By Tahoe Mountain Sports Ambassador Chris Cloyd.
Field Testing G3 Skins
The G3 Splitboard+ Grip skin is G3’s (Genuine Guide Gear) latest update to their splitboard skin series, and is a big improvement over their most recent model. The issues with the predecessors are well documented in the alpine touring world: the tail clips were finicky, the fatal warehouse storage glue failure flaw, and the weight (aren’t we walking uphill all day?). The new Splitboard+ Grip addresses all of these issues, with updated tail clips including a camping tail connector, a totally different glue base (a non-toxic adhesive native to G3), and different sizing options that offer most splitboarders a big weight savings with the S/M skins. Trust me, you’ll notice the difference. The classic G3 “oh shit” strip is a welcome luxury and will help you get out of the woods without pine boughs and 3 ski straps strapped to your skis.
Call me crazy, but I’ve always cared more about how my splitboard bindings and boots perform on the way down and always cared more about how my board/skis and skins perform on the way up. Given the amount of time spent in the skintrack on tours, skin performance is a HUGE deal to me. The Splitboard+ Grip skins are spectacular at increasing traction and helping mitigate icy skintracks and aggressive angles set by your telemarking buddies.
The camming tailclip is something I’ve personally never seen in splitboard skins, and it’s extremely user friendly and effective. In a couple dozen tours on these skins I haven’t had a single tail clip failure and have had very minimal snow creep underfoot. The tail clip (coupled with ideal edging made possible by G3s “included with your skins” trimming tool) keeps things tight and compact on your skis and keeps the snow below your skin, not in between the skin and your ski base.
The weight of the updated skins is improved immensely by the shorter carpet length, supported by G3s research that most of your traction is created under the binding. Extending the skin much behind that seems to just add weight and help invite snow creep. I’ve noticed personally that the new skins do indeed limit snow creep and I sure haven’t had traction issues with the Grip skins. Even if I did, the weight savings are so welcome that I’d feel good about it, but being able to not sacrifice performance and save weight is a no brainer.
Splitboard+ Grip weight
S/M (144 – 162 cm) – 346 g / 12.2 oz
M/L (154 – 172 cm) – 380 g / 13.4 oz
I’ve always enjoyed G3 skins but the fatal glue error that has caused a ton of trouble for a lot of touring partners kept me off. The new update seems to have totally resolved this problem, leaving a high performance skin that does everything you ask it on the way up and stores small and light in your bag on the way down.
The Bottom Line
Improve your skintrack experience and upgrade your skins with the new G3 Splitboard+ Grip skins! You’ll have plenty of time to pat yourself on the back for investing in your touring game while you wait up top for your partners…
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