Contour isn’t a new climbing skin company, but they’re sort of new to the US. Contour splitboard skins are a great mix of 70% mohair and 30% nylon – therefore they can handle a lot of different terrain and offer nice amounts of glide, pliability, and other benefits. The pile is lengthy and grips to the snow nicely. What we really liked was the pliability and the light-weightedness of the skins. the 70% mohair really shines on the glide. We have not had issues with grip on tours, even though these are not as high of pile as some other synthetic skins.
When we received the skins, we were quite confused on how to use them. The instructions are originally in Austrian, then roughly translated to English. Even with the translation, it is very confusing on how to actually operate the skins. We found that you lay the skins on the board, trim to fit the width then align the tailpiece. After that, you link the tail clip back on and actually lay the skin from back to front and adjust the velcro nose clip to make the final adjustment. See the video and pics for more detail. It is hard to explain.
If you get the skins set up correctly, and you are on the skin track in the backcountry, you will be rewarded with a smooth gliding skin with good traction on the ascent up. The skins are remarkably easy to get off and they roll up easily as well. Worth noting – once you cut these skins and mount the tip and tailpiece, you are kind of stuck with a one size skin. There is not much in the way of adjusting the skins. These are not like other skins in that regard. Fine if you plan on running just one board, or having only one skin per board. If you need a skin that can accommodate several board sizes, then these are not for you. If you plan on having a specific skin for a specific board, then these could be for you.
We were concerned at first that the tip has velcro to attach the nose clip to the skin, but it has not caused any issues yet, after 10 tours on them. We have not used them on extended tours or hut trips yet, but we have several back to back days of use with no issues. The glue is sticky enough to adhere to the board but not so sticky that you tear your arm out of the socket to separate the skins. All in all we are impressed with the Contour skin. Just keep in mind that it is not very adjustable – so if you are intending on using this as your only skin for several different sized boards, you will be out of luck. They’re also almost impossible to find right now, but we’ll keep looking for the best place to buy them and update you when we can. MSRP $200