I was sent a pair of these skins to test at the end of the last season so they have been burning a hole in the box waiting to get out. As I collected my ski pass the other day it seemed like it was the right time to cut the skins for my Black Crows Corvus. For the last five years I have religiously used Black Diamond STS mohair mix so they set the benchmark for comparisons.
So how does a glue-less skin work? The Swiss made High Trail use a silicon based coating which creates a molecular bond to adhere to the ski. They come in a stylish box with a very effective Stanley knife style skin cutter, stuff bag, and comprehensive instructions on how to fit them. For all of you who will only read the instructions as a last resort, there is a useful video here for fitting the skins. The product has a high quality feel and appearance as you would expect from a Swiss made item, only time will tell on the performance.
The thing that remains to be seen is how well these skins hold up in wet or cold conditions and the overall durability of the glue-less system. Unlike conventional glue, the coating can’t simply be reapplied. One major benefit is that the skins are much easier to peal off a wide freeride ski. Weight wise there is nothing in it. The tail of the skin has a easily adjustable clip that looks more robust that the Black Diamond skin tails which tend to perish after a season or two.
So all we need now in Europe is for it to snow so I can really put them to the test!