G3 Splitboard+ Grip Review
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G3 Splitboard+ Grip
$197.95 at Backcountry
|$186.95 at Backcountry|
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|$200 List||$220 List|
|Pros||Beefy skins with great grip, durable, excellent attachment system||All-purpose, good ratio of grip to glide, camming tail clip, easy to align tip clip||Secure and easy attachment system, efficient skinning||Durable, good grip to glide ratio||Good glide, rolls and folds small, robust adhesive|
|Cons||Bulky, inefficient, tough to pack||Awkward folding||Adequate grip, particular rolling technique||Can be hard to pull apart, more involved initial setup||Initial setup is a bit more involved, small range of size adjustments|
|Bottom Line||Great skins for beginner splitboarders who want all the help they can get ascending||Great grip-to-glide ratio and solid all-around performance in a user-friendly package makes it a great choice for most people||Great skins for proficient skinners who know they want an efficient skin for big days||Whether it's your first day or 100th day, these skins are appropriate for all skill levels||Straightforward and streamlined performance|
|Rating Categories||G3 Splitboard+ Grip||G3 Splitboard+ Univ...||G3 Splitboard+ Glide||Black Diamond Ascen...||Black Diamond Glide...|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Attachment System (15%)|
|Glue Icing Glop (20%)|
|Specs||G3 Splitboard+ Grip||G3 Splitboard+ Univ...||G3 Splitboard+ Glide||Black Diamond Ascen...||Black Diamond Glide...|
|Manufacturer||G3||G3||G3||Black Diamond||Black Diamond|
|Weight per pair||580 (g)||674 (g)||560 (g)||658 (g)||650 (g)|
|Weight per skin||290 (g)||337 (g)||280 (g)||329 (g)||325 (g)|
|Material||Nylon plush||Nylon plush||Nylon plush||Nylon||65% mohair and 35% nylon|
|Glue||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive||Non-toxic adhesive|
|Tip Attachment||Asymmetrical steel hands||Asymmetrical steel Hands||Asymmetrical steel hands||Snap-fit attachement||Coated cable|
|Cheat Sheets Included?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
G3 updated their Grip skins. The photos above show the older model (left) compared to the new one (right). The new Grip skins have a trimmed-down tip connector that the company claims shaves nearly an ounce off each skin. The new version also features a PFC-free waterproofing treatment and an updated, non-toxic adhesive. Our review is of the older version, but we are now linking to retailers selling the new Grip skins.
The G3 Grip skins are an excellent choice for specific users. Beginner splitboarders who do not have experience skinning would likely benefit from all the grip they can get from their first skins. Folks who skin significantly steeper than what is "normal" would also benefit from the extra traction provided by these skins. Finally, those who skin over sharp rocks might consider these skins since the longer fur provides some extra protection.
The fur on these skins is seriously long and impressively grippy, and they excelled when navigating icy sections of skin track or slick ridges. Skinning up at an overly steep angle is not ideal but occasionally required by terrain or sadistic touring partners. Steep skin tracks are never recommended, but the extra fur also provided psychological assurance when occasionally skinning across rocks.
These skins may be a benefit to those with less advanced skinning technique, as the grip they provide can help you from slipping. It is important to understand that despite these skins gripping more than any skins we have used, they can't completely overcome poor technique, and some skin tracks are too slick and steep — even for them.
Ever ride a bike where the brakes are rubbing the tire? Even just a small amount of friction robs you of energy. Skinning across low-angle approaches with the Splitboard+ Grip skins feels a bit like that bike with the brake rub. We chuckled on a few short descents where we had to push downhill with our poles while our partners glided down on their less grippy skins. This is a tradeoff for the impressive climbing grip they provide.
Ease of Use
We discuss the general ease of use of these skins in the G3 Splitboard+ Universal review. One noticeable difference when comparing multiple skins at the same time is the size of the bags the skins arrive in. The Grip skins are much larger when folded up. There is a weight difference gain as well, but on our scale, the Splitboard+ Grip skins were only 10 grams heavier than the Universal skins, but 100 or so grams heavier than the lightest skins we tested.
We are fans of the G3 attachment system and review it thoroughly in the G3 Splitboard+ Universal review.
Glue and Glop
We generally found the glue and glop performance of the Grip skins to be the same as the G3 Splitboard+ Universal skins.
The Splitboard+ Grip skins are a small price increase over other high grip models. In our mind, G3's connection system is worth a modest price premium, and overall, this value seems reasonable.
Based on G3's impressive skin design, these Grip skins would be a great first skin for beginning splitboarders. Skinning is a great way to ascend snow-covered peaks, but there is a learning curve, and extra grip might reduce some of the pain associated with this process. The Grip skins are also an excellent choice for experienced skinners who routinely skin at much steeper angles than normal.
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