Getting the Most From Your Skin Skis: Tips and Tricks

December 28, 2023

Skin skis are ready to go right out of the press but there are a few tips and tricks that can elevate the experience to another level. 

To maintain perfect kick and glide when using your skin skis there are three things to remember: prep, clean and glide.

Tips and Tricks
New skin skis are ready to be enjoyed right out of the press and three simple steps will help maintain perfect kick and excellent glide: prep, clean and glide.

The bonus is that none of this is rocket science or time consuming. 

With a lineup of no less than 13 different skin ski models, there is a Madshus skin ski perfectly suited for every skier, whether you are aiming for the World Cup or the tops of mountains. Check out our full line up of Madshus skin skis to find the perfect model for you:

Treating the skin with a skin-ski specific product prevents the skin from icing up and globbing while helping improve overall glide.

The skin prepping products are usually a liquid and have been available for years. However, keep in mind that skins require products without harsh solvents to prevent damaging the glue that keeps the skin attached to the base. So, if in doubt, a skin-specific prepping product is always a safe option. 

Skin ski prepping products can be available with a sponge applicator, spray-on, or pretreated wipe. Simply apply, spray,or wipe, let sit for a couple of minutes to dry, and you are set to go. 

When should you prep your skin? Prep the skin as needed, but using a prepping product is particularly useful in wet conditions to help prevent the skin from soaking. And if you feel that the skis are not gliding as well as they used to, applying a prepping product to the skin can help speed up the skis.

The skin on your Madshus skis is made to be dirt-resistant, durable, and generally last for several hundred kilometers. But cleaning your skis when needed will help maintain both grip and glide.

When should you clean your skin? If you see obvious dirt or debris that has collected in the skin, use a skin specific cleaning product. These products are specifically formulated to efficiently clean the skin without hurting the adhesives that fix the skin to the base.

You generally do not need to clean your skin after each time you ski, but if they look dirty or feel draggy, cleaning the skin will improve the glide. 

Cleaning is particularly relevant if you have skied on warm, wet or icy trails where a lot of people would use klister wax, because your skis can pick up some of that dirt. Just check your skin after you ski and see if a cleaning is needed.

If you see areas of the skin that seem duller than the surrounding skin, or the texture appears flattened, that is often a sign that you should clean the skin. 

Cleaning is a simple operation. Be sure to use skin specific cleaners, for the same reason as with the prepping products: these products do not have any harsh solvents that can damage the skin or dissolve the glue. 

Traditional ski base cleaner contains pretty strong solvents, which can cause the skin to detach from the base. 

Like prepping products, skin specific cleaners are available as a sponge applicator, spray-on, or pretreated wipe. 

Glide Waxing
Just like traditional cross-country skis, skin skis benefit from glide waxing the glide zones. This is done exactly the same way you would waxable skis, using either a traditional glide wax applied with a wax iron or a liquid glide product.  

When should you glide wax your skin skis? As a rule of thumb, it is always nice to start the season with freshly waxed skis. Then rewax as needed. 

With use in typical conditions, reapply glide wax after using your skis five to seven times. However, certain snow conditions put more wear on the wax. If you notice the bases of your skis are looking gray or worn in the glide zones, they will benefit from glide waxing.

If using liquid glide wax, just follow the instructions on the bottle. Generally, shake it, spray it on or wipe it on with the sponge applicator, wait a few minutes, polish and/or wipe the bases and you are ready. 

If using traditional glide wax with a wax iron, just make sure to cover the skin while applying the glide wax, scraping and brushing to avoid spilling glide wax onto the skin. This also protects the skin from scraped wax and wax dust when brushing.

Covering the skin with a protective tape strip is a simple way to protect the skin while you work on the glide zones. Then just peel off the tape when you are done, and you are ready to go. Most cross-country ski retailers carry such cover tape. 

Curious about different types of skin skis and how skin skis work?
All Madshus skin skis feature our revolutionary integrated skin technology featuring a progressive skin profile that reduces friction without sacrificing kick. Combined with a ski construction engineered, and optimized, for the integrated skin you get a ski that provides unmatched grip without compromising glide. 

Madshus has carefully balanced the material composition, the camber, and the skin length and placement for each model to deliver the perfect experience for a range of skiers. All are designed to meet the overall goal: simple skiing. Accordingly, our Madshus skin ski models are divided into two categories: Race and Active. 

Race Skin Series
Raw speed with a bit less access to peak grip force, and this is true for our Race skin series. These skis, which include the Redline Skin, Race Pro Skin, Race Speed Skin and Race Pro Skin Jr, come with race engineered side cuts and cambers, along with a shorter, more recessed skin for unmatched glide.  

Active Skin Series
Totally accessible grip comes at the expense of pure speed. Our Active skin series are designed to provide a natural striding experience for lower-impulse skiers. A race-oriented side cut, but a longer skin and more forgiving camber provide exactly that. 

Additionally, the Madshus skin ski lineup features two backcountry models: the “best-in-test” Fjelltech M44 and Fjelltech M50 which transition seamlessly in and out of groomed tracks.  

Check out our full line up of Madshus skin skis to find the perfect model for you: