Review: Black Diamond STS Ascension Skins

I have used Black Diamond STS Ascension skins for many years on multiple splitboard setups. In my opinion the nylon fiber and glue longevity are the best out there. The type of skin you choose will greatly depend on terrain, conditions, and other factors. For Colorado snowpack, and the varying conditions and temperatures I have settled on the Black Diamond skins. Black Diamond has been making high quality mountaineering equipment since 1989, and they certainly have the skin technology dialed in. The versatility of the adjustable tip loop and STS tail system make it easily adaptable for splitboards and virtually any ski.

Black Diamond STS Ascension Skins

Black Diamond STS Ascension Skins

    • Durable printed plush material provides benchmark climbing for steep slopes with improved glide
    • Patented STS adjustable tails provide 10 cm of length adjustment
    • Adjustable tip attachment to fit a wide range of ski-tip shapes from 80mm  to 105mm
    • Available in 15 mm width increments from 65 to 140 mm
    • Easily adjusts to different skis in your quiver, but also allows for one-and-done tensioning for fast transitions
    • Tenacious glue effectively sticks to your skis in all temperatures
    • Tip design eliminates the traditional fold-over section at the front of the skin, thereby reducing weight and bulk
    • Maximum length of the skin is 200cm

Black Diamond STS Ascension Skins

Made in USA.

Whether you’re skinning through the darkness on a pre-work dawn patrol or changing over for your fifth uphill slog of the day, the Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS Skins provide benchmark grip and climbing performance-now with improved glide thanks to their redesigned printed plush material. The patented STS tail system provides up to 10cm of adjustability and our adjustable tip attachment fits a wide range of ski and splitboard tips.

  • Same grip, better slip! Redesigned plush offers better glide while maintaining unequaled uphill grip
  • Versatile and ideal for every splitboard and ski with a wide range of tip / tail shapes
  • Features a one-touch, easy-to-tension camming tailpiece with a tough, stretchy elastomer strap that provides 10 cm of length adjustment for use with multiple splitboards or skis
  • Patented STS adjustable tails are now 20% stronger
  • Ascension climbing skins feature durable, hydrophobic construction and offer tremendous durability and climbing security
  • Adhesive Glue: Black Diamond includes Gold Label Adhesive with a taffeta center strip on the skins for easier separation from ski.
  • Super durable plush nylon skin tread for great traction on even the steepest pitches
  • Adjustable tip loop attachment while the tail uses patented STS adjustable strap with stainless steel metal clip
  • Lifetime warranty
Weight Per Pair : 751 g (1 lb 10 oz)
weight spec represents a pair of untrimmed skins

Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS climbing skins include detailed instructions, tip loop, tail clip, skin trimming tool, Cheat Sheet mesh storage sheets and a nylon storage bag

Black Diamond Ascension STS Climbing Skins feature a redesigned printed plush material that improves glide for better efficiency but maintains the exceptional uphill grip. The convenient adjustable tip loop fits a wide range of splitboard and ski profiles, while the adjustable tail offers 10mm of adjustment enabling usage on multiple boards in your quiver. Black Diamond’s outstanding Gold Label adhesive works in high and low temperatures. The Black Diamond Ascension STS skins have a center taffeta strip which makes skin removal and storage easier. Some will remove the taffeta strip after a few seasons to get more life from the glue.

For splitboards

Black Diamond STS Skins on splitboard
Black Diamond STS Skins on splitboard

The 140mm wide skins are best for a splitboard application. You will want the entire waist (under foot of the touring binding) of PE) is a Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) polyethylene" class="glossaryLink " target="_blank">polyethylene covered except for roughly 2mm of the metal edges. You can get by with narrower skins, however, you will notice the difference if you have base exposed, especially while traversing.

For AT skis

Black Diamond STS Skins on AT skis
Black Diamond STS Skins on AT skis

Simply determine the width of your ski (in millimeters), measuring the widest point at the top of your skis. Then measure the ski width at the waist (center under foot) of the ski. You will want a skin width close to the tip width, but more than the waist width. Next, select the climbing skins width that is closest to this width. Black Diamond skins are sized in 15mm wide increments starting at 85mm up to 140mm.

The Black Diamond nylon skin provide more grip and less slip than tradition mohair skins. With a splitboard or powder skis you will find you can climb steep angle terrain without the use of the optional crampons. I have several sets of Black Diamond skins that are well in to fifth season without re-gluing or replacement. If you treat your skins right, and dry them after each use they will last a very long time.

More information can be found at Black Diamond
Retail price: $149.95 – $169.95 (85mm-140mm)

Tips for Skins
  • Keep your board or skis waxed
  • Always hang skins to dry completely
  • Store skins with adhesive side together
  • Avoiding getting snow on the adhesive
  • Do not dry skins near a heat source
  • Store in a cool dry location
  • Use cheat sheets for glue longevity
  • If icing or snow sticking occurs use Glop Stopper

  • See related Tech Tips

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