Skin Cleats-Simple Ski Crampons
Skeats™ skin cleats easily strap to the base of your boards to assist in uphill skinning on steep crusty slopes. They are more than 60% made in the USA; and 100% designed and tested in the Tetons! Simplified split board crampons that fit in your pocket. For back country skiing or mountaineering. Use with skins for increased traction.
"I feel like the most useful tools are always the ones you have with you and I look forward to making the Skeats™ skin cleats a piece of gear that will live in my pack on every outing." --Stephan Bast
Skeats™ Skin Cleats
Skeats™ skin cleats are like cleats for your Split Board or Touring Skis. They are super light, easy to pack, and quickly strap to the base of your skis or boards in seconds. The straps are made of Biothane, which is an extremely durable coated webbing that is water, cold and abrasion resistant. The straps double as board straps and are extremely multi-functional. Available in Delrin Polymer, or Stainless Steel. All plates and parts are easily interchangeable in the field.
Snowboarders & Skiers
Splitboarders love these simplified crampons. They compensate wonderfully for the lack of an inside edge while skinning on slick snow.
As you can see from the picture above, your skin cleats will give you significant extra traction while skinning up the fall-line.
I hope that soon you will be out on the skin track and taking advantage of your extra traction. As you begin to learn the capabilities and limitations of the skin cleats, please keep the following in mind:
1) Fewer switchbacks--The spikes on the cleats give your skins much greater grip and allow you to make skin tracks that do not require nearly as many switch backs. Think of ascending the slope in an elongated and partial S, as opposed to a Z. This should allow you to move more efficiently over slick terrain without side-hilling as much. We have been rounding out our skin tracks to avoid side-hilling and to take a straighter line up the fall line.
2) No extra edge grip--The spikes do not give edge grip the way that ski crampons do. So instead of trying to traverse or side-hill a super steep section, I try to keep my boards flat to the snow at all times to allow the spikes to grip. Sometimes this requires semi-lateral movement with tips pointed up the fall line as much you feel comfortable. DO NOT TRY TO SET YOUR EDGES AND TRAVERSE A STEEP SLOPE. You will not find any extra grip this way. In fact, edging on a steep slope will become more difficult because the plate puts you up 3mm off your edge underfoot.
Not to worry. I found that I quickly adjusted my skinning technique to avoid annoying traverses across steep slick slope. Instead I try to attack the slope more directly and keep my boards as flat as possible to set my spikes in the snow, and NOT my edges.
My ski partner and CAD designer, Cody Finke, puts it this way:
"Whenever I encounter icy terrain, I want to move through it as efficiently as possible because the more steps I take in that type of terrain, the more likely I am to screw up and start sliding. The fewest steps of course would be picking a straight line up the terrain and not making any zig-zags. It is impossible to move safely this way with ski crampons, but Skeats™ skin cleats enable you to do this.
a) because ski crampons bite into snow less when you put your risers up, the steeper the terrain gets, the worse the crampon performs. Therefore, they force me to cut several zig-zags and make dangerous kick turns in icy terrain.
b) with ski crampons, the blades are all parallel to the direction of travel, they really only provide extra grip while traversing. Again, I do not want to make long traversing zig-zags through icy terrain, I want to get out of it. "
Below: Assembling a Skeats™ brand Skin-cleat. All components are interchangeable in the field!