The Coll Tex 41 Bail Whizzz 120mm uses a unique adhesion-on-acrylic technology, which essentially means the Whizzz glue only feels slightly tacky and hardly sticks to itself. No need to be able to rip a phone book in half to get them open on a warm day. Skin netting is included but you may find you do not need it.
At 120mm wide the Whizzz's are more than wide enough for most touring skis and will have to be trimmed to fit width wise. The tip is stitched on and the length is adjusted by cutting the tail. There is an optional tail fitting which needs the rivets punching once it is fitted. Original length 185cm. 41 Bail is Coll Tex's name for this particular tip fitting. A simple metal loop, internal width 72mm and internal depth 10mm which seems to fit just about all ski tips.
The actual skins 'hair' is ablend of mohair and polyamide providing great grip and durability in all conditions. The skin is light and flexible and the glue layer quite minimal so they wont fill your jacket on the way down.
When it comes time to reglue you will use Whizzz Tape. The original glue cannot be removed from the skin backer so you just apply another layer of glue over the top which comes mounted on a fine nylon net. This second layer can be removed when it eventually becomes time for the 2nd reglue.
I've been using these skins for a few weeks now in a variety of snow conditions. Although it's still 'early' ski touring season, most of my work is day touring, and I carry skins in my pack every day.
First the basics; grip uphill is excellent on all sorts of snow. It's been an unusual season with very varied conditions so I've tried them on hard piste, wet afternoon slush, icy track, breaking trail in deep powder, cold mornings and warm afternoons, and these skins grip well. No problems re-sticking on multi-ascent days either. No balling up, and no signs of wear yet, although it's still early days.
Now the interesting bit. The Whizz glue is non-stickyť, ie. it sticks to the ski, but not to itself. This means you can fold the skins in half, glue to glue, without a mesh sheet, and still get them apart again without a 2 person tug-of-war! Handy on windy cols and snowy days, and very handy if you lose your mesh mid-tour.
They are supplied as a straight 120mm skin, which means you'll need to trim to fit (unless you're using a very wide ski) This is fairly easy but takes some time and care. Measure twice, cut once! The special cutting tool provided works well for the edges, and I used a pair of scissors to trim the tip and tail. Rivets for the tail clip can be pressed if you have the tool, or hammered if you don't.
The CollTex tip bail is wide and seems to fit most skis, even Dynafit/Trab/K2 which have different tip fittings.
Overall I'm very impressed with these skins. I'll try to update this report towards the end of the season after more use.
Graham Frost is a British Mountain Guide living in Evolene, Switzerland, where he runs Frostguiding, offering year-round climbing and ski guiding.Click to see more about Graham Frost.
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Specialist wax to prevent skins soaking up wet snow.
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Mini wax block with 2 types of wax for different temperatures.