Sounds catchy…eh? I’ve been thinking about starting a skin re-gluing business. I have done it for a bunch of years at the store (and had pretty good results), but we stopped offering the service a couple years ago and I think it’s pretty hard to find anyone who provides it anymore…in any state. I thought it might be a good opportunity to help people out, make a few extra bucks and fry some brain cells at the same time. 🙂
Dog hair, pine needles, kick wax and even paint on the glue
can make regluing climbing skins a nasty job.
The thing about regluing climbing skins it that it is a messy job, potentially toxic and can be rather time consuming. I’ve been trying to figure out how much the service would be worth to someone and at the same time, be worth my time and effort. For now, I think the price for a skin reglue would be around $80-100/pair…including ground shipping back to the customer. We used to charge $50-75 at the shop to reglue a pair of skins a few years ago…but that didn’t include any shipping charges…AND was back in the day when skins were rarely over 80mm wide and didn’t have those non-stick nylon strips running down the middle of the skins which can really complicate things when regluing. Skin repairs like replacing rivets and tips and tail assemblies would be additional charges.
Near finished product using Black Diamond Glue Renew Sheets.
There are two options for materials, Black Diamond Gold Label which cost $15 a can or Black Diamond Glue Renew Sheets at $30 for two sheets. Each skin reglue job would most likely use two Glue Transfer Sheets or one full can of Gold Label. I figure shipping and handling would be worth $10-20. There is no home mail delivery here in Jackson, so going to the post office to pick-up and mail the skins back to the customer could eat up a bit of time. Jacksonites can attest to this. UPS could be an option since they make home shipments. Depending on the regluing method used it would take between 1-2 hours of labor to get the job done. At a minimum ski-bum rate of $20/hour…you can see how things add up.
Anyway, I’m thinking about pulling the trigger on this venture this summer and was wondering if you all think you would ever use the service and if you would pay $80-100 for it? Bear in mind that new climbing skins cost anywhere from $120-$190 these days (and I’m sure they will get more expensive next year), depending on width and quality of the skin. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
I don’t know Steve. While you state new climbing skins cost between $120-$190 these days, if you are a careful shopper and look around, you can usually get them on sale for around $100. So hard to justify regluing skins for $80-$100 when you could potentially just replace them for near the same price.
I don’t know, maybe I have been lucky purchasing skins for good deals.
reduce, reuse, recycle…
I have several pair of skins that need a reglue. I’d pay up to $50 to have someone do it for me, otherwise, I’d save the money and enjoy the fumes myself. (I already bought the jar of gold label but am not exactly looking forward to the project.) $80-$100 seems a bit high, no pun intended 🙂
If I didn’t have to pick them up and then ship them back…$50 might be doable…for skins w/o those that nylon strip down the middle. Not much room for profit though.
I like your style but I don’t think it’s worth $80. Besides glue, skins start to ball up as they get older so it’s not just the glue. My last pair of skins got 8 years 25-50 days a year with just a bit of skin glue slopped on the last few years. Of course they were Ascension skins and my new G3’s are losing glue after a year…
Not sure what you mean by “ball up”. Most people say skins only get better with age…meaning more glide and more pliable. I tend to agree. But I guess I could see what you mean if a pair of skins is SO worn down that the fabric is fraying…making it “ball up”. Most people that aren’t meticulous about their gear would probably contaminate their skins much quicker than others.
But it also sounds like there is a market for fixing other companies skins as well. I don’t know why people even bother with the other brands. Ascension all the way!
Now that I think about it, I think the final year we did them at the shop, we charged $75. A few people mailed them in from out of state. Add marketing on the internet and it just seems like a money maker. No? 😕
BD’s glue renew tranfer sheets are slick. I reglued two of my skins this Spring and it was a piece of cake. Well, after I figured out how to remove the glue with a modified hot scraper (paint scraper heated with a solder torch). I took the waste glue from the first skin reglue and worked it into the smaller set of skins with the tranfer sheets. However, I’ve become more frugal in the new economy and would have likely paid for this service or purchased new skins in the past. I hope that helps with your decision. Cheers.
Minimum ski bum rate is $20/hr ($40,000 per year)? I can see why JH is so expensive.
The true ski bum rate would be $20 and a five-pack to reglue skins. It really should be a six-pack, but its a long, thirsty road to your house, and a person has to stay hydrated you know…
If I was working 40 hours a week and making $40,000 a year regluing climbing skins I think my head would explode…or I’d hire a true ski bum, pay them squat…but let them live in my garage for free.
If Steve decides not to go into this line of business, Sierra Ski and Cycle Works (530 541 7505) will reglue skins. With me providing goldlabel glue, and drop off and pick up costs me about $40 dollars. Call them to find out how much the service would cost with mail and glue costs included. I do have to wait a month or two for them to find the time to do it.
In the past, I have had better luck with Goldlabel than the Gluerenew sheets, which are much trickier to apply. Once reglued with goldlabel, it has lasted at least a few years.
Sorry Steve, didn’t mean to take business away from you, but since you aren’t doing the reglue service currently, someone might need it done sooner.
No worries Tony. If I decide to pull the trigger on this…I’ll just delete your post. 🙂
I got a pair sitting right here waiting to ship off to you. How much would you charge if they’re arleady stripped and cleaned pefectly…just waiting to be glued? Seems like I have already done the manual labor but an lacking the true skill to get a good reglue. Any idea?
I doubt it would be worth your time Steve. No matter how good you are at skin reglues, it is really hard to produce a finished product that is as nice as the factory glue. If you charged 80 bucks, people would be expecting their skins to look brand new, and they might be disappointed and angry if the reglue didn’t come out perfect. I have done many of these as a ski tech- what a nasty, toxic, pain in the ass. I would rather work some shit job than do skin reglues for a living. Well, good luck, and remember to wear your respirator!
The main problem I would have with paying anything above about $50 is that new skis inevitably come with some new gadget, like a better tip/tail attachment system, edges not cut up, etc. Hard to see paying $80 when new is at most 50% more. I would *definitely* pay $50 or even $60 though.
Rando, your cost accouting is rigth on. It takes me at least an hour just to remove the old glue. (granted, I can be ocd – every last spec is removed before applying the new stuff). BC skiing ain’t no charity, got to make a living, so yeah, the price is reasonable. In comparison a mechanic would charge 3 times your rate just to change wiper blades.
Have you had any problems with the current Gold Label (the canned stuff)? Seems like it breaks down much more quickly than earlier vintages. Like, after only about 10 days it is sticking to my bases, gloves, hands. Off-duty they’re stored in the freezer (the wife whines about it too!) so heat can’t be the problem, but maybe freezer humidity? Thoughts?
I’m changing my tune of the freezer aspect of storing skins. I prefer just a cool dry place now.
What do you think Rando?
Is it worth it to get the new Black Diamond Mohair/Nylon mix skins??
I think if you like glide, then they will be worth it Wilf. I know I am looking forward to trying out the new split skins…maybe with some new Justices!
“those non-stick nylon strips running down the middle of the skins”
On BD skins those are removable — peel off the strip to reveal pristine glue.
While they are removable, the nylon strips are still a challenge to deal with when you are regluing skins…assuming they are going to be reinstalled after the job.
I have some skins without the glueless strips that I’d pay you $50 or so to reglue (i’d have them dropped off to you and then picked up). If you’re interested email me, but I’d need to know ASAP in order to get them dropped off.