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Glove recommendations

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I start the cold weather paddling season by adding my Bomber Gear pogies - when the water is warmer (relative to springtime) and the air is cold or windy this is a perfect addition - I usually start with only one on the paddle - and shift it as needed between the two hands.

Next, I will add on my favorite very thin pair of neoprene gloves- not heavy and w/o curved fingers. I bought them through NRS but last year in the fall NESC had some similar ones. I prefer the raw neoprene rather than the ones with the "snakeskin" finish which I find slippery.

By the time the temps drop to 20, I will have my gloves on regularly and both pogies will be on the paddle and I will put them on as needed throughout the day.


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abrade your hands daily with a 400 grit sandpaper and then coat them in rendered walrus blubber (also a nice fondue)

the raw abrasions adhere to the paddle really well and then the blubber insulates them from the cold.

pretty sure that's what those old school greenlander guys do.

other less austere recomendations include just using pogies (what i do - i hate gloves as it lessens my sense of the paddle) or various gloves...i think nordic blues have been touted but have never tried them.

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I own Nordic Blues. They come with a liner that you can cut out thus allowing you to put in a liner that can vary as temperatures do. I have had several incidents where headwind caused me to have painful or numb hands. There was at least one incident on a relatively warm (winter) day with a moderate head wind. We encountered it as we turned north to circumnavigate Marblehead Neck and I had numbness and pain by the time we turned the corner into the empty harbour. My hands soon recovered and I was able to put my boat on a pickup truck (but that's another story). Not sure if this is partially due to circulation (is the gasket too tight?) but I have tried a few adjustments along the way and still can't endorse them. There is also the issue of loss of tactile feel and increased finger diameter as mentioned elsewhere.

I've been thinking about pogies but not sure how well they will work on a GP. Pogies give you options where you can be in or out of the pogies as the day evolves. I suppose you'd have something like "seal skin" (a brand name, not a material) gloves underneath the pogies. I've always been a fan of reconfigurable layers.

Hope this helps.

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We all want gloves that will keep our hands warm and comfortable under any conditions, but provide bare-handed dexterity. No deal, everything out there is a compromise.

For cool conditions, I wear whatever 3mm neoprene gloves I can find on sale. I've tried expensive, brand-name gloves (such as Chota and NRS) and have found that they don't work any better or last any longer than the $15 Stearns gloves that Sea Kayaker recommended a few years back.

When it gets cold, I switch to dry gloves. I own Nordic Blues, which worked well for three seasons. Last season, I made a pair of dry gloves by gluing latex seals to Atlas orange gloves purchased from Hamilton Marine, but available at many commercial fishing/marine suppliers for ~$20. They're not as heavily coated as the Atlas blue gloves that Nordic Blue uses, so they're more flexible and have a bit better dexterity. With either pair of gloves, I use Smartwool liners most of the time.

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What I've found is that thick neoprene gloves (I have some 6mm gloves) are pretty uncomfortable to use for paddling, as you have to fight the stiffness of the glove and you need to grasp the paddle shaft harder to get any sense of feel. If I use them for any length of time, my hands ache and cramp. I don't find this to be an issue with dry gloves, which are much more flexible and have non-spongey insulation. You still lose some dexterity, but they have a much better feel.

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For all but the coldest days i use dishwashing gloves, size XL, with glove liners under them.

First put on the gloves then the drysuit, spray a little 303 on the gloves after you put them on so they slide through the drysuit gaskets.

The latex gasket of the drysuit seals quite well over the latex gloves and very little dexterity is lost.

This is the best method i have tryed to date for days down to about 20*.

When it's colder than that the nordic blues come in handy.

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