Stiff hands

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jackp
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Stiff hands

Post by jackp » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:55 pm

Having a bit of trouble recently with my hands when out paddling when I'm heading into strong headwind and going against the tide.strangely I have done this a lot as I like the challenge but after a few hours of hard padding my hands can just go really stiff and pretty useless for a while .i guess it's a bit like cycling up hill in a way ..anyway does this sound normal ? I worry now a bit that longer trips might no longer be an option

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by twopigs » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:28 pm

2 Quick suggestions:
Relax!
Flex your top hand - open the fingers and have the paddle shaft supported on the palm and thumb - it is meant to be "a fixed point" - relative to the shoulder. (Difficult if you're wearing pogies I guess.)
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by rockhopper » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:29 pm

Are you gripping the paddle too hard?

Rog.

jackp
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by jackp » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:55 pm

I could be gripping the paddle little bit hard but .i don't get this problem though when on easier paddle .i was once stupid enough once to think I could paddle across fast tide race lol ending up getting to shore with a struggle a little further down the beach than planned .

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Jim
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:57 pm

Arthritis?
Dr Wilcox has explained that his arthritis is partly due to many years of windsurfing gripping the boom hard with wet hands in cold wind. I think it is the cooling effect on the blood vessels that causes the problem. It strikes me that paddling into a strong wind you could be experiencing something similar?

jackp
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by jackp » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:28 pm

Early signs of Arthritis possible I guess .maybe something worth looking into . I have done a lot of manual hands on jobs so that might be the case .but I do wear thick wetsuit gloves when on the water and only 25 so it can't related to cold water ..I have had those typical kayaker thumbs for a few years now i.e. Thick build up of skin around 1.5- 2cm on the inside of the thumb but the right side has a lot more

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by MikeB » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:57 pm

jackp wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:28 pm
I have had those typical kayaker thumbs for a few years now i.e. Thick build up of skin around 1.5- 2cm on the inside of the thumb but the right side has a lot more
Hmm - we all have that to a greater or lesser degree. I note with interest however that back in the days I used a straight shafted paddle, the callous was significantly bigger. I also note that having changed to a cranked shaft I find I can hold the shaft with a considerably more open / looser grip. I suspect this helps prevent the formation of the callous.

I'm wondering if some of your issue isn't coming from too tight a grip - exacerbated by being forced to grip even tighter if you're wearing gloves. We're all different as regards what works in terms of keeping hands warm / comfortable / usable, but having tried various things I found that open palm mitts to give a good compromise allowing me to control the paddle, yet keep the fingers warm.

Regs - Mike

jackp
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by jackp » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:45 pm

Thanks for your thoughts about the issue .i had tried few times not bothering with gloves and same problem.wondering now though about the paddle .i have never bothered upgrading yet I've always stuck with one called a Originz Zambezi which I bought with first boat.can anyone recommend a more suitable paddle worth trying upto about 150 sort of price .

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:28 pm

Jim is right I do have bad arthritis in my hands which particularly bothers me windsurfing in winter and so I blamed that. However, I also have haemochromatosis which causes particular problems with arthritis causing pain and stiffness in the hands. Like Mike I found cranks help but more recently I have found the large diameter grip of a Greenland paddle helps greatly.

Douglas

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Mac50L » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:18 am

Doing the "cup of tea" thing, opening the hand a bit with the little finger pointing out relaxes the hand. Do this every now and then, or decide on a number of strokes and then do it.

Personally I have no problems, no blisters, no callouses. The paddle is a GP and the loom is rectangular. The lower hand with the finger second joints around the edge of the loom, pulling (or holding) and the thumb doing nothing much. The upper hand, open and pushing with the base of the fingers. The thumb is there to stop the paddle falling on the deck. The main "thought" is to use the body to provide the power for the stroke and when needing power, strong wind, higher speed, the arms are near straight.

A friend who has recently gone to using a GP, she complained about it not raising blisters as her Euro or Wing would do. She is a fast sea kayaker and a competition/racing paddler.

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Franky » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:44 pm

jackp wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:28 pm
Early signs of Arthritis possible I guess .maybe something worth looking into . I have done a lot of manual hands on jobs so that might be the case .but I do wear thick wetsuit gloves when on the water and only 25 so it can't related to cold water ..
I got arthritis-like symptoms last year. I wonder if it was because I'd been kayaking all the previous winter without gloves or pogies. Last winter, I finally learned to love pogies, and my hands seem back to normal. (I'm a lot older than you, if that's relevant.)

If you can get used to the relative lack of movement, I'd recommend pogies over gloves. After years of wearing gloves, I came to the conclusion that they didn't keep me warm at all. In fact, my hands often felt colder with gloves than without. Perhaps a physiologist could explain.

You say that you "like the challenge" of paddling flat out into head winds - which suggests you might be overdoing it. Once you're past your teens, doing anything flat out for hours on end is going to take its toll. I learned that from swimming 80 lengths of a swimming pool every day, which resulted in a frozen shoulder. Leave a bit in reserve and listen to what your body is telling you is my advice.
I have had those typical kayaker thumbs for a few years now i.e. Thick build up of skin around 1.5- 2cm on the inside of the thumb but the right side has a lot more
Quite normal if you're right-handed I think.

PS I assume you mean mm, not cm :\

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by jmmoxon » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:39 pm

I find pogies make a huge difference to how my hands feel when paddling on cold / windy days.

Sounds like gloves may have been restricting the blood flow.

Mike
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by TheEcho » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:38 pm

yes, colder hands when wearing gloves is usually one or both of
1. Gloves too tight, reducing circulation
2. Gloves getting and staying wet, increasing heat transfer, when water would run off bare hands

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Franky » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:32 pm

It seems to me that a crucial characteristic of anything you use to warm your hands its that it traps body heat. Fleeces and woolly jumpers work by creating air pockets where your body heat settles without escaping. Tight-fitting gloves don't provide this feature - they're tight so that you have freedom of movement, meaning there's no space around your fingers for warm air to gather.

Moreover, most paddling gloves are black, which (I think) means that they radiate heat away from your body - the last thing you want. When they're wet - i.e. most of the time - the heat disappears even faster because of evaporation from the surface of the gloves (as The Echo suggests).

Pogies create that space around your hands for heat to gather. Even though they are not completely air- or watertight, they are super-toasty. Now that I'm good enough at paddling (most of the time) not to be constantly grabbing for the bank or rocks, I'm happy to trade freedom of movement for being able to feel my fingers.

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Jim
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Jim » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:23 pm

The wind is the clue.
Air flow causes water evaporation, to transition to vapour state it boosts the kinetic energy from the wind with some heat energy from your body - in this case hands.

Most gloves are not windproof, and trap water, so provide a great source for evaporative cooling of your hands.
Pogies don't trap much of anything, but they are wind proof (are neoprene pogies windproof?) which cuts the evaporation massively. Plain nylon pogies make a huge difference when it is windy and especially if it is very cold where even a very light breeze can chill your hands and pogies can make them feel quite hot. I was using nylon pogies in -8C last winter, my hands were fine. I could barely see the way downstream due to the icicles hanging off my helmet peak though.

Windproof gloves would work too - pertex is great wind stopper, my buffalo mits are incredibly warm even when wet, but would be extremely difficult to paddle with, they would slip all over the shaft!

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Re: Stiff hands

Post by AndyMacp » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:49 pm

My wife uses neoprene pogies and really likes them whereas I don’t get on quite so well with my nylon ones, especially when I’m trying to get my hands back into them. However, I really like my neoprene open palm mitts: they are great as wrist warmers with the body of the mitts pulled back, then if it’s a bit colder pull the main bit over the fingers. Plenty of control over the paddle, whereas with neoprene gloves I found it a bit of a struggle and ended up gripping the paddle harder, easy to wriggle digits out of to operate a radio or compass, and always there, although my thumbs can still get a bit cold. My ones are Palm and originally had bits of stitching between some of the fingers but I took most of these out which has worked better for me.
I’d hazard a guess that the Reed ones avoid soggy neoprene syndrome, and if I had the heart I’d experiment with modifying my buffalo mitts.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:06 pm

Image
I like neoprene pogies which you can just see at the bottom of the photo. This was sea water so it was quite nippy. You get a nice warm damp microclimate inside neoprene pogies, even when it is cold as this. Your hands do get a little soft though.

Douglas

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Jim
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:11 am

AndyMacp wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:49 pm
My wife uses neoprene pogies and really likes them whereas I don’t get on quite so well with my nylon ones, especially when I’m trying to get my hands back into them.
The secret is not to take your hands out of them in the frst place :D

I have to admit I can't be bothered with pogies for generally messing about, I use them for WWR training or sea kayak journeys where I am usually wearing them for at least half an hour at a time without taking my hands out... to be honest even a WWR session I can do 45 minutes before taking my hands out if it is a long one.

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Grian
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Re: Stiff hands

Post by Grian » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:36 am

I'm a cold person and often get dead fingers, pressure from gloves is sure to cause it and once it sets in I'm pretty ectothermic - like a lizard I have to have an external source of heat to recover. Last Xmas neoprene pogies were a revelation, despite ice on deck on this bitterly cold morning my hands were quickly roasting!
Image

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