Get a Grip on Your Paddling

We put hours in our kayaks every year and paddle countless miles all in search of new destinations,a personal best catch, or just creating new memories with family and friends. When paddling shorter distances or if you aren’t out that long then your hands may never get sore. However, if you are paddling any length of time, especially consistently paddling like when you are trolling your hands and wrists can get sore. These 4 tips will help keep your hands and wrists feeling great and ready to take you on your next adventure.

Change Grips

Yep, it can be that simple. Just change your grip. Start out by paddling with your hands on the paddle about one and half shoulder lengths apart. After a little while, bring your hands closer together. Switch it up as your paddling. I usually like to switch every 10-15 minutes but you can do more or less, whatever is comfortable!

Stretch ‘n Roll

Let’s bring this classic back. Set your paddle in your lap open your hands stretching each finger (at the same time) to make it as long as possible. You really want to feel the stretch across your entire hand. As your fingers are stretched out bring one finger down stretching it downward. Bring it back up and go to the next finger. Repeat two times and the bring your hands into a fist. Now roll your wrists in a clockwise direction two times. Then roll them counterclockwise two times. Open your hands and repeat the stretch and roll sequence.

Open your hand

This is a simple one but can do wonders. As you are paddling, open your hand keeping the shaft of the paddle in your palm. Pull back with the opposite hand (using proper paddling technique) and gently pushing forward with the open hand. When you are out as far forward as you can go, wrap your fingers around the paddle and start pulling backwards. Open your other hand that is now on top.

Paddle Grips

This one accessory has helped my hands stay comfortable when paddling for hours. They are Yakgrips! It is basically a small cushion sewn into a tube that fits around the shaft of your paddle. They are a little tricky to get on but helps you from getting white knuckles as you’re paddling. I’m sure there are other brands out there but I’ve had two pairs of Yakgrips and used them for many years and love them. I get mine from Rutabaga Paddlesports in Madison, WI. Check them out, you won’t regret it!