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Skin Skis by Gatineau Nordic Sport
By:  team xc ottawa   (2017/09/21)


Commencing the first week of September, Gatineau Nordique Sport will be able to install skins of the appropriate width, length and type on all classic skis, new and old; including racing skis, performance skis, touring skis, scale skis and some back country skis.  For all installations, I will test the skis to determine the wax pocket and install the skins in the appropriate place in the wax pocket.

    Last February, I was informed by Rob Vellend, the owner of Vellend Tech, that Brad Watts from the Barrie area was installing skins on classic skis for local people.   Rob informed me that this installation procedure was highly successful and well received by people.  I gave this some thought and starting in March, I began the process of learning how to install skins myself.  I bought a high quality router and router bit that is used to house out the base of the ski and designed and built a very accurate ‘jig’ that clamps down on the base of the ski that acts as a guide for the router.  After testing this procedure out on a few pairs of very old skis that should have long been discarded, I installed skins on some good skis of my own including a pair of brand new racing skis. In the month of March, I was able to test these skin skis on snow.  I came to the conclusion that this procedure works extremely well and that it has a great deal of potential.   

     The skins that I used on the test skis in March were acquired from Rob Vellend.  These skins are 36 mm in width and were made by Montana, a large, well established company in Switzerland that makes a variety of products including stone grinding machines and climbing skins for skis. Montana has been making climbing skins since its inception in 1939.   Over the course of the summer months with help and advice from Montana, I have come up with designs for 3 different widths of skins: 40mm, 45mm and 50mm.  By having 4 different widths of skins in total, I will be able to install skins on classic skis up to and including BC 70.

     When I was testing skin skis in March, I tested glide waxing and stone grinding of these skis.  Not to my surprise, proper glide waxing and stone grinding on good skin skis can make the skis faster.  There is a way of being able to very lightly stone grind the skis without decreasing the depth of the base in the wax pocket.  For people who would like their skin skis to glide well, proper glide waxing and stone grinding will improve the speed of the skis.

     The new designs of skin skis for cross country skis has been extremely well received by cross country skiers everywhere.  I have read and been told, there has been a resurgence in classic skiing and more people are taking up cross country skiing.   The recent developments in skins and skin skis are good for the sport of skiing.  

     As stated above, in September I will be available for installations of skins on classic skis.  If you have any questions regarding this process, feel free to phone or send me an email.  The cost for the installation of the skins, including the cost of the skins themselves will be $75.  If you would like the bases of the skis to be lightly stone ground and saturated with wax, I will charge $50 for the grind and waxing.

      I am looking forward to providing this new service of installation of skins on classic skis in conjunction with stone grinding and testing of skis.  To a large extent, they complement each other very well.

Wayne Johannsen

819 483 1623



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