My fiancé is a backcountry skier, and ski guide. This winter I decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a whirl too. As a beginner in the backcountry, and trying to keep up with much more experienced athletes, I need efficient gear. I cannot spend extra time or energy compensating for product deficiencies. My focus needs to stay on safety, endurance and form. I mean, products are meant to aid us, right? When looking for skins specifically, I focused on finding a product that is easy to take on and off, maintains its stick, has solid grip for steep climbing and is capable of setting a skin track. After rigorous testing, I found this product to be excellent.
Bottom Material: My most recent expedition was a 5 hour tour on Teton Pass. With temperatures around 20 degrees, the snow was heavy and sticky. The G3 Scala had no issue gliding through moist snow, nor did I experience glopping as temperatures and speed deviated. I have also used this product in below zero temps, and had similar results.
The plastic section on the front of the skin is a huge plus when it’s my turn to set the skin track. It is rugged and cuts through untracked snow with ease. Unlike other products, where snow saturation from setting a skin track ruins adhesiveness, the G3 Scala holds in place. This is primarily due to the adhesive section not starting until after the plastic segment.
Slip: Steeper sections, while hiking, are no trouble as long as my weight stays centered. I experience minimal slippage, and those few cases are certainly user error. Overall the skins have a strong grip in both the fabric and plastic sections; a HUGE benefit for a rookie skinner.
Adhesive: The adhesive creates a strong bond between the skin and the ski. I am a smaller woman, and it requires some force to remove these skins. While this can be a grunt fest, overall, it is a benefit. The strong adhesive allows me to remove and reapply the skins multiple times throughout the day. On the tour mentioned above, I was able to take my skins off and on 5 times without any reapplication issues. My fiancé on the other hand, by the last application, was crossing his fingers that his skins would reapply.
The G3 Scala Skin ($213.95) was a solid investment. I know when using this product I do not have to worry about gear failure or setback.