Mission Anti-Friction Cream Substitute?

While paddling last weekend, found a tube of Mission Anti-Friction Cream on the beach at lunch. This stuff really worked - I put it on my early-season thumb blisters, and paddled the rest of the trip with no pain. It actually seemed to keep the blisters from getting worse & popping (which obliterates any callus-building progress).

Best of all, it was waterproof & didn’t make the paddleshaft slippery.

However, I looked online for a new tube & they don’t seem to make it any more.

Can anyone recommend a substitute brand?

Some of the WaterTribers
swear by Aquaphor.

Those are the folks who do the 300 mile+ unsupported challenges.

We used to use hydropel, but…
had trouble finding it and switched to Body Glide which you can get easily.

We have great luck with it and find that it will even stop a blister from forming after one starts if we forget to put it on

Used in the everglades 300 mile challenge in our big tandem kayak, and use it canoeing in 50 milers and the 90 miler in the Adirondacks

jack L

The obvious.
Have you ever tried open-fingered paddling gloves? I used to paddle bare handed until my wife bought me a pair of gloves. All of the issues with sore spots, callouses and blisters are history.


– Last Updated: Jun-08-16 10:46 AM EST –

I used to use Hydropel before it became unavailable and now use 2Tom's Sport Shield and 2Tom's Butt Shield.

The active ingredient in all of these is Dimethicone (silicone-based substance that reduces friction and acts as a moisture barrier). I have had good luck with Body Glide as well which also contains Dimethicone.

I carry Aquaphor (41% Petrolatum) on Watertribe races, and use it as you would Vaseline as a thick skin protectant on skin that is frequently wet. It's pretty greasy so I don't like it on my hands, but all of these products will make holding your paddle difficult, so apply them early (20 or 30 mins before you paddle), and/or wear gloves as well.

For the last 300 mile EC I used 2Tom's Sport Shield on my hands, along with Buff Pro Angler 3 Gloves. It's the first time I didn't have ANY blisters at all, not a mark.

While these gloves are not designed for kayaking they work better than all of the "kayaking" gloves that I have tried to-date (Kokatat, Sea to Summit, NRS, and others). Most of these gloves have padded palms and very short fingers, yet I hold my paddle lightly in only my fingers, and not my palm at all, so the "normal" design seems better suited to a single blade paddle, IMO. That said, you'll need to experiment and find what works for you.

Greg Stamer

I used to…
wear NRS gloves with my Aquabound Stringray carbon paddle, but once I changed to a Werner Cyprus I found that the shaft is so smooth that I don’t need gloves at all.

There again maybe I just got better at paddling and slackened my grip somewhat!

My wife still wears her gloves with her Stingray paddle though.