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Tech Tip: Taper Trimming Your Skins

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Dialing in your new backcountry kit for the season? Straight from our design crew, this latest tech tip about taper trimming your skins will help make the uphill a little more enjoyable.


Cutting the proper tip and tail taper is the last step in trimming skins to fit your skis—and its importance is often overlooked. A proper taper trim offers several advantages to a long, shallow trim angle:

  • Reduces drag, especially when breaking trail
  • Minimizes weight in an area where skins are not offering much traction (especially relevant for rockered skis)
  • Reduces risk of edge peeling and icing, especially with our GlideLite skins that have a softer lamination.
  • Increases the durability and lifetime of your skins because the front edge is seeing less friction on each step and stride

For modern ski tip and tail profiles, especially those with early rise or rocker, it's best to trim a long, shallow angle that reaches the ski edge just ahead of the ski's contact point.

  1. Lay your skis on a flat surface and mark the outermost contact points of the tip and tail zones with a marker on the edge, on both sides.
  2. Measure about a half- to one full inch toward the tip or tail and put a new mark at that spot.
  3. Attach your skins (with ski attachments already assembled and sidecut trimmed as per our skin trimming instructional video) centered on your skis.
  4. Use a straightedge to draw straight lines on your skins from the sides of the ski attachments to the outermost marks you made on your skis.
  5. Then use our skin trim tool (or scissors for better accuracy) and cut along the lines to remove the excess corners.

Rocker Profile:

Taper Trimming

Rocker skin trim

Early Rise and Traditional Profiles:

Taper Trimming

trim taper traditional

Bonus Tip: The more gradual or longer the rise of your tip and tail profiles as they rise away from the contact points, the more you can angle your skins. For example, you may want to angle your skins to a point 2+ inches ahead of contact points on the tips of Megawatts but only a half-inch ahead on more traditional tips like a Verdict or Aspect.