When new, Contour Hybrid ski touring climbing skins are not the stickiest skins we’ve used. Other more aggressive glues might still be better in extreme conditions (e.g, re-application in a rain storm, below zero F temps, those sorts of things). But the Hybrids are easy to handle, and with good skin hygiene they worked fine in our normal Colorado conditions. That is until recently, when they quit sticking as well as we’d like. I just figured this was the usual we’d been dealing with for decades. Meaning perhaps time for new skins, or an inconvenient re-glue.
I was wrong.
Lucky for me, Contour owner Werner chimed in here with a blog comment and reminded me to clean the pesky things, as his special Hybrid glue is indeed cleanable with his special spray can of magic (said to be nothing more than normal wax cleaner, but hey, I’d rather use his recommended product).
A-B test is easy. We installed one renewed skin and one we didn’t touch. Cleaning appears to have worked — with impressive results. We’ll torture test and report back here. In the interim, Werner claims that cleaning restores nearly new condition to the stickum. I’d agree, “nearly new.” Meaning if you’ve found the forgiving nature of Contour Hybrid to be to your liking, but you’ve noticed a reduction in tack, clean them.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.