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

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

Post by lilcliffy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:23 pm

Wicked Johnny...

I want...
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
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Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

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

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

Post by Verskis » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:37 am

Does anybody have experience on both the Åsnes X-Skin Race and the Madshus Intelligrip? Any noticeable difference in grip or glide?
I have the Åsnes 60mm Mohair X-skins but I am a bit disappointed by the lack of glide on them (but the grip is excellent!). I also have the Intelligrip skins that glide much better (as they are narrower) and grip pretty okay. I have not yet modified the tip loop of the the Intelligrips to fit my Åsnes Rabb 68 skis, but I will do that soon.
However, I quite like the X-skin attachment system and would be interested to buy the X-Skin Race skins someday, if they offer similar amount of glide and grip as the Intelligrips. I hope somebody can chime in how they compare to each other!

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

Post by lilcliffy » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:21 pm

I have Skin-Locks/X-Skins in 35mm, 45mm, and 60mm- all mohair. I have been using all three of these skins on both the 62mm Ingstad/Combat Nato and the 68mm Storetind. When the snow and temperature is not easy to grip wax for, I am becoming very pleased that I have this choice. There is VERY significant difference in the performance of all three of these kicker skin widths.
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Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:21 pm

So the plastic housing of the X-Skin attachment is beginning to break down after VERY limited use (I have been on kick wax for 95% of my touring this season so far). This X-Skin was brand new at the beginning of the season:
20190215_173146.jpg
A piece of the plastic has snapped off at the corner.

I was skeptical about the durability of the plastic on the X-Skin from the moment I took them out of the package.

On another note- to be completely honest I really cannot feel any performance advantage of the plastic X-Skin vs. the metal Skin-Lock...(This may be because of the snow I am skiing on?) I also cannot notice a difference in glide between the Easy-Skin and the Skin-Lock (though the Easy-Skin is longer- mounted further forward- and it is a nylon-mohair mix).

Regardless- the X-Skin is not as durable as the Skin-Lock it replaces.
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Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Post by bgregoire » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:29 pm

lilcliffy wrote:Regardless- the X-Skin is not as durable as the Skin-Lock it replaces.
Watch out for rocks! I'm guessing the X-Skin/Skin-Lock friction test needs to be done on heavily wind-blown/packed snow and ice. You have too much fluffy snow in NB! :P
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Re: Asnes New X-Skin System Review (Nylon, Mohair and Race)

Post by Woodserson » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:18 pm

All things considered, seeing that the XSkins went across Antartica in the 2018 "race" I think they are well enough vetted... bring spares.

I've been running my XSkin on frozen granular/frozen sleet surfaces, and by that I mean surfaces that support my weight, but are corrugated ice. If I didn't have an XSkin but was double-poling the ski would leave no trace- those kind of conditions, but soft enough for the protruding XSkin attachment to dig a groove along the surface. My XSkin head attachments are the only indication I have been by, leaving weird telltale grooves in the frozen surface. They are pretty draggy under these conditions too- mechanical drag from the attachment. Scales don't work either. But at least I have grip, and surprisingly the plastic is not scraped up, I don't know how. They must be made of pretty tough plastic.

As I was dragging the XSkin attachment through the ice I though that the Fischer EZSkin would be a better solution here, since there wouldn't be a plastic head to drag. Then I remember LC's photo's of his well used EZ Skins and that tiny skin attachment that was well worn and would be worrisome on a long expedition. The snow down here in NH would chew through that in a heartbeat and a half and then I'd have no skin.

As we say on the sea... "Youze pays your monies and youze takes yer chances."

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

Post by Cannatonic » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:39 pm

of course the snow in Antarctica is bit deeper than where I live - every local ski I've done this winter has been on 4 inches of snow or less. I was not psyched about the new skins either - the metal clips are not only more durable but also a more robust design - the skin portion can be easily replaced by the user, even in the field.

I'm usually disappointed when things made of leather, wool, or metal are replaced by plastic...must be old-school or something :lol: "air channels" in skis, thinner edges, plastic bindings...no thanks!

The old-style skins are still available and being sold as the 45mm Extreme NATO combat skin. There is a single black plastic (!) pin in the back of the skin that can be easily removed for non-NATO skis, and the skin can be replaced with a custom mohair one if you want - it's also cheaper than any of the new Xskins

https://www.sportalbert.de/asnes-nylon- ... 09_p.dpage

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