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Old 11-05-2012   #11
ranamafana's Avatar
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1800
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 54
Pogies for me, I tried paddling with gloves, but didn't feel like I had the same sensitivity to my paddle. I tried some old school pogies that were too hard to get in & out of easily, so just stuck with cold hands for years. Finally my paddling buddy didn't believe me when I said my hands were fine & she gave me a sweet pair of neoprene pogies last season, and after a few times, I love them. I just got off the Canyon a few weeks ago, and even though the water wasn't that cold, I wore them just for the sun/wind protection. Different things work for different hands. It's all about the right grip on the shaft

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Old 11-07-2012   #12
burnor's Avatar
Boise/Hokitika (New Zealand), Idaho
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
I learned to paddle in MN and thus am used to creeking whilst ice is still on the banks and bergs are floating down. In really cold weather (air temp near or less than freezing) the NRS toaster mitts or reactor gloves are pretty necessary. Pogies are just not water tight enough... there are some guys that do it, and tend to just have cold hands. However I find gloves/mitts more difficult to do draw strokes with... in general just less sensitive. But a necessary evil. The toaster mitt's are warmer and thinner than reactors... which is nice. But I can't put my skirt on with the mitts... while a can with the gloves. Just takes longer having to take the mitts on/off if there's frequent portaging/scouting.

In warmer air (40 and above) or water I find pogies to my liking. But I have not noticed my stroke being shorter. In fact my draws feel better and less sweeping around for making moves.

In either case... I personally won't blame my handwear on my paddle technique. Try em' both out and form your own opinion


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Old 11-08-2012   #13
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Back to the OP, I don't think the presence of pogies is causing people to take shorter strokes. Even if it is, I don't think it matters. The average boof stroke is shorter than an average travelling stroke anyway. It just depends on when you need to lay in the power.
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Old 11-08-2012   #14
Mad Scientist/Creeker
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 803
The length of your stroke is all about your torso rotation. It has nothing to do with your hands. IMO when you change your feel on the paddle, or anything really, it opens up the opportunity for mental lapses in technique. Why? Because if you're focused on what's changed with your gear, you can not focus on running the river.

Many people's technique for dealing with this is to paddle only with what you are used to, but then when you get something new you just have to gut it out until you can get used to it. A better solution might be to relax your mind and focus on the river, instead of that your pogies feel weird. I only bring this up because Rivervibe was asking about his stroke length in relation to the pogies, which IMO are not, and can not, really be directly related.

I personally like pogies, mainly because when my hands are cold I wear'em but when I enter a rapid I generally take them off and slide them to the middle of my paddle. I like to be able to have my hands available for rescue, grabbing onto rocks etc., so for me, pogies offer the most flexibility. If it's really cold though this technique yields fairly cold hands. I have an old pair of Mountain Surfs and refuse to give them up because they are the shortest cut out there and very easy to slide your hands in and out of.
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 11-08-2012   #15
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
No doubt. Paddling with no gloves or pogies is best. Nothing in your way. But sometimes it is just too cold. I have used pogies for the last decade. Tried gloves- but they are no good. Gloves don't allow direct paddle feel. For me, that is a deal killer. Also, gloves are not warmer in my experience. Tried gloves once on a coooold upper a day, and my hands froze till I switched to pogies. Agree with Evan that being able to get your hands out of your pogies is key. If you need your bare hands, they are there. Still keep a pair of gloves in my boat on cold days for rescue or for people who think animas river water wont be that bad.
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Old 11-09-2012   #16
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I notice a difference with my paddling when wearing pogies too. I prefer gloves, but not just any gloves, I have only found one pair that grips the paddle well, is extremely warm and is flexible and easy to articulate each finger.... the NRS reactor glove: NRS Reactor Rescue Gloves at

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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