Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
User avatar
Johnny

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont

Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Postby Johnny » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:55 pm

X-Skin Cover.jpg

They were already perfect. And somehow, they were able to make them ever better. I reviewed the former Skin-Lock system last season. I had some doubts about them, and why I should prefer them over wax or kicker skins, but I was completely sold to the idea after a few days. Asnes discontinued the old Skin-Lock and they are now coming back this season with a new product, the X-Skin. It's very, very similar to the old Skin-Lock, but with reduced friction and a lot more skin options.

Yes, they are backward-compatible. You can use the X-Skin on older Asnes skis and use the Skin-Lock skins on new skis. The attachment piece on the ski is different. On the left on the picture below is the new X-Skin, and the old Skin-Lock on the right. You won't lose the Asnes logo anymore, as they have completely removed this part, leaving now only two very small holes on the ski. But the real change over the old Skin-Lock is the attachment plate. They changed the old metal plate to a new lower profile plastic one. Not a big thing you will say. I didn’t find the drag very noticeable on the old Skin-Lock, you could barely feel it. But now, comparing both versions side by side, there is a HUGE difference!

Asnes X-Skin versus Skin-Lock.jpg

It’s hard to see on the picture below, as it looks like a quite similar design with different materials. But really, when you just slide your hand on the ski and over the skins, there is a big, substantial improvement. Friction is reduced by a huge amount. Definitely worth the upgrade. (X-Skin on the left, Skin-Lock on the right)

Asnes Skin-Lock vs X-Skin.jpg

The short integrated skins come in 11 different flavors this year: Synthetic (nylon), mohair and "race", all in different sizes and different widths. The 100% nylon ones are made for high durability and excellent grip. Made by Colltex in Switzerland, they are excellent for wet and heavy snow. Their grip factor is really quite impressive. The mohair ones, also made by Colltex, are intended for optimal speed and reduced friction. They will glide better than nylon X-Skins, but provide a bit less traction. And finally, the pink RACE ones are made by Pomoca. They are made of special mohair material and they are really super light, almost half the weight of mohair X-Skins. Optimized for speed and racing, they offer the fastest glide of them all.

On the snow, they glide as they should. The nylons are perfect for climbing and ascents. Their grip is pretty amazing, even for their narrow width. I recommend them if you are mostly touring for turns, when you are climbing most of the time and remove the skins on your way down.

The mohairs are best when you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of grip for better glide. I used them a lot last season and they were my favorite. But that was before they came up with the Race ones. The Race skins are just incredibly cool. They are super light, super fun and also super pink. When you slide on hands on both the Race and the Mohair, the Race ones seem like a joke. They do not seem to grip at all, they are so thin. But on snow, I had a really nice surprise. Here is what I did: I put the Race skin on my left ski and the Mohair one on the other. Yep, that’s funny. But the result was very interesting. Whether it was for climbing or gliding, on tracks or on bottomless fluffy snow, I couldn't feel much traction and grip difference between the two. The mohair offered a slightly, barely noticeable better grip over the Race skin, but really, nothing to justify buying them over the Race ones. But there was a quite noticeable difference over speed. The Race X-Skin offers a better and faster glide than the mohair. It’s not night and day, but you can definitely feel the difference, they are significantly faster. Definitely my favorite flavor... (No, it is not just because they are pink... 8-) )

I highly recommend the Race skins if you’re looking for something to replace wax and keep the skins on the skis most of the time. I only have a few miles on them, but I suspect the durability to be better on the Mohair. Both the skin material and the back coat is so thin on the X-Skin Race… But so fast too…! (I also suspect the price tag to be slightly higher on the X-Skin Race... 8-) )

If you already own some old Skin-Locks, you already know how great they are. Yep, they are a bit expensive, and if you bought some recently, you might not be inclined to replace them with the new X-Skins right now. But I think it’s definitely worth the upgrade, especially if you are using them for kicking, gliding and striding. And if you haven’t tried them yet, it’s the best time to do so with all those new offerings from Asnes. You might never need wax again…

(Click on the picture below to zoom... Notice the different textures...)

Asnes X-Skins.jpg
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
lilcliffy

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1599
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:23 pm

Wicked Johnny...

I want...
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

User avatar
Johnny

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1579
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Quebec / Vermont

Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Postby Johnny » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:55 pm

A little update on the X-Skins...

After a couple of days in different kinds of snow, I have to say that the glide on the Nylon / Synthetic X-Skins is quite terrible (Nothing unexpected here from any nylon skins from any company.) As reported by other forum users in the past, they just do not glide. BUT... Traction on the ascent is really amazing! Even for their narrow width... They are perfect for climbing, but I wouldn't keep them for long periods on the flats even if they are just kickers... But again, the solution is simple, Asnes recommend using their Colltex skin wax for synthetic skins. According to them, it makes a HUGE difference... (We need a skin wax review...) 8-)

Even though the Race X-Skins are my personal favorite, I do use the synthetic ones every time more serious climbing is involved... And I really, really like them a lot... A tool for each job... ;)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

User avatar
bgregoire

Rank: XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Location: Rimouski, Québec

Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Postby bgregoire » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:40 pm

Just rub a candle into the skin, or BD sells one that can be found more easily than Asnes' in NA. It really helps prevent the hairs from matting when exposed to humidity. But if its glide you really need, you have mohair, or much much better: Grip wax!

Happy skiing. We just got our motherload up here today. :mrgreen:
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM


Return to “Community Ski Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest