Getting The Most From Your Skin Skis: Care and Maintenance

MadshusMarch 8, 2022

While new skin skis are factory-ready to be enjoyed right out of the box, three simple steps will help maintain the perfect kick and rocket glide on your skin skis: prep, clean and glide.

And none of this is rocket science or time consuming.

Curious about different types of skin skis and how skin skis work? Let’s go skin deep

With a lineup of no less than 13 different skin ski models, there’s a Madshus skin ski perfectly suited for every dream, whether you’re aiming for the World Cup or the mountain tops.

Check out the full line up of Madshus skin skis, and find the perfect model for your dreams, ambitions and winter adventures. 

Treating the skins with a skin-ski specific product to prevent the skins from icing up and globbing, and also helps improve overall glide in certain conditions.

The skin prepping products resemble the liquid glide products that have been available for years, and the effect of these would be similar. However, keep in mind that skins require products without harsh solvents to prevent damaging the glue that keeps the skin attached to the base. So, if in doubt, a skin-specific prepping product is always a safe option.

Skin ski prepping products are available both as liquids/spray-on bottles and as pretreated wipes. Simply spray on or wipe on, let sit for a couple of minutes to dry, and you’re set to go.

When should you prep your skins? Prep the skins as needed, but using a prepping product is particularly useful in wet conditions, to help prevent the skin from soaking. And if you feel that the skis don’t glide as well as they used to, applying a prepping product to the skins can help speed up the skis.

The skins on your Madshus skin skis are made to be dirt-resistant and durable, and generally last for several hundred kilometers. But cleaning your skis when needed will help maintain both grip and glide.

When should you clean your skins? If you see obvious dirt or debris that has collected in the fabric, use a skin ski-specific cleaning product. These products are specifically formulated to efficiently clean the skins without hurting the adhesives that fix the skins to the base.

You generally don’t need to clean your skins after each time you ski, but if they look dirty or feel draggy, cleaning the skins will improve the glide.

Cleaning is particularly relevant if you’ve skied on warm and wet or icy tracks where a lot of people would use klister, because your skins can pick up some of that dirt. Just check your skin after your ski and see if it’s needed.

If you see areas of the skin that seem duller than the surrounding skin, or the texture appears flattened, that is often a sign that you should clean the skin.

Cleaning is a simple operation. Be sure to use skin ski-specific cleaners, for the same reason as with the prepping products: the skin-specific products don’t have any harsh solvents that can damage the skin or dissolve the glue.

Traditional base cleaner contains pretty strong solvents, which can cause the skins to detach from the base.

Skin ski-specific cleaners are available both as spray-on/liquids and in pretreated wipes.

Glide waxing
Just like traditional cross-country skis, skin skis benefit from glide waxing the glide zones. This is done exactly the same way you would waxable skis, using either a traditional glide wax applied with a wax iron or a liquid glide product.

When should you glide wax your skin skis? As a rule of thumb, it’s always nice to start the season with freshly waxed skis. Then rewax as needed.

With typical use in typical conditions, reapply glide wax after using your skis five to seven times with typical use in typical conditions. However, certain snow conditions put more wear on the wax. If you notice the bases of your skis are looking gray or worn in the glide zones, they’ll benefit from glide waxing.

If using liquid glide wax, just follow the instructions on the bottle. Generally, shake it, spray it on or wipe it on with the sponge tip applicator, wait a few minutes, polish/wipe the bases and you’re ready.

If using traditional glide wax and a wax iron, just make sure to cover the skin while applying the glide wax, scraping and brushing, in order to avoid spilling glide wax onto the skin, and protect the skin from scraped wax and wax dust from brushing.

Covering the skin with a protective tape strip is a simple way to protect the skin while you work on the glide zones. Then just peel off the tape when you’re done and you’re good to go. Most Nordic ski retailers carry such cover tape.


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