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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Beating Cold Hands

I reckon cold hands are almost worse than cold feet. When my hands get cold they hurt and as they warm back up they really hurt.  If the air and water temperature isn’t too bad then I’ll go through the pain barrier as once my hands are warm they’ll stay warm.  However if it is super cold then its hard to push through the pain barrier as it takes so much longer.  Cold hands will limit your ability to hold stuff. If you aren’t able to hold your paddle then you are pretty stuffed.

Tyne Tour 2018

A number of manufacturers produce both gloves and pogies that are designed to your hands warm even if they get wet. 

Tyne Tour 2018

Some paddlers like gloves but some times they can feel a little bulky and can make holding the paddle more difficult. Gloves tend to be made from neoprene and are designed to work just like a wetsuit, i.e. they work better when wet. Many years ago I  got hold of a pair of Typhoon neoprene gloves that worked fantastically and still have them in my kit bag.

Beating Cold Hands

The other main option is to try some pogies. Made out of neoprene or nylon pogies wrap around the paddle and allow you hold it as normal.  The pogies fasten onto the paddle shaft using Velcro and fit snuggly around the paddle helping to keep water out. Getting the pogies on your hands is always fairly straight forward for pogie number one but as always is a little harder when getting the second one on. 

Palm Equipment Current Pogies

Palm, Immersion Research, NRS and Shred Ready make some really good neoprene pogies that are warm even when wet and can really help keep wind chill off your hands. 

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One of the main concerns people have about pogo is how easy it is to release your hands if you need to leave your boat and pull your deck strap.  The opening to the pogies on all of designs I have used have never been tight, so the only thing keeping your hands in the pogies is your own grip on the paddle.  If you let go you can pull your hands free.

Tyne Tour 2018

4 Comments

  1. I did a training run for the Snowy extreme race . 3 degrees water temp. 3 degrees air temp and gusting above 58 kph.. By the end of the run I reckoned if I went over there was a low percentage to rolling back up due to cold hands.The guys with pogies said the cold water was staying inside and their hands were frozen too,

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      December 10, 2018 at 7:03 am

      How did the warm guys stay warm in extreme conditions?

    • Were they fleece-lined pogies? The fleece ones will retain more water than the neoprene ones, mainly the fleece below the user’s hands. The fleece above (on the back of the hands) drains out well in my experience, the lower not so much so I generally use neoprene pogies.

  2. Worth mentioning the open palm style neoprene gloves. A good compromise between the bulk/warmth, offering slightly less warmth but much better feel of the paddle.

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