Contour Hybrid skins ski test is a 10/10: great skins, good value

snow action team 25.07.2019

Contour Hybrid skins are an ideal tool to help you discover more great skiing beyond the confines of the resorts. Steve Crazy’ Leeder gave them a serious on snow workout to file this test report.

Skiing up the Ramshead Range using Contour Hybrid skins
How far you want to go is up to you with easy-on Contour Hybrid skins © Don Fuchs

The terrain in the Australian back country is awesome, you just gotta get your self out there. The Main Range is Australia’s highest, and the mecca for backcountry skiers for 80 years.

Working in a back country shop with a tonne of hire gear has given me a chance to try out a lot of gear and find things that either really work or really don’t work. Last season we got in a couple pair of Skins to test from a small family-run businessbased in Innsbruck, Austria.  It was getting late in the season but I figured perfect timing to get out and test.  Any skin works on good snow, but what about the wet slushy spring stuff that Aus seems to have more than just in spring.  I dug out my big boards and proceeded to trim these new skins up. Great tip fittings and a simple & light tail fitting.

Skins test report

The ones I got to test were the Contour Hybrid skins, a mix of plush mohair meant to give maximum durability with good glide performance. Their special “hybrid adhesive technology” makes them easy to use, plus they boast a super reliable glue. The Hybrid adhesive technology is made up of two different layers of glue different to hot melt glues, one layer stuck to the actual skin material and the second sticking to the ski.  The idea is to have a skin that will stick AND pull off the ski base easily, but be strong enough to stay on the skin for a long time.  It all sounds good on paper but lets get on the snow.

Close up view of Contour Hybrid skins during use
Skins on up you go © Don Fuchs

The morning snow was chalky and cold, so easy to get going on, and we had good grip going up. I’ve got a 106MM underfoot ski so I like to go straight up stuff and the skin was gripping really well.

Glide was good as well on the flats and even those little skin descents were actually pretty easy. I didn’t go over the tips once. Pulling the skin off at the top was pretty fun cause the wind was blowing insane. Normally this is when I get hell frustrated, skins blowing everywhere and sticking to themselves in the most awkward ways. This still happened, they aren’t magical, but pulling them back apart was like no other skin so I could put the skins together exactly how I wanted them to be.

The next couple of laps the snow was getting real slushy. It was warm and wet. Getting to the top I was expecting a soaking mess but it wasn’t real wet at all. We had pulled up at this really fun natural hit for a session and I laid my Contour Hybrid skins in the sun for a little dry time and after a few jumps they were dry. STOKED!

The Aussie spring throws everything at you. It’s quite amazing how much snow builds up at places like the Kosci cornice © Don Fuchs

Three days of touring in the Aussie spring snow meant snow, rock grass and dirt. When I got back home the skin was still looking pretty new except for that one spot where the wind had whipped a section onto a rock and had it covered in lichen. Normally I can’t deal and just hang them up to dry and think about it next time. I was told by the rep when I got the skin that IF I got them really dirty I could use soapy hot water to clean anything off them. Sounded not right, but that’s what he said so if it didn’t work and the skins were stuffed it’s his fault. Guess what? Skins still sticky and working like new and its all shiny and clean again.

Glues not being affected by moisture in Australia is a huge thing!

Contour Hybrid skins on snow test summary

Overall I think I’ve found a perfect skin for Australia, that obviously will work anywhere else in the world. With 40 years of experience they also make skins for a number of ski companies like Black Crow, Kastle, Atomic and others. The Contour Hybrid skis are definitely going to be a skin I will suggest to replace some of our old hire skins, and will be the go to skin for clients on back country guided trips.

Bonus points for the skin bag with absorbent towel inside the bag.

They are easy to use, and easy to maintain. GOOD WORK CONTOUR! SnowAction Test Score – 10/10

Where to demo/where to buy Contour Hybrid skins?

The all things back and side country snow experts at Wilderness Sports in Nuggets Crossing, and in season from their Perisher branch store inside the National Parks building there next to Skitube, have a range to cover most ski lengths and sizes.

More at Wildernesssports.com.au

Steve enjoys a slushy slash out in the Aussie backcountry © Don Fuchs