How to Attach Black Diamond Climbing Skins to Skis

by Thomas Lynn
Backcountry terrain is more easily accessed with ski climbing skins.

Backcountry terrain is more easily accessed with ski climbing skins.

Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Black Diamond is an international company that specializes in high-end ski, climbing and mountaineering gear. Black Diamond has been building equipment since the mid-1950s and has grown into a leading name in ski and climbing gear. One of Black Diamond's products is the climbing skin. Skiers clip these carpet-like skins to the bottom of their skis in order to climb uphill and traverse -- with their skis still attached -- without sliding downward. Black Diamond makes skins that can fit any ski, but the consumer is required to trim them to the correct length and width.

Items you will need

  • Black Diamond skin trimmer

Cutting Climbing Skin to Length

Step 1

Attach the Skin Tight System (STS) to your ski's tail. Place the clip in the fourth or fifth locking position. Pull the skin down the body of the ski, moving toward the tip. Keep the skin flat and centered. Stop once you near the ski tip.

Step 2

Place your second, unattached ski loop over the tip of your ski. Draw two marks on the base edge of your ski's tip with a marker. This will indicate where the skin will meet the loop once cut and in place. Fold the skin down and over the tip.

Step 3

Place a ruler on top of your skin -- where you drew your marks -- and fold the skin back over the ruler. Using the trimmer, cut away all skin that comes after your marked line.

Connecting Adjustable Loop Assembly

Step 1

Place the unattached loop on the cut end of your skin, with the screw holes facing down. Screw three provided screws up through the holes, so they are pointing upward. Once the screws are flush, cut away or break off the excess screw material.

Step 2

Draw an angled line from the side of your attached loop to the side of the ski tip using your marker and ruler. Draw a second line from the same location on the other side of the ski and loop.

Step 3

Use the trimmer to remove all excess skin outside of the the two marked lines.

Trimming the Skin to Side Cut

Step 1

Place the skin face-down on the ground of work surface. Place the base of your ski on the adhesive side of your skin, with roughly 2 mm of extra skin sticking off of one edge. Cut this excess with the trim tool.

Step 2

Move the ski over the skin so that an excess 2 mm of climbing skin is coming off the other edge. Trim and remove.

Step 3

Remove the skin. Take the top tip loop and attach it to your ski's tip. Flatten the skin along the base of the ski, working down toward the tip. Attach the tail loop to the skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a workbench and ski vice system makes attaching Black Diamond climbing skins much easier.
  • Trim and attach both climbing skins at the same time in order to avoid having to repeat the process all over again for your second ski.

About the Author

Thomas Lynn is a writer in New York. His work has appeared in various Web and print publications. He studied English in the New York University system. Lynn has been writing professionally since 2009, covering politics and emerging technologies.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images