Posted on August 29 2018
After a year of testing, a review of Pomoca's Glueless TIPON Skin
We at Cripple Creek have always loved Pomoca skins because of the lack of glue residue they leave on the base of your ski; so it’s no wonder we were immediately intrigued by their glueless offering. After a year of extensive testing, we have concluded that the Pomoca TIPON might very well usher in a new generation of skins. While it does have a few issues to iron out, as any first generation product does, the benefits of the silicon are clear. Pomoca’s TIPON technology sheds 15% of its weight and saves 40% of its volume and makes transitioning an absolute breeze.
Prime conditions on the skintrack for the Pomoca TIPON
The TIPON plush is a 70% mohair/ 30% nylon mix and feels similar to their 2.0 offering. No matter the manufacturer, we have found that 70/30 mix to have the best combination of grip and glide for recreational skinning. Pomoca also treats this plush with a glide treatment that is designed to increase performance. After spending a full season on this skin I have found that the plush performance is more than adequate for the majority of conditions faced on the skintrack. The only time I felt I needed more grip, such as a full nylon skin or something like Pomoca’s Pro S-Glide, were during those refrozen spring mornings where you wonder if the snow is ever going to soften up. So other than rock hard snow, this skin got the job done.
70% Mohair, 30% Nylon (notice durability issue on edge of plush)
Connection to Ski
Glue (or Lack Thereof)
For all you chemists out there, the Pomoca Tipon technology is based on polysiloxanes. They use two types of induction, both an adhesive and a membrane bonded directly to the fabric of the skins. For all you non-chemists out there, manufacturers have realized that the majority of the ski-skin connection is from the weight of the skier, and so there isn’t a need for super sticky glue to keep a skin attached. So despite the silicon not being as sticky as a glue, my skins failed maybe once or twice more over the course of the season- a small price to pay in my opinion. Even when they did fail, it was a simple matter of removing excess snow and then re-attaching. The tension from the tip/tail attachments along with weighting the camber of the ski, results in a strong connection to keep this ‘glueless’ skin ‘glued to the base of your ski.
Silicon base = machine washable!
The TIPON comes with Pomoca’s standard, already attached, tip + tail attachments. To cut the skin to size, simply find the appropriate length skin, adjust the tension to your ski, and then trim with Pomoca’s useful skin cutter. Because the skin is thinner and the silicon less sticky than glue, the trimming process is a breeze. The tip and tail attachments are simple to use, and work on virtually all ski widths. However, if you do have an exceptionally wide or oddly shaped ski, Pomoca offers wider tip attachments. So far my only issue with the attachments has been the durability of the tail. More on that below.
Tip attachment (left); Tail attachment (right)
So far, the biggest downside to this skin is the durability of both the plush + tail attachments. The silicon base itself has held up well enough and is easy to keep clean and debris free thanks to the fact that these skins are completely machine washable. However, after some good use the plush started ‘unravel’ from the edge of the skin (see picture above). While it doesn’t greatly detriment the skins performance, it does make the skin look ratty and I suspect will shorten its lifespan in the long term. The other durability issue is with the skins tail attachment. This is a problem, albeit minor, across the board for Pomoca. The tail piece, being completely plastic is subject to cracking. My solution has been simply to handle with care and this problem should be avoided.
The TIPON is awesome, plain and simple. The weight reduction is noticeable on your feet and when it comes time to stow them away in your pack or on your person, the dexterity and reduced volume of the skins makes storage a breeze. When transitioning at the top of an exposed line or when you just want to be faster than your friend, the lack of glue makes removing the skin effortless, and your transitions much faster. In terms of performance, they aren’t at the level of a full nylon, but the difference is negligible in my opinion. What they lack (slightly) in performance and durability, they more than make up for in weight, ease of use, and volume. Not to mention they are machine washable!
*photos used in cover slide taken from Pomoca's website*