I used and loved purple Ascension skins for many years. When they were bought out by Black Diamond a few years back, I stayed loyal, but I didn’t appreciate the changes. My yellow Ascension/Black Diamond skins gripped like the proverbial shit to a blanket, but the poor glide was unacceptable – they made striding inefficient, and short downhills extremely awkward. they were bulky, the cable tip attachment system wore out rapidly, and even the storage bag provided was too small. I needed new skins. I’d had a bad experience with G3’s first generation skins (they hadn’t dialed their glue recipe) but I’d been hearing good things about their Alpinist skins, so gave them a try.
I bought straight 100mm skins, which provide more than adequate coverage on my 102mm waisted K2 Coombas. After trying trimmed skins, I find straight skins are much easier to fold, and less prone to glue contamination. Being unadjustable at the tip, the skins were purchased in a fixed length, which seems to work well on my skis. I’ve long been an advocate of the rat-tail (sewn-on webbing and bungy cord) but the proprietary tail attachment system on these skins is simple and effective. I have concerns about the durability of the elastic material, but only time will tell. I think the the large scalloped tail notch on my K2 Coombas helps keep the skins securely in place, and the only time I’ve had the tails come off was when kicking my tails into well consolidated snow (when pulling the ski tail out of such snow the elastic tail can be pried off). The two clips which attach the tip of the skins look pretty distinctive, high tech, and low profile. They’ve worked flawlessly thus far, and I hope they prove durable. The skins grip as well as necessary, and glide beautifully. I now look forward to short downhills, where I can pick up a bit of speed and sometimes even throw in a turn or two. The glue sticks well in all the conditions I’ve encountered, is reasonably easy to pull apart (a non-stick strip down the center may be helping), and appears to be in as-new condition after about 20 days on snow. The skins pack small, and come with a stuff sack that is light-weight, easily accommodates the skins, and opens without issue. G3 seem to have paid attention to all the details, and I’m totally stoked with my new skins.