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Kayaking and gloves

KristieJCKristieJC Member Posts: 234 Member Member Posts: 234 Member
Any regular kayakers out there? I used to kayak only during camping trips. Now I do it once a week (weather permitting) for calorie burn and also sort of a meditation. I go alone. No talking. No music. Just me on the water.

I have one issue. I’ve got spots on my hands where the skin gets rubbed off by the paddles. I’ve tried some gloves made for kayaking and canoeing. They have extra padding in those spots but I still rubbed some skin off Sunday. Does anyone know of any really good kayaking gloves with thick padding in that area from the inside of the thumb to the lower part of the index finger?

Replies

  • SuzySunshine99SuzySunshine99 Member Posts: 2,207 Member Member Posts: 2,207 Member
    I use weightlifting gloves and they work for me.
  • ridiculous59ridiculous59 Member Posts: 2,143 Member Member Posts: 2,143 Member
    I use weightlifting gloves and they work for me.

    Me too. For all my paddling: kayak, dragon boat, and canoe.
    edited May 6
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Member Posts: 9,096 Member Member Posts: 9,096 Member
    I use fingerless cycling gloves.
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,759 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,759 Member
    I don't think gloves really help stop the blisters. You just rub on the inside of the glove, instead. And, as you keep doing it, you won't get the blisters anymore.

    But, gloves can help with cold, grip and/or keeping the sun off the back of your hands. In fact, the only gloves I use are sun protective with a very thin layer of rubberized grip enhancement on the palm. They're good when you're out all day in the hot sun. (And, for God's sake, don't forget to cover your legs!)
  • KristieJCKristieJC Member Posts: 234 Member Member Posts: 234 Member
    Thanks for all the input, everyone.
  • HilTriHilTri Member Posts: 377 Member Member Posts: 377 Member
    Enduring a little pain and developing callouses worked best for me.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,861 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,861 Member
    From the perspective of someone who beats her hands up rowing (boats with oars, either sweeps or sculls), in a setting where gloves are considered a bad idea (need to feel the water through the hand, with some nuance, and gloves interfere):

    Once your hands are beat up (blistered or heading that way, or split, etc.), getting them healed is the big deal, IMO. I've found it helpful to use a liquid bandage on raw surfaces, then do a pretty comprehensive well-fixed-in-place duct tape layer over that. (Yes, duct tape. Bandaids, adhesive tape, etc., just don't hold up to the forces of more rowing. Duct tape *may*.)

    The tape needs to go all the way around the hand/fingers or it won't stay on, seams on the non-contact side of the hand, and it may need some creativity to be anchored in place. In the worst cases, I've ended up with a partial mitt of duct tape so it didn't slip around. If it's that extreme, I'd normally put my hand in a "holding the oar handle" shape, before apply the tape, because it's not very flexible stuff. The liquid bandage is mostly to protect the hand from the duct tape, especially when removing the tape. If anything is pulled off, it's the liquid bandage, before the skin.

    For me, the overall long-term goal is to get calluses, and then, if those get too thick, to manage them so they don't turn into a hard layer that gets blisters under or falls off, leaving tender skin. A pumice stone, or other devices for managing foot calluses is good for this.

    If you don't have actual raw spots, you might try using a good-sized patch of the self-adhesive moleskin (or a similar product) that's designed for feet to protect them from rubbing from shoes. Those usually have decent adhesive, some water resistance. (I've not tried this, but I would, if in your circumstances.) I suspect these could be applied to the hand, or to the inside of the glove in problem areas.

    I'm not saying it's wrong to wear gloves kayaking or canoeing. (I've canoed a bunch of miles over my life, many of them wearing gloves; and I do kayak, but haven't put in the hours there.) I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea to wear gloves when rowing shells. If it's cold, we use pogies instead of gloves, to keep hands reasonably warm. I know that kayaking pogies exist. Would they work for you, in your type of kayaking situation? Would that reduce the wear and tear on your hands?

    For unfamiliar readers: A pogie is a sort of mitten-ish blob-shaped thing. It goes over your whole hand, and has a hole for your wrist (with a stretch cuff), plus hole(s) for the oar or paddle shaft to go through. It creates a sort of fabric capsule around your hand and the oar/paddle, with your bare hand in contact with the oar/paddle, cozy inside the protective capsule. There are ones with a waterproof/resistant outer shell, and insulation; for wearing, I just use fleece ones. I wore them this AM: It was chilly!
  • KristieJCKristieJC Member Posts: 234 Member Member Posts: 234 Member
    Thanks for all the info @AnnPT77 !
  • mthwbrwnmthwbrwn Member Posts: 102 Member Member Posts: 102 Member
    If you are looking for a good glove for kayaking, NRS gloves have worked out really well for me. I mainly use the NRS maverick when it gets cold and then for warm weather I switch out to a really light weight NRS skeleton glove.
    I have plenty of cycling gloves hanging around that I have tried, and honestly thought it would be silly to buy new gloves (for warm weather kayaking). I was wrong.
    I've found the kayak specific gloves assist with paddle grip better than the cycling gloves and especially the feel and rotation if you paddle with a feathered paddle.
  • KristieJCKristieJC Member Posts: 234 Member Member Posts: 234 Member
    Thanks, @mthwbrwn I have found the same with my cycling gloves. I tried those first because I already had them. I’ll search for NRS. Appreciate it!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,861 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,861 Member
    KristieJC wrote: »
    Thanks, @mthwbrwn I have found the same with my cycling gloves. I tried those first because I already had them. I’ll search for NRS. Appreciate it!

    They're at https://www.nrs.com/ - they have both kayaking gloves and kayaking pogies you can check out.

    They may not the the cheapest option, but they have top-quality goods IME. I've bought various things from the over the years, always been happy. (No, I don't work for them: Just a happy customer.)
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