Keeping warm is often difficult when you paddle whitewater during the winter. I find that the one area that is difficult to keep warm are my hands. I’ve tried neoprene gloves (which work once warmed up), the woollen/washing up glove combo and various other bits/bobs.
Many years ago I owned a pair of pogies (aka paddle mitts), I can’t remember the brand but they were blue/fluorescent yellow. They did a good job of keeping the wind off until they got wet, which meant my hands got wet and cold. Roll on ten years or so and I picked up a pair of Palm Rivertec Pogies. The ones pictured below are still used and must be well over 10 years old. Palm do a modern take on the Rivertec Pogies called River Tec Paddle Mitts.
Pogies are designed to be fastened onto paddle shaft. Your hands go inside of the pogies and grip the paddle shaft as normal. Compared to wearing neoprene gloves or indeed any gloves at all improves the general feel and control. Some paddlers do find them restrictive as your hands need to be removed to access pockets, pull your spraydecks rip cord etc. In addition some designs can be difficult to get your “last” hand into.
These pogies have a nice wide design that are easy to get your hands in/out of. At the wrist end the pogies have a drawstring adjustment that utilises bungee cord and a cord lock to help tailor the fit.
Neoprene/Velcro strips provide a good seal against the paddle shaft and help minimise the amount of water that is taken on board. This really improves that chances of keeping your hands nice and warm.
The fleece liner is held in place by a couple of strips of velcro and can be totally removed from the pogies. This helps dry the pogies out when you get back home.
I have used these successfully with both kayak and canoe paddles. A great bit of kit that has lasted years. Well worth the investment.