Cold Hands

I fought all last year with cold hands. I tried cotton gloves inside rubber gloves. I got a nice pair of NRS heavy duty gloves. It seemed like no matter what combination of hand covering I tried, my hands were still cold. Well yesterday I confirmed a suspicion. The metal shaft of my paddle holds the cold and passes it right through my gloves into my hands. Last night a couple of my buddies and I went out for an evening paddle. It was 40 degrees and I was wearing my NRS gloves. About 20 minutes into our paddle, I noticed my hands starting to get cool. It wasn’t too much longer, and they were cold. I asked my buddies if they were cold and both said no. They both had fiberglass or some type of plasticy shafts. I asked to trade with one of them for a short period. It wasn’t too long before my friend that was using my paddle said that his hands were starting to get cool. Mine were already too cold to notice a difference. I am going to try foam pipe insulation over the paddle shaft and see if that keeps the cold out.

Maybe it is time to upgrade
and get a composite paddle.



Composite or wood shaft
and/or some flece lined neoprene or Nordic Blue gloves

I’m a big fan of glacier gloves
haven’t tried the others, so can’t really compare, but glacier gloves work well for me

Get the Glacier Glove ‘Perfect Curve’ model glove. I believe they are the warmest paddling glove they make and have pre-curved fingers and thumb + a light fleece lining. Great dexterity and warmth. I use 'em till the lakes freeze over and we can’t bust through anymore. They can be turned inside out and machine washed to combat the neo-stink syndrome. In heavy use from late fall-early spring mine will last about 3 years, and only then do they wear a bit thin between thumb and palm. Never had a pair leak, except for the fish hook incident. Don’t waste yer time on anything else.

Instead of pipe insulation
you might try yakgrips

metal shaft says it all
"Well yesterday I confirmed a suspicion. The metal shaft of my paddle holds the cold and passes it right through my gloves into my hands"

There is no way around it, suffer or get a new paddle. You’d be better off to use a wood broom and hold a cold beer between your legs. Christmas is near. Gift certificate for a new paddle?

Yep. What Stersquirt said.
A metal paddle shaft is a great thermal conductor. In cold weather it will suck heat right out of your hands. If you upgrade, it will help the cold hands issue, and you’ll probably enjoy paddling more with a lighter, better designed paddle. A quality paddle makes a big difference. You’ll never go back.

Switch paddles or wear gloves
I hate metal shafts. Painfully hot in summer and painfully cold in early spring/late fall.

In hot weather even some non-metal shafts practically burn me when I pick them up after they’ve sat in the sun. I don’t know if it’s a function of material or of darkness. For example, the Werner Shuna’s shaft heats up intensely, yet the Werner Cyprus’s shaft remains tolerable to the touch.

It could be an expensive upgrade, so gloves make sense if you don’t have a good idea of what your Upgrade Paddle is.

Drip rings?
This may be the obvious, but I assume you have drip rings on your paddle?

switch paddles for a zillion good reasons and get good gloves. i like level6 mittens. very warm, easy on and off, easy grip on paddle shaft

Cold Hands
Thanks to all for taking the time to respond to my post. It’s obvious that a change is in the future. Happy Thanksgiving to all.


Pogies are like mittens - warmer than gloves. Down to 20 or a little lower you should have no problemm. Wood shafts are warmest to hold on to, metal is the bulk of your issue.