Paddling Gloves

Year round, sun gloves with UPF 50+ rating provide protection against UV damage, with the added bonus of helping to protect your hands not just from rubbing and blistering but also from barnacles and oyster shells - a slip or trip that might otherwise be a trip-ender!

We use and recommend Sea to Summit's Eclipse Gloves. They have UPF50+ for extreme protection against sun exposure. The palm area has soft, supple material that helps improve your grip of your paddle and is double layered in high-wear areas, but not so thick that you would be increasing the diameter of your grip (which causes stress on your arms). The gloves are fitted at the wrist with 2mm neoprene cuffs which help maintain wrist flexibility.

 
 

Neoprene Gloves - OceanPro Reef Pro

When the water is cold you need more than a sun glove. Neoprene has great insulating properties and will keep your wet hands warm. For paddling it is important to retain good feeling and dexterity in your hands - in the event of a capsize you must be able to feel and manipulate your holy-moly-crap strap if you are wet exiting.

Ocean Pro Reef Pro gloves have a warm insulating neoprene back and soft, flexible abrasion-resistant palm and fingertip area for greater dexterity and feeling, while also protecting the hands from blistering and sharp encounters in the marine environment!

The next most important feature of a glove is the fit - make sure you get the size to fit you not 'one-size-fits-most' or you will get cold water flush from loose poorly fitting gloves. Ocean Pro Reef Pro gloves come in a range of sizes from XS to XXL and also have a velcro wrist strap to cinch the glove closed at the wrist.

These are great gloves for cold water paddling, also for diving, snorkelling and ocean swimming.

 
 

Paddling Mitts - Pogies

Pogies are a type of paddling mitt that attaches to the paddle shaft - they velcro over the paddle shaft with an opening to slide your hand in. You then grip the paddle shaft normally, but with the pogie encasing your hand (see photos below).

This has the benefit that your fingers together are collectively warmer than in a glove alone and you can slide your hand out of the pogie for any task that requires manual dexterity. For protection from wind chill they are the best!

The downside is that they are more open and tend to scoop up water. Also they are obviously not being worn when off water - if you are portaging or spending time on the beach you will need to consider additional warming hand wear. The solution may just be gloves and pogies!