Hack Your Gear: The Skin Re-Glue

Rejuvenate your old climbing skins with this easy trick

Just the essentials. PHOTO: Kade Krichko
Just the essentials. PHOTO: Kade Krichko

We love our ski gear, but we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t one heck of an expensive relationship. Skis are about as much as a mortgage payment and outerwear isn’t far behind. Yet yet it seems like every year we are back in the shop replacing gear that we’ve only gotten a season or two out of.

Gear ages, warps, and breaks—it’s the nature of the alpine beast—but it shouldn’t mean we need to spend more time in the ski shop than actually…you know…skiing. Ask any ski bum worth his or her road salt, and he or she will tell you that there are ways to keep that jacket going long past its expiration date, that no ski gear is truly trash until you throw it away.

Inspired by the diehards that make it work season after season, we decided it’s time to put our best DIY foot forward, collecting a few of our favorite ways to make our ski gear that much better (and still safe). Whether it be patching your pants or opening a beer with your boot sole, we hope you’ll find it here on our new almost weekly column: Hack Your Gear.

The Skin Re-Glue

Okay, so your skin glue is tired, and you’re pretty much effed, because snow is pushing in between skin and ski, leaving you flapping in the wind. When this happens you can either (a) buy expensive new skins, (b) attempt to apply a tricky and sticky re-glue solution, or (c) employ this easy solution and buy a sixer of Rainier with the money you saved. The late Steve Romeo out of Jackson once vouched for something similar on his blog, but we grabbed this one from Big Cottonwood split-boarder (yeah, yeah, get over it) Nick Langelotti. After his glue failed the night before a long tour, and he was “too f&%king cheap to buy new ones,” he turned to the Internet and a touch of creativity to yield a fast, easy, and, most importantly, free way to keep his skins going the distance. Check out Langelotti’s skin re-glue, and do try this at home.

Tools: Climbing skins, parchment paper, paper bag, iron, tweezers (optional)

1. Place skins glue-side up on full length table. Use tweezers to pick out bigger debris carefully.

2. Warm up iron to medium heat.

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3. Place parchment paper on skins, full length. Press down and smooth out so paper is fully on the skin, the length of the skin.

4. Cut out brown paper bag paper big enough to cover the base of the iron.

Things you should avoid learning the hard way: Irons are hot.
Things you should avoid learning the hard way: Temperature of an iron.

5. Run the iron along the length of the skin with brown paper bag between the iron and the parchment paper. Move the iron slowly and smoothly. The goal here is to melt the glue just enough to be re-moldable.

**You may run the iron back and forth over certain areas that may be particularly deformed (where you fold skins, for example).

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6. Wait until the glue has completely cooled off and then remove the parchment paper. Then place skins on skinsavers in cool, dry place.

7. Be stoked you didn’t burn yourself.

Think you’ve got a better trick of the trade? Send it to powder@powder.com for a chance to be featured on Powder.com.