Question of the Day

Um, so I have a really big problem – when I race, my hands sweat (IDK why) and eventually they get so slippery that I can’t feather at all because there’s too little traction between my hand and the oar. Also, my hands get splashed from the lake/river that we’re on which makes it worse. I end up getting crabs because of this. Do you have any suggestions?

Have you asked your doctor about it? It could be possible that you have a form of hyperhidrosis, which is just an increased amount of sweating above what is normal to regulate your body temperature. One of my (guy) friends has this problem and sweaty palms is a fairly common side effect for him. He doesn’t row but he’s a cyclist so he has similar grip issues as a result.

In the short term, have you tried putting deodorant or chalk powder on your hands? You know, the stuff gymnasts and weight lifters put on their hands and equipment to reduce friction and give them a better grip? That might be an option. I’m sure regular baby powder or Gold Bond would work as well. Runners sometimes put some form of antiperspirant on their feet before putting their socks on and going for a run because it helps stop them from sweating, obviously, and reduces the likelihood that they’ll develop blisters. That might be helpful to you because if you have a hard time getting a good grip, you might eventually start to over grip, which leads to a whole list of other issues, not including epic blisters.

As far as getting splashed, it’s gonna happen. If it’sΒ really bad then ask your coxswain if they can make some calls about carrying the hands lower on the recovery to avoid having the blades dragging on the waterΒ so much. Everybody’s gotta make the changes and adjustments for it to be effective though.

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