HOW TO: Cut ski climbing skins

Ski touring becomes more and more popular. And as in many sports the right equipment decides about fun or sorrow. Compared to alpine skiing, ski touring has one more essential piece of equipment – the climbing skin. A friend which will help you concquer various acents. There are many different kinds of climbing skins so it doesn’t matter if you choose groomed slopes, fluffly backcountry snow or steep and icy alpine trails. If you would like to know more about different types of climbing skins visit our → Ski touring equipment guide.


First you should decide what kind of climbing skin you want to use. You can choose between trim to fit skins or precut skins.

We also offer a free service to tailor skins for your ski touring ski. But if you prefer to cut them by yourself, you’ll find out how it works here in this article. It may sound more complicated than it really is. With the help of our ski experts and the knowledge from our ski workshop, we will explain how to make the perfect cut for your skins. A well cut climbing skin will support you and your skis in more complicated ski-touring climbs, in the moment you really need it.




If you purchase the ‘trim to fit’ skins, there are two options:

1. you need to adjust your skins on both dimensions – width and length, or 2. you get yourself a skin with fixed length and only need to trim the width.

For the second option you have to first find out which length of the skin you need. Easy thing – in each product description of a climbing skin you can find the scale. For example 162cm long  BLACK DIAMOND Glidelite Mix Custom 125mm Climbing Skins can be paired with skis which are 155 cm – 162 cm long. To get the seletion of trim to fit skins just use the filter in our Webshop and browse through skins from brands such as: Black Diamond, Colltex, G3, K2, Kohla, Pomoca, Contour or Völkl.



Find the full range of our trim to fit skins here


How to trim the width of climbing skins?

You need the edges of your skis to be exposed to work with surface once you venture out on a new tour. At the same time you want the largest possible surface of your skin, so you have as much traction as possible going uphill. That means – your skins should be precisely cut acording to the width of your skis minus the width of your edges. That can be sometimes tricky, because the thickness or your edges might vary by +/- 1mm depending on the type of your ski and the manufacturer. Therefore some trimmers which are offseting the skin atomatically might not be so optimal for skis with very thin or very thick edges. Our cutting-edge pros prefer to use the good old utility (Stanley) knife, which is hiding in the toolbox of pretty much anyone. Skins from Black Diamond, G3 or K2 come with custom cutting tools, but Kohla delivers its skins with our favourite old-school utility knife.

Step 1: Make sure that your skins have the right lenght before starting with the actuall cutting. Unwrap them and stick them on your skis. Apply the skin on the bottom surface of your skis, so it’s nice and centralized with the same overhang on both sides.

Step 2: Take your knife/cutter/trimmer and trim both sides of the skin. Lead your knife tight on the edge of the ski from top to bottom until the whole skin has the same width as your ski.

Step 3: Replace your skin so it’s off-centre by the double of your ski edge. Could be approx. 2 mm, depending on the thickness of your edges.

Step 4: Cut off the overhang on one side of your skin. Replace your skin back to the centre of your ski and make sure both of your skis edges are showing.


If you purchased skins which need to be fitted to the length of your skis you can watch following videos. There you will get the perfect explanation on how to trim the tip and the tail of your climbing skin.


Kohla Tirol Multiclip System adjustment:




Splitboard climbing skins:





Some producers created such ski-touring models which are widely used amongst the majority of ski toures, for those models you can purchase pre-cut skins which don’t need to by adjusted at all. Just unwrap them and you are good to go. You can usually recognize these skins by the name, the product name is identical with the ski model. Or you can filter the category trim-to-fit and check the box ‘No’ in our Sport Conrad Webshop, where you can find a large variey of skins from brands such as Dynafit, K2, Kohla, Movement, Scott, Black Crows, Atomic, Trab, Jones Snowboards or Völkl.



Shop pre-cut skins here


If you would like to know more about ski touring and its equipment follow this blog post: 

→ How to find the right ski goggle: Lenses, sizes & fit guide

How to choose the right Avalanche-Safety Equipment

→ Services: Boot Fitting