Splitboard Skinning Techniques

You may be new to splitboarding, or just looking to lengthen your game.  By a few tips that work for me, you can keeps your legs fresher and be able to ride harder.

Skinning efficiency

1. Using your poles, by keeping your poles close to your boots and pushing through the range of motion instead of just planting the pole forward you are able to gain additional power in your drive up hill.  This same technique is used by many top cross country skiers and is often forgot about when pushing and pulling up the mountain.

2. Improve your kick turns, how many times have you fallen down on a difficult kick turn?  In the backcountry is a bad place to learn the art of a clean efficient kick turn.  Try practicing these on your front lawn or in your family room.  A lot of energy is expended when in uncomfortable and unfluid motion. Clean, smooth kickturns will save your energy and keep you less tired on the way up.

3. Don’t rely too much on heel risers, heel risers shorten your stride, and slow you down.  If you need a taller heel riser chances are you are trying to climb too steep.

4. Work faster and keep those legs warm.  Keep your steps short and quick, warm muscles that work quickly have time to clear out the burning effects of lactic acid faster. Keep the exercise in the lungs more and less in the legs, this will help you last longer and be stronger for the decent.

5. Make sure your skin track is not too agressive.  Typically a skin track should be around 15 degrees, steeper tracks are never faster

6. Try gliding instead of steping, it’s a different motion that may not feel as natural but it can increase our climbing speed.  Try keeping your base light on the snow as it skims across, this will increase efficiency and reduce friction until it is needed.

7. Clean off the base of your board before attaching skins, any slight buildup of snow or ice can inhibit the adhesion of your skins during the tour.  Make sure your base is clean and clear to ensure proper adheasion and lower the possibility of skin failure.

8. Take care of your skins, keep them dry and clean.  Unfold your skins after use. Clean skins last longer and are less likely to fail.

9. Make sure your skins fit your ski/board, over hanging skins or unsecurely attached skin are prone to failure. Make sure there is proper tension and adheasion to your board and you will have much better sucess with less buildup and skin failure.

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