Our recent trip up Silver Peak in pouring rain reminded us of the importance of good skin glue. If you’ve had trouble keeping skins adhered to your bases, you might be overdue for a skin re-glue. If you’re getting ready to head out and aren’t sure, simply test the skins by wetting the adhesive side to see if they’re still sticky. We’ve found that not all skin glues are created equal and some don’t do so well in wet conditions even when new. In any event, it costs a lot less to re-glue skins than get new ones. Pro Ski and Mountain Service in N. Bend will re-glue skin tips and tails for just $30. Or if you’d like to labor through the task yourself, they sell the Black Diamond Glue Renew transfer roll for $49.95 -we’ve tested Black Diamond’s glue and it holds up well in our wet and warmer PNW conditions.
For the descent and end of day, when your bases collect too much debris (be it old wax, pine, dirt, etc.), we found it handy to add a wax scraper to your backcountry tool kit. If you’re not near a ski shop or just want to save a few bucks, any solid plastic straight edge will do – an old ski pass or plastic putty scrapers from Home Depot (pictured left — I personally like the handles and keep these in my car). Plastic is better than metal which can scratch/damage your Ptex. Scraping is the easiest way to clean much of the build up off of boards. Of course, base cleaner works great too but we find it’s better to use it after scraping – makes the job neater and requires less base cleaner. Pro Ski and Mountain Service has a great video explaining the basics here.