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Old 05-27-2010   #1
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
Thumb Callouses

I must be boating more than I have in the past because I'm getting nasty callouses on my thumbs from my paddle. I don't like gloves and lotion does not seem to help, does anyone have any tricks or know of any tape that won't leave a sticky residue but will stay on in the water?

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Old 05-27-2010   #2
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
I put neosporin on the spots after I get off the river. It helps the blisters turn into callouses faster. I don't notice a problem after that and the callouses usually last all season.

I don't know of a way to get rid of the callouses once they form other than not boating.

You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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Old 05-27-2010   #3
kclowe's Avatar
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
Hey Jen! I hate gloves, too. I haven't found any way to prevent them and once they showed up, they never went away. It's pretty common, so maybe someone else has an answer. As far as I know, you just have to deal with it or get used to gloves.
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Old 05-27-2010   #4
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Duct tape or Gorilla tape stays on in the water if you apply while dry and protects the skin. If callouses are cracking use lots of thick lotion. Loosen grip while paddling if possible.
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Old 05-27-2010   #5
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
I've found taking lots of safety breaks and flicking a lighter helps build up those callouses. If being piss tested try loosening grip..
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Old 05-27-2010   #6
goldcamp's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 337
Paddling callouses are a badge of honor. Be proud! Alot better then getting blisters. Embrace your callouses, they naturally protect your hands.
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Old 05-27-2010   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 174
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There is a water proof tape I have used in the past for thumb callouses that worked for me. It's made by 3M and the color of an ace bandage. I think I got it at walgreens or some drug store, and I think the packaging was labeled as waterproof in some way...

If you change your mind and want to try gloves, give glacier gloves a try. I've tried many kinds of gloves and these are by far the best IMO. They might even improve your grip on the paddle where most do the opposite. Products - Water Sports
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Old 05-27-2010   #8
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
I'm going to pick up some neosporin and look for that tape, I wouldn't mind the callouses but they are cracking and it hurts. I'm going to lotion the crap out of them for a bit and then try that ace-bandage colored tape to try get them under control.

Hopefully I'll build up some huge and glorious kayaking callouses.

I'll have to try the safety meeting fix next time, flick, flick. Got any safety materials Flow?

Thanks for the input Buzzards
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Old 05-27-2010   #9
Airborne2504's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 420
Tip from a Grunt

Here's a trick a lot of my buddies did while we were in the Army.

Get Non-Scented Anti-Perspirant SPRAY. Spray on the area you're getting the blisters/callouses. Do this in the mornings when you wake up (after your bathing and washing, etc), and then again before you go to sleep. Make sure the area is DRY before you spray it on.

This will eventually develop a tough layer of skin over that area, which will rarely (if ever) blister and/or callous.

**** We only did this method for the bottoms of our feet b/c we did a lot of jumping and humping, and would always be humping for miles and miles on end carrying a crap load of weight/gear. It worked great, never had to worry about Hot spots, blisters, or callouses again. ****

** SO, i have no experience in using this method on my hands/thumbs, so I don't really know if it would work in the same way. **

Just thought I'd share another idea. Hope you find something that works for ya!

- Alex
If you're going to stick it out there, don't be afraid to get it cut off.
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Old 05-27-2010   #10
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 217
Jen, I use Sticky Stuff wax and gloves. The grip is outstanding, better than bare hands on a bare paddle shaft. (huh huh huh, he said shaft) You can loosen your grip and not get callouses. Best of both worlds. If you don't like the wax. Use a hair dryer to heat it up and then wipe it off.

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