Thin gloves

I usually wear gloves when I paddle. Nothing special, just thin Spandex biking gloves that takes the “rub” out of the paddle shaft.

My hands are on the small side but not that small. My paddle shaft is the regular size and that was fine with the gloves I’ve been using…

Those gloves are not waterproof. In fact, it actually just stay wet with every paddle stroke. In the summer, that’s kind of nice and “cool”. But with the air temperature drops, the wind picks up and the wet gloves got kind of… well… COLD, especially when the wind hits it.

I got some thick neophrine gloves from my WW days. They are plenty warm but they’re not that comfortable. Most other paddling gloves I found in stores are also pretty thick. I know I won’t be comfortable wearing them with the regular shaft paddle. But it’s a bit of an overkill to get small shaft paddle just for a couple weeks a year. (I ski as soon as the temperature drops below freezing and the kayak goes into hibernation!) I’m looking for gloves that are thin in the palm yet block some wind.

Ideally, it’d be best if the back of the hand has a bit of insulation or at least block the wind. But the real issue is the palm should be relatively thin so I don’t loss the feel for the shaft.

I’m not crazy about waterproof gloves. My hand sweat really bad, so it’s going to be wet one way or the other.

What do you guys like best?

NRS Hydroskin
Full finger, lightweight and OK into some somewhat colder temps. Personally they are getting to where they aren’t warm enough for me - water and air both into the 50’s now with a breeze and I am finding them a litle cool if the sun goes behind clouds. But my hands get cold more easily than most anyway, so there’s a good chance you’d get a longer time frame out of them.

I use dish washing gloves
to keep my hands warm when the temperatures start to drop. They are thin and still give me a good feel of the paddle. When It gets real cold I use some neoprene mittens.

playing around with polartec aquashell
maybe find a glove pattern and use urethane faced aquashell on the outside (for wind protection) and velour faced on the fingers for much longer wear. somewhat breathable, reasonably warm etc. You could cut the palms out of them and leave the hole unfinished, it will not ravel.

Hydroskin gloves and if it gets too cold nylon pogies over them. I have neoprene pogies also but they are way too hot for me usually.

I don’t like pogies that much because I can’t stretch my fingers out fully inside them. Then my fingers feel cramped. The nice thing about the combo though is that you have reasonable dexterity and retain some warmth if you pull a hand out to wipe your nose or whatever.

Keep your head warm enough and more blood will warm your hands from the inside.

pink or yellow?

Kokatat Paddle Mitts. As long as you’re not immersing your hand continuously they’re great for touring/sea kayaking.

See you on the water,


Paddle Mitts
Just picked up a pair of those. Haven’t tried them on the water yet, but they seem to be nice and lightweight. Should be plenty warm for my use, and if not, I can always add a pair of lightweight gloves.

makes some thin gloves, either with or without fingers. I really like mine, and I got them off of ebay at a reasonable price.

Walmart hunting gloves
In the North East, Walmart - Hunting section has great Neoprene gloves - cheap. The nicest paddling gloves I have ever used. Around $8.

When it really gets cold, I use them with waterproof over-mutts. In an emergency, I can pull them out fast if I need my fingers.

forgot to mention…
Drip rings really help keep your hands warmer. No sense in bathing them with cold water on each stroke. For GP use I put a tight loop of bungee around the inner blade areas and it works great and doesn’t interfere with my hands. Leave the knot on the bottom as you paddle.

Under Armor has gloves.
They have gloves but I don’t know their intended use. I’ll check it out and get back to you.

Glacier Glove brand gloves.
Get the ‘Perfect Curve’ model w/the very light fleece liner, not as clammy as straight neo gloves. They are fairly thin, but not too thin. They are precurved and have a great grip on the paddle as well as being H2o-proof. Tried the NRS Reactors, which are too thick, too curved and I thought an uncomfortable fit on a paddle and hand, and no where near as warm as the Glacier Glove even though thicker. Just my two cents.

Nitrile gloves
I use the heavier duty disposable ones from Grainger. For me the are better than dishwashing gloves and much less restrictive than neoprene gloves. Also I often use plain old wool knit gloves.

Yep I’ve bought abour 4 things at
walmart, and those are one. I was driving through maine on hte way to a put in, and was desperate.

just curious
>I often use plain old wool knit gloves. <

How long do they last?

I would have thought the palm wear through pretty quickly?

I checked out the Under Armor gloves
they would not be good for paddling. I have a pair of the Wal-Mart gloves but they don’t compare to my NRS neo gloves.

I haven’t found the ideal glove, either. Closest I’ve gotten is Sealskinz gloves, which are waterproof and preserve feel better than anything else I’ve worn.

Sealskinz are not real warm. But I did a comparison one winter day: I put a leaky Sealskinz glove on one hand and left the other bare. I put both hands in the water and left them there for about half a minute. I really had thought there wouldn’t be much difference–there was. So even though they’re not really warm, they’re still my favorite glove for paddling. Even though one leaks, it’s still far warmer than bare skin. And yes, the nonleaky one is warmer still.

I was thinking that you could get the Sealskinz one size large (they are supposed to fit tight) and insert an ultrathin wool liner glove, similar to the very thin Merino wool used in Smartwool’s lightest underwear. I bet that would still keep good paddle feel and add a bit of warmth to the waterproofness.

Anyone tried the NRS rapid gloves?

I’m looking for thin gloves too, for use with a GP. These are 1.5 mm. Not really that thick. Felt good in the store. Anyone use and like these?

Paul S.

Fit GREAT, but grip not so well …
The Rapids are the most comfy and nicely fitting gloves I’ve ever used, but I only used them once because they just don’t have enough sticky gripping material on them.

I tried them on a fairly action-packed Class II+ river, and by the end of the 5-mile run my forearms were aching some due to having to hold on verytightly to prevent slippage. Took them off as soon as we merged into a much bigger, deeper (and warmer) river where I would never need the skin/knuckle protection.

Perhaps they would work quite well for mellow sea kayaking or rec use, but for whitewater or surf, no way.

I’m going to try to wax my Werner carbon shaft for the first time so I can use these otherwise great gloves, but NRS should improve them!

NOTE: All the blue 2006 NRS Rapid gloves I’ve seen do NOT have the “Spider-web grip pattern” surface pictured on their website! They have less sticky stuff, looks like the Hydroskin palms (which I’ve heard grip better but I don’t want to try after this experience).