Skin to Boot
Bootpacks are too steep to skin, so racers must switch from skinning to booting. With practice, a bootpack transition can be done in a few seconds.
With enough practice with the right gear, a ski-to-skin transition can be done in less than 10 seconds. Think of 20 seconds as a maximum.
How to do a skin-to-boot transition
The following method is one of many. Different body mechanics and levels of flexibility may require some adjustments. Practice it a lot, and then make it your own.
Entering a transition zone is similar for every type. Review the entrance process as part of practicing each transition type.
Exception: The Skin to Boot transition doesn't require you to unzip your suit. Your skins stay on your skis, so there's no need to open your suit.
Get out of your bindings
Start bending over when you're close to stopping. Let your poles fall to the ground when your hands are at about shin height.
Use both hands to press down on both toe pieces almost simultaneously. (You'll need to switch your weight from foot to foot to get out of your bindings, but the switch should be very close together.)
Fall to one knee with your skis between your legs. (Doing the skin-to-boot transition on one knee, eliminates the extra standing and kneeling movements of trying to do it standing.)
Holster your skis
Grab your skis and turn them so that they are base-to-base. Use the ground to align them. Offset your skis so that the right-hand ski base is exposed.
Offsetting the bases will make it easier to eyeball the tails into the ski holster on your pack. Without the offset, it's not uncommon to miss the holster with one ski.
Lift your skis with your left hand above the toe piece and your right hand between the tooe and heel pieces. Squeeze them together to make sure that the skis are parallel.
Reach back and grab the holster with your left hand while squeezing your skis together with your right. Eyeball the offset tail into the holster to ensure that both tails go through.
As your right hand guides your skis into the holster, underhand grab the tips with your left. When grabbing the tips, your palm should be up and your thumb pointing toward you. (If you grab the tips with your hand on top, you won't be able to get them into position.)
Hook your skis
As you pass the skis across your back, eyeball the ski hook. The ski hook can move around during a race, so it's best to know where it is before reaching for it.
Place the hook onto both skis behind your neck. Take a moment to feel that both skis are in the hook. (If you miss a ski with the hook, it'll fall to the ground as you stand up.)
With your skis hooked, reach for your poles.
Exiting a transition zone is similar for every type. Review the exit process as part of practicing each transition.
Watch the video
The following video breaks down the Skin to Boot skimo transition according to the above instructions.
The Skin to Boot skimo transition