Any suggestions on how to eliminate the arm discomfort under the arms from long paddles. No matter what I wear I seem to have the issue of being rubbed raw. Any gear suggestions?

Bag balm?
Kind of messy and would definitely mess up any waterproof breathable fabric, but it would work otherwise.

what do you wear? NM

Some cures
I find that wearing rash guard shirts helps a great deal.

I’ve also found a product called “Body Glide” that stops chaffing. It’s in the form of a deodorant stick and can be found in most athletic stores – great stuff.


Kevlar skid plates…

– Last Updated: Nov-28-08 2:40 PM EST –

or better yet... s-glass! Use epoxy - de polyester resin be moyda on de pit haars. Iffin' yer want somethin' less permeenent, a hefty slice o' Spam duck taped ta yer underpits will do de trick but good. An' yer kin' nibble on it durin' de day too.


Plain old vaseline
I used to have to use it on my nipples back in my marathoning days, and I still use it now and then on a long distance canoe race, otherwise I will ware them raw.

Especially on a hot day when I am sweating. the combination of the salt in the sweat acts like sandpaper.

As one poster above mentioned, Bag Balm works good also.



Paddle rash
Some of my friends are raving about silk.

It works great as the first, next to the skin layer.

It isn’t very expensive. Look at

Bondo pasties, Jack
Use a sharp chisel ta git dem off…


I use vaseline, rash guard and powder
I put it on just before going on the water.

Gold Bond, bag balm
and a trimmer (electric). Keep them pit hairs short!

Body glide and shave
I used to have this problem from long-distance running. Any hair can cause skin irritation. The best lube is body glide.

Change to high angle paddling style?
Just a thought. Done properly, high angle is no harder over a long day than low angle.

Why are the paddles under your arms?
Just kidding, although that’s the way I first read it.


Body Glide
Another vote for Body Glide.

In outrigger racing we get these rashes all the time. From body parts in contact with the boat (we refer to that as “boat bite”) and from shirts rubbing on your skin; any place you have friction, you can get a rash. Nothing like a wet Patagonia race jersey rubbing around your mid section, or the seam under your arm for a couple hours solid… at 60 strokes a minute. Nice. It’s a really attractive scab, even weeks after the race. REAL attractive.

Check your favorite paddling shirt - look for funky seams under the arm area … you might be able to pinpoint the culprit. Paddle Me and Patagonia quick dry shirts sometimes use a glue substance on the seams to keep fabric from fraying. I’ve had little globs of it around the collar area that turned my neck into hamburger. You can sometimes pick that stuff off. Anywhere the shirt rubs, put the Body Glide on.

Rubbing under arm
Runners often get what is called runners nipple where there nipple rubs against there top. They tend to rub vaseline (petrolium jelly) over the area to prevent irritation or stick a dressing over the area.

Hope this helps