So here is an admission, but some learning too. Guides should lead by example, and keep their equipment in perfect working order. Being human, however, we sometimes drop a touring skin on dry grass on the last day of an Iceland trip, fly home and don’t remember to take skins out to clean off the grass and dusty clay soil…
Then we go skiing at the start of the following season, and note a grass and dust covered skin appearing from the bag. The skin still sticks to the ski, because it’s laser cut to size, and possesses glue of exceptional tenacious quality.
Returning home, I remembered Paul Prentice from the Mountain Boot Company (Importers of Black Crows Skis, Scarpa boots etc) saying, “these skins can be folded glue face to glue face without problem, and even thrown in the washing machine if required…”
So, I tentatively ran a tap hot, and started cleaning the skin with an old toothbrush. The mud, grit and grass simply fell off, as the skin became supple and the surface warmed up. The skin was hung for an hour in the airing cupboard and came out nice and dry.
I intended to show a photo of before and after, but was too ashamed of the “before” picture! Suffice to say, the finished product below is visibly clean as a whistle and sticks perfectly to the ski…fit for a “professional” to demonstrate skin use with clients 🙂
If you’re wondering what skins to buy, I thouroughly recommend Black Crows skins. They come cut to size for Black Crows skis, so why not go for it and buy some brilliant, light & lively touring skis to go with your skins too?!