glue will never fail you in the backcountry. Period.

Durable Cord

Our backing material is a perfect combination of durability and weight designed specifically to latch onto our glue and never let go.

Plush Without Compromise

We offer the durability of nylon, but with fine, supple, plush fibers and a low exit angle for unbelievable glide.

Strong Attachments

We use strong materials in our tip and tail hooks designed for the rigors or cold weather and backcountry touring.

Performance Factors

Glide vs grip

This is the tradeoff between a skin’s speed over flat approaches and its ability to climb.

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Adhesion

This is the ability of the skin to stick in cold and/or wet environments while WITHOUT leaving residue on the ski.

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Grip vs Glide

A number of factors determine how well a skin climbs versus how well it glides. If you often tackle long approaches over flat terrain, glide may be a more critical factor in your choice of climbing skins. On the other hand, if you like to crush vertical as efficiently as possible, grip may be of more importance to your needs. Lets check out some factors that affect each:

Fiber Stiffness


In general, a supple fiber provides superior glide while a stiffer fiber offers more grip. We utilize a nylon fiber which is more supple than other nylon options and stiffer than mohair, making for the perfect mix between grip and glide.

Fiber Exit Angle


Fibers that stand up straighter tend to have less glide than fibers that are oriented at an angle. Since nylon is inherently grippy, we opt for a low angle fiber which maximizes glide without compromising grip.

Fiber Weave Process


Fiber exit angle in a climbing skin is manufactured in two different ways. The best method (below left) is to weave the exit angle into the textile. This results in consistent grip/glide qualities over the life of the skin. The other method is to weave the fibers so they exit the cord at a right angle, then “iron’ them over to create the exit angle. While cheaper, this method results in inconsistent grip/glide qualities over the life of the skin. Ironed fibers tend to want to rebound (due to fiber memory) back to their perpendicular orientation, reducing glide and causing snow to stick to the skin. With quality in mind, our exit angle is always weaved into the textile before our skins are assembled.

Fiber Material


Mohair is a natural fiber from goats. Nylon is produced through an industrial process. Mohair has more glide but far less durability and grip. Nylon has more durability and grip but less glide.

BSMP GRIP VS GLIDE SOLUTIONS

Because nylon is inherently grippy, we focus our engineering on solutions that maximize glide. The result is an extremely durable product with the grip that customers have come to expect from nylon and impressive gliding performance.

OPTIMAL FIBER STIFFNESS

Our engineering allows for a perfect stiffness to provide optimal glide and grip.

Low Exit angle

Our construction methods weave a low exit angle into our plush layer to provide mohair like glide with nylon grip.

Quality, American-Made Materials

Our plush is composed of engineered nylon fibers to provide the best balance of grip, glide, and durability.

Adhesion

Climbing skin glue must meet several difficult demands. If you’ve ever tried to use duct tape in wet or cold conditions, then you know what we mean. Climbing skin adhesive must work in temperature ranges between warm spring conditions all the way down to arctic temperatures. In addition, the glue must stick to wet or dry skis yet come off clean without leaving any residue. Lets take a look at some of the key factors of climbing skin adhesive and associated trade-offs.

How well does it stick

How well a skin sticks to a ski, also known as peel strength, is a measure of the adhesives bond. Cohesion refers to how well the adhesive sticks to itself rather than pulling off onto your ski. The factors we try and balance in adhesive design are:

PEEL STRENGTH TOO HIGH

Makes it difficult to remove.

PEEL STRENGTH TOO LOW

Won’t stick to your ski or board.

COHESION TOO LOW

Leaves residue on ski.

COHESION CORRECT

Peels clean, no residue.

Temperature Range

Many skins target a working range of -30 F to 70 F. Below this range, the skin may not stick, while above this range, the skin may leave residue on the ski.

BSMP ADHESION SOLUTIONS

At Big Sky Mountain Products, our skin glue is one of our product’s defining qualities. While other adhesive is known for failing in wet or cold conditions, ours stays sticky, all the time, no matter what. When you purchase a pair of Big Sky Mountain Products climbing skins, you can be sure to stay cruising whether you are dipping into the sidecountry or 20 miles back on a major ski mountaineering mission.

OPTIMAL Peel Strength

Our adhesive gives you the optimal balance between stick and usability.

Wide Temperature Range

Big Sky skins stick to temperatures as low as -40° F and above 70° F  (if you find the need to tour in those temps).

Balanced Cohesion

Our skins stick well to your skis without leaving a residue, even in warmer temperatures.

FIND YOUR DREAM LINE