Kayaking is a popular hobby for recreational enthusiasts and experts alike. You can enjoy the activity in a lake, river, or ocean with proper safety gear and knowledge.
One of the most common problems that kayakers face is blisters. These bumps on the skin caused by friction and rubbing are incredibly frustrating.
Prevention is key to avoiding blisters when kayaking. It’s best to prevent them as early as possible, with the following tips:
How to Prevent Blisters When Kayaking
1. Improve the Grip on Your Paddle
Your grip on the paddle will cause blisters if it’s not comfortable and secure. Before you head out on your journey, get a paddle that fits your hands well.
A good kayak shop should be able to help you pick out a brand and model of the paddle that will feel right in your hands.
Keep at least one blanket on your kayaking trip if the paddle does not fit you well. Wrap the blanket around your fingers for added padding for your grip.
2. Prepare Your Hands with Moleskin Padding
Blisters are unavoidable if you do not take precautions. You can keep the blisters at bay by preparing your hands before you hit the water.
Lay out a roll of moleskin padding for the entire length of your paddle journey. When you wear this protection, your hands and fingers should be free from blisters by the end of your trip.
3. Apply Layering Over Your Hands
Take care of your hands before you go kayaking by wearing at least two layers of clothing. A dry layer on top of a wet layer is best for maintaining blisters from forming. It might be freezing the day you start your journey, which will help keep your hands warm.
4. Get Some High-Quality Fingerless Sailing Gloves
Using fingerless gloves, you can keep your fingers warm and protected while kayaking. These gloves are lightweight, water-repellent, and breathable.
You can wear them as long as you need to keep your hands warm. To make the glove more secure, you can place a strong string around your wrists for extra support.
5. Apply Topical Solutions to Ease Friction
You can use several topical solutions on the skin of your hands and fingers to keep your skin healthy. Consider using a cream that contains calamine, menthol, and camphor.
These ingredients reduce itching, swelling, and pain. You can also apply petroleum jelly to the spots that are likely to get blisters. Rubbing this substance into the skin will prevent blisters from forming on specific contact points.
6. Use Rubbing Alcohol to Toughen Up the Skin on Your Hands
Rubbing alcohol will help toughen the skin and minimize friction when paddling. This product can keep your hands and fingers ready for action even in the coldest temperatures.
Rubbing alcohol is a great way to keep your skin from drying out when it gets wet. By rubbing alcohol on your skin, you will increase the amount of time you spend in the water before your hands start to blister.
7. Try Using a Hand Cream with Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains natural moisturizers, vitamins, and amino acids to keep your hands healthy. This is a cheap yet effective solution that you can use.
Good hand cream with aloe vera will help you avoid blisters and keep your hands comfortable while kayaking. It will also protect your hands from the damaging rays of the sun.
8. Consider Buying a Silicone Grip
You can make your paddle more comfortable by using a silicone grip. This type of material is soft and flexible, and it provides a superior grip on your paddle. The silicone grip design on your paddle will suit the shape of your hands and prevent blisters from forming on your skin.
9. Get Yakgrips for Your Kayak Paddle
A yakgrip is a paddle attachment that you can use on your kayak that improves your grip. The yakgrip will allow you to lift the kayak, steer, and balance the boat more efficiently. This is an ideal accessory for paddlers who are experienced or beginners.
How to Treat Blisters
1. Prevent Infection
The first thing you should do is treat the affected area with antibacterial soap and water. This will remove dead skin and prevent the blisters from spreading.
Wear gloves made of non-porous materials like latex or neoprene when the blisters heal. These gloves will protect your hands if they need to get wet in the future. Make sure to dry your hands thoroughly before you use them again.
2. Protect the Blister
Once you have treated the blisters, you should protect them from friction and rubbing. You can do this by using a bandage or glove that is made from thick fabric.
This will keep your blisters protected while they heal, and it will help to prevent new blisters from forming. Over-wrapping the blisters may cause further discomfort and pain, so it is essential to use the bandage loosely.
3. Reduce Swelling and Pain
You can relieve the swelling, itching, and pain associated with blisters by using an over-the-counter antihistamine.
These medications will help keep your skin’s surface healthy and reduce pain. Itchy skin can lead to a condition called hyperhidrosis, which blisters will aggravate.
If your blisters get infected, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics that will clear up the Infection and prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body.
It would help if you also prevent the blisters from forming again by applying a bandage or glove made of non-porous materials.
Kayaking is one of the best ways to have fun on a beautiful day. It is an activity that requires you to be in good shape, have endurance, and have a good deal of concentration.
It is essential to practice safe kayaking when it comes to preventing blisters. Even if you take the proper precautions, blisters sometimes form when trying to reduce friction.
However, following these tips can successfully prevent most blisters from developing during your kayaking adventures.
Don’t let blisters stop you from hitting the water and enjoying an activity you love. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors.