This is a Contour Hybrid Skins Review and a rant on Black Diamond Glidelite skins. After struggling for several years with the terrible glue on Black Diamond Glidelite Mohair Mix skins, I bought a pair of Contour Hybrid skins. So far, they are an immense improvement over the BD skins.
Update – 11-12-18
Werner, from Contour, replied to a comment I made on Wildsnow. He explained how to properly clean them. He recommends their solvent or wax remover. Also, he said the new glue is more tacky.
Update – 11-01-18
After using the Contour skins for about 60 days, I can no longer recommend them. The minimal glue or adhesion or whatever they use to make them stick doesn’t work after 40-60 days. I tried washing them and still they don’t stick adequately. Also, two of my friends bought them and had the same results: the skins no longer stick after around 30 days.
First a little history. I’ve had two pairs of the Black Diamond Glidelite skins, and on both pairs, the glue was absolutely terrible. By terrible, I mean that the glue is so sticky, I have to struggle to pull them apart after they are folded. And when I say struggle, I mean that you could injure tendons trying to pull them apart. In addition, I have to take my skis off to get the skins off. You should be able to easily pull skins off skis without removing the ski.
And I’m not the only one. Whenever I see people struggling with skins, it’s usually BD Glidelite skins.
Enter Contour Hybrid skins. They use a new two layer glue technology that makes them stick to your ski but they are very easy to pull apart or to pull off the ski. I’ve used the Contour skins for about 15 days in very cold and very warm conditions: they work well on both. They are so easy to pull apart or flip off a ski it’s almost funny. And the Contour skins glide well but maybe not as well as the BD Glidelite. Hard to say because I think any skin glides better when it has a lot of miles on it.
Is this too good to be true? Maybe. For example, I wonder how long the sticking power of the glue will last. Only time will tell. Contour claims you can clean the skin glue with soapy water to rejuvenate the glue if it gets dirty and won’t stick any more.
Once the glue starts to fail on these skins, you can’t re-glue them, at least not with the original Contour two layer glue. I imagine that you can strip off the original glue and replace it with conventional skin glue.
Cutting and mounting these skins couldn’t be easier. That tail attachment is already on the skin. You have to cut them to length and width and attach the tip loop. The following video shows how easy it is:
One big con to these skins is that they are very expensive, about $100 more than comparable BD or Pomoca skins. I’m OK with the price if they last at least 100 days. Anything is better than the constant struggle with BD skins.
If you can’t stomach the price of Contour skins, check out Pomoca skins. I think their glue is easy to pull apart and to pull off the ski, and they are priced similar to BD skins.