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Harald 7th April 2011 02:40 AM

@ Peter Hart: toughening up hands
Hi Peter,

On you wrote a travel tip for toughening up your hands, suggesting the use of surgical spirit. I'm preparing for the windsurfing trip of a life time, and I'd like to start preparing early.

First, I tried the consumer variant of hand spirits (gelly consistency), designet to remove bacteria and viruses. It doesn't work because it contains glycerol, which is put in there to soften the hands. So it defeats the purpose. :rolleyes:

Then I went to the pharmacy and asked for surgical spirit, and the best they could give me was table sanitizer containing 75% ethanol (thin like water). No glycerol. I'm not sure if its strong enough, as my hands didn't seem to get any dryer...

So I guess what I'm wondering is the specs of the "surgical spirit" you recommend :)

Best regards,

Ken 13th April 2011 09:57 PM


Not Peter - but.........

I know that gloves are not "cool" for windsurfers, but if you can find ones that fit right, they offer two advantages.

1. No blisters. I have been windsurfing for 27 years and never had a blister! Calluses do build up and come off from time to time, but that is it. I get in between 60 and 80 days a year. Fresh water. No need to toughen up your hands.

2. Less fatigue since the gloves add friction to the grip. The gloves must have a strap to hold them to the wrist or they slip down. I have always used fingerless gloves.

Harald 14th April 2011 01:29 AM

Thanks, I have gloves like that which I use if sailing a lot in warm places. I live in Norway, and it is very seldom windy here. So here I go sailing without gloves, if it isn't too cold. There is "never" sailing conditions two days in a row anyway, so my hands never really get put up to a test. Now, when I go, I will sail every day for 3 months if I don't get too tired or get hurt...and that much sailing will be tough. Tired muscles is one thing - what I DON'T WANT is to mess up my hands, because they will never be able to heal in those wind conditions. Peter advocates washing your hands with spirit between sessions, and apply lotion in the evenings.

Ken 14th April 2011 09:14 PM


Here is another idea. I do weights often when not windsurfing. I don't wear gloves (most guys in the gym do) so my hands toughen up and maintain my calluses. No blisters either.

Where I live, I get to sail year round and never miss a month. However, only one day in January this year.

Del Carpenter 16th April 2011 09:52 AM

Bicycling gloves might help.

marksw 20th April 2011 04:05 AM

start indoor (or outdoor) rowing and you'll have tough hands with loads of calluses in no time - and you'll be fit as a fiddle.

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