Anyone who has ever sailed…
**and I mean proper sailing where you must use gloves or risk your hands looking like you’ve contracted a tropical disease….in fact you probably have**
…will know that the debate around which gloves are supremo RAGES. People get seriously het-up about this. So before I begin with my very own diatribe, let me start by establishing 2 key principles:
- There is no such thing as a waterproof glove. No. Stop it. Shhhh. Doesn’t exist. I don’t care how much neoprene/leather/sealed-seam/Coolmax/GoreTex nonsense is on the tech spec, there is not a glove on this earth that will stay dry when you’re trying to hank a sail in a southern ocean storm. Or even a reasonable Force 6 in the Solent when the English Autumn decides to set in. Accept it and plan another strategy.
- Obviously the type of glove that you need is going to vary depending on the conditions you’re in. Tropical lulls are not the same as a freezing wind off the north China sea. I have heard so many people talking about The Glove that they intend to take with them on the Clipper Journey and I think they’re all mad. How can one glove suit all conditions. Smashing about in the pulpit getting soaked requires different kit to helming from the relative safety of the stern.
I am going for a multi-glove strategy. It will be task- and condition-dependent and for once I actually feel like I know what I’m talking about.
I will start my strategy with these.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are your common-or-garden variety gardening gloves. They’re tight fit and thin giving you decent dexterity. The “palm” side is a tough rubber outer so protects your hands from the worst of the wet and has a good grip on ropes and winches. The textile back dries very very quickly and is pretty cool in warmer climes. I reckon for warm-waters, these guys will Do The Business. Best part is that they’re cheap as chips so you can take 10 pairs and go through them with impunity. I found that one pair lasted me L1 and L2 training before getting ragged.
I have acquired additional gloves for testing in colder and harsher conditions already but I am reticent to post anything about them until I’ve had a chance to try them out. So…more on this saga later.
Over and out.