2018 G3 Universal Splitboard Skins + Awesome Upgrade for Backcountry Snowboarding
G3 has been hard at work refining their Splitboard skins and it truly shows in the 2018-2019 versions. They listen to us splitboarders and have some revolutionary upgrades. How would the glue hold up? What’s up with the funky tail clips? Mohair? Did someone say mohair?! Yes, all these questions will be addressed in this review. Read on to find out what the low down is!
G3 has been making skins for skis and splitboards for a long time. They tend to offer much more to skiers, as do most skin manufacturers. It often seems that us splitboarders are almost an afterthought when it comes to skins. Lucky to get one or two options of skins from each manufacturer. Often leaving a lot to be desired. Personally, I have used the last 3 generations of G3 skins over the last several years. There were some good points about them, and they’re certainly were some negatives (glue!).
Previously, G3 has offered two options – regular and high traction. Having used both, they both seem to grip well, glide decently and last a full season (or longer if you take care of them). The older models had pretty easy to use tip and tail clips. However, the glues were suspect. You will hear all kinds of sob stories of glue sticking to boards or coming off the skins. G3 addressed that with newer glue but then opted for bigger and bulkier tail clips. It was a love/hate relationship with these. Plus, they would often have too much of the tail strap hanging off the back of your splitboard. So those are some of the gripes and opportunities from previous generations.
Let’s delve into the new line up.
G3 listened to us and I feel like they really came through with the new skin line up. They still have the two nylon skin options – Universal and Grip. They also offer a mohair mix version – Glide. Personally, I really like mohair skins, so I am very interested to try those out next. This review will focus on the Universal skins. As this is probably the skin the vast majority of splitboarders will choose.
New Camming Tail Clip. What does that mean?
G3 got rid of the bulky metal tail clip (thank goodness) and instead offers a lightweight, pliable clip that also functions as a “cam” and goes back over the tail of the board and rests nicely on the top sheet of the board. This is very helpful for several reasons:
1) it is easy to line up
2) It securely locks the skin onto the board
3) It keeps the “tail” from dragging behind you
The last perk is a big one. Keeping the skin tail from flopping around could help save it from wear and tear, catching on things and just looking silly. The cam functions very well and kept the skins locked onto the board with ease. I really appreciated the streamlined look and feel of this setup. The only caveat is that it was not as intuitive as other systems and might be a bit challenging in the cold parking lot if you are swapping out boards. I am not sure how many swap out boards; that might be a personal issue as I am constantly testing out different size boards. First world problem for me I suppose. So, if the skins are for you and your board only, you will be golden once it is set up. Otherwise, you’ll have to get used to adjusting length – it’s not too hard.
(Ed. Note – Welcome to the camming clip club, splitboarders! Us skiers are happy to have you join us.)
More features to make your touring experience better
Another nice feature is the removable “Rip Strip” to keep peeling the skins off your board easier. They have had this in previous generations and it seems to help keep your shoulder attached to your body when ripping skins. They also redid their sizing (thank goodness!) offer more overlap than before. There is still only two sizes – S/M (144-162cm) and M/L (154-172cm). The new glue is also rated to -22F (-30C for the rest of the world).
see our review on the G3 Glide Splitboard skins
Asymmetrical Tip Clip and Pre-Cut Straight Edges
The asymmetrical tip clips make it easy to line up on your board. I used the skins on pointy pow boards and regular nose boards without issue. The pre-cut straight edges make set up a breeze. These are definitely the easiest to set up skins I have used. Just place the skin on the board, line up the pre-cut inner edge and cut the outer edge. You should be able to do this in one pass for each skin. So easy, even a snowboarder could do it!
This is always a big deal for me. I think we can all agree that we can do more to protect our planet. It is very nice to see outdoor brands do their best to do the same. Case in point – the new glue is non-toxic, the waterproofing is PFOA free and these are made in Canada. Less carbon footprint for travel to the consumer.
Final thoughts on G3 Universal Splitboard Skins
I feel that the G3 Splitboard + line up is the best versions from G3 yet. After weeks of use in super cold temps to windblown crud to warm tours – they skins have impressed me. The ability to set it and forget it with the new camming tail clips, the ease of set up, the environmentally friendly materials and the addition of mohair mix is truly awesome. I can not comment on glue issues after years of use and abuse, but I have a feeling these will be better than previous generations. I don’t think you could go wrong with the G3 Splitboard + skin. Thank you G3 for improving on all fronts! MSRP $189