Max does have a skinUtils interface and we utilize that to save skin data to meshes in a scene mesh (stored via object properties). These can be saved to max files and imported easily. From there it’s relatively simple to get the skin data on to your desired mesh. Though, personally, I dislike dealing with max files for pipeline needs.
I made some progress with the c# api, serializing skin modifier data to and from xml, a while ago. The speed was great when it worked, however, I couldn’t get it to work consistently. It looked like the mesh refresh methods behaved… ‘flaky’… at best.
Also I had some complications passing un-manged types, required by the wrapped methods, in managed c#… it got messy. Though if you have good c++ and c# chops you may be able get something working.
But yes it seems for this type of issue, and probably many others, both python and c# aren’t wrapped particularly well and the maxscript options are slow.
As Claudio said, C++ is the best bet, unfortunately.