Black Diamond Glidelite Mohair Mix Custom STS Climbing Skins 125mm have already been cut to length and the tip attachment attached. As BD charge the same for their 110mm and 125mm custom skins we've elected to just stock the wider version for simplicity's sake. All you have to do is select the correct length for your skis and on receipt trim the width of the skin. On the video below this is the 4th stage and is called 'Trim Skins to Sidecut Width'.
The skins are a mohair (65%) and nylon (35%) mix to offer an excellent compromise between grip, glide and durability in all conditions. This is the 2016 version which is lighter and more packable than the previous incarnation.
The Glidelites are designed for longer skins and tours as they are lighter and more supple than the BD Ascension Skins. At Facewest we found the Glidelites much nicer to handle especially when cold and wet than the Ascensions which were a bit too bulky for us.
These skins use Black Diamond's STS attachment system. The tip loop is adjustable to get a good fit on just about any ski, the STS tail attachment gives 10cms of length adjustment and is quick and easy to use.
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Great improvement on my older nylon BD SKINS. Relatively easy to cut, but do be gentle with the tool provided. I ordered cut to length for 2015 Soul 7 180cm Skis. Although the custom cut skins do fit that length the clip is on the final (shortest) setting, leaving no slack for any stretch as I use them. I will probably nip off an inch myself at some point.
Easy to fit / remove. In use, the skins are outstanding and the grip is amazing, both on packed snow (on piste) and loose / wet snow (off piste).
I have two small criticisms, they do not ski so well when you need to head downhill a little before the next climb - a little too much grip! Secondly, I would have liked two full length meshes for storage - no biggy, just personal preference.
I'm NOT an expert skinner, so do look at some of the other reviews too...... Only been at it for a season and a half :)
On the whole this is a great skin. I have only had them a few months, but used them on a back country training week in the Swiss Alps this year and they performed very well. Much easier to take off the ski than my previous skins, but had no problems with adhesion when they weren't supposed to be coming off. Really good quality feel to the tip and tail attachments. Look and feel like they will give many seasons good service. Nice touch that they come with the cheat sheets and storage bag included in the price. Definitely worth spending the extra for the mohair mix, over standard nylon skins and when you add the cheat sheets and bag in, they start to look good value. Only slight negative is the phaffy trimming procedure; that and the flimsy little plastic tool provided which got quite weak towards the end - go easy on it and allow yourself a couple of hours so you can take your time and do a good job - it will be worth it.
This has been my 3rd season with a pair of Black Diamond Glidelite Mix STS Skins from Facewest, so I can compare them with my previous skins and from skinning alongside other folk. Mine were the older 95mm variant, which I shaped to fit my Scott Patrols.
These skins definitely have a superior glide compared to others' skins (the mohair presumably), whilst having every bit as good a grip. The attachments at both ends have proved to be the most secure I've ever had, with no problems of them ever being knocked off. The cheatsheets that came with them are really useful - but can leave wee bits of plastic coating from the edges stuck in the glue if you're not careful.
I reglued them for this season with the Black Diamond Gold Label Skin Glue. I'd say they are wearing well and have many years left in them - although possibly not as hardwearing as some poorer-gliding/ cheaper nylon equivalents ..... but I won't ever be going back to nylon!
Bought the 167-174 length to go with my 167 k2 Waybacks.
Pretty simple to cut to fit with the supplied skin cutter.
Did the job really well - stuck well, no issues with slip going up hill, came off the ski well leaving no residue, didn't come unclipped (unlike other skins being used in the party) and supplied in a generous sized skin bag which was useful when rolling them up in a hurry.
Also got a few compliments about their appearance - and good to have skins that look a bit different when they're all being hung out to dry!
I foolishly thought a 186 skin might fit my 188 Coombacks; I was wrong but a workaround was sorted. They're the length they say they are, so this isn't a criticism but an observation. If you're fitting them to twin-tips at the upper end of the length range be sure to check.
Glide pretty well, grip pretty well, my only concern is the glue doesn't seem all that sticky, but time will tell if it becomes an issue.
I had no issues with the trimming tool, and the bag they come with is a decent size for getting ski-crampons in too.
I like the pattern. It doesn't matter to the skin at all, but the little monster man with an ice axe pleases me!
Excellent delivery/service from Facewest: arrived promptly. Cut them to size in my kitchen quite hard and sticky work but only took 20 mins: cutter from G3 skins easier to use than the BD one supplied since automatically cuts couple mm within edge, although BD cutter very sharp. Skied with them this week. glided well, and seemed to grip well but didn't tackle anything very steep. Metal clip on back not well designed. Quite difficult to slip onto back of ski, easy to slip off orange plastic strap, and I lost one almost immediately ! G3 attachment seems better. Front attachment easy to use and works well.
Great skins, easy to fit and trim according to the instructions and Black Diamond's video, although I broke the supplied cutting tool on my second skin so be gentle with it. I'd recommend clipping the tail on a setting slightly shorter than the middle setting when doing the initial sizing (BD says set it in the middle). Tail clip works well for me even on fully twin-tip skis and has never slipped.
I used these skins on a recent ski touring trip in the Pyrenees. It was about 20-28 degrees C every day so you can imagine the state of the snow in the afternoons! However these skins really held up. I had no problems with them sticking or coming off mid-climb. Very easy to cut and fit to skis. The clips on the front and back worked fine and they come in a bag which you can write your name on. Handy at 5am! No complaints and would definitely recommend them.
I have used Black Diamond skins a number of times in the past and have never had any issues with them. These are no exceptions, they stick well and don't leave glue on the skis. The video instructions on the Facewest website for trimming the skins is very useful too.....
You only need two things in a skin. They need to stick well and they need to come off without leaving glue everywhere. These skins do both.
The skins come with a plastic spacer for storage so the skins don't stick to each other. They are synthetic so last forever, no smell or storage problems, whilst still giving great traction uphill and good glide on the flat.
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