We have been using the G3 Alpinist and High Traction Splitboard skins for the last few years and had great results. Sean tends to favor the high traction version, for its slightly better climbing abilities (maybe 15% better).
(G3 provided a set of the Alpinist Splitboard Skins to us to test. We didn’t pay for them and we sent them back when we were done. G3 didn’t ask us to say anything specific about them. All of the opinions are ours. You can stop by our Gear Search tool to find the best prices on G3 Splitboard Skins)
New for the 2015/2016 season, G3 offers us the revised Alpinist Splitboard skin. G3’s skins use a new PFOA-free durable, hydrophobic waterproof treatment that keeps the skins dry and prevents ice clumping while touring through multiple temperature zones. G3’s proprietary tried and true non-toxic adhesive does not use or produce any toxic or environmentally harmful ingredients during the manufacturing process. Plus, it is fully functional down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
G3’s new, patented, low-profile splitboard tail attachments now offer 16 cm of length adjustability which allows you to use the same set of skins on multiple board lengths. The new adjustability means G3 only offers the splitboard skins in small and large.
G3’s redesigned asymmetrical tip and tail connectors perfectly fit the asymmetric shape of the two pieces of a splitboard reducing both extra material and an exposed base. The tail connectors are more robust and really lock the tail down. They can be hard to put on at first, as they have major tension and contact points on the inside and outside edges.
G3 now packages the skins in a new “wallet” style bag as apposed to the regular red bag that we have come to know. G3’s excellent skin cutting device comes with every pair. The skins themselves come pre-cut on the inside (straight) edge so all you need to do is line up the outside edge and give it one, nice cut and you are good to go.
On the bottom of the skin there is a non-sticky, removable “Rip Strip” of material in the middle of the skin – to help with ripping the skins off. We had no problem with the skin coming loose in several different kinds of snow. Plus we were able to pull the skins off easier than any other skin we have used. That’s good for you shoulders! If you get your glue contaminated in the field, you can remove the Rip Strip to expose a fresh glue patch to keep your skins useable.
G3 was kind enough to lend us a brand new set of the upcoming Splitboard skins to try out. As far as capability goes, the skins performed very well. We were able to do side by side comparison with G3 Alpinist, G3 Alpinist LT (new for next year and covered in separate review) and the old (purple) Black Diamond Ascensions. We tested them on several kinds of snow as well as different angles. We topped out at 24 degrees before slipping backwards.
We plan to do some “scientific” testing to compare the traction of the regular Alpinists to the High Tractions and LTs. Keep your eyes peeled!