Are you a rowing champion or wish to be one?
Well, you must study and practice a lot of the do’s and don’t of rowing to make sure you are doing it in the right way.
With today’s piece of writing, I am going to focus on whether you need to wear gloves while rowing or not.
As you already know rowing requires a lot of effort and stress on your hands; it is the main part of your body that puts the effort in rowing and in the result of that heavy-duty performance it ends up having blisters and hardening of the skin.
Therefore, it is essential and crucial to choose the right pair of rowing gloves to avoid putting those strains on your palms because you would never want to end up getting injured at the end of your hard training sessions or just before some competition.
All you have to do is to adopt the protective measures and choose the pair of gloves that best suits your needs.
This way, you are not only going to save yourself from getting blisters and skin hardening, but also a preventive measure to equip yourself for the hard training sessions and develop a winning attitude.
There are so many benefits you would get by choosing the right pair of rowing gloves, here is a quick list of the benefits:
#1 Prevent Blisters
The right size and quality pair of gloves will prevent your hands from blisters (also known as friction blisters).
Choosing the right size and quality both are critical factors because a wrong size or quality (or both) will not be of much use even if you are wearing one; it will not serve the purpose of prevention from blisters.
A quality pair of rowing gloves will keep your hands protected and stress-free during hard training sessions and will abstain the skin from getting blisters caused due to the firm grip required during rowing. Effectively it helps you in rowing for longer hours.
Investing in a good pair of rowing gloves is a wise choice as a good-quality pair of gloves lasts longer. So, in the end, you not only get protection but value for your money too.
#2 Keeps Moisture/Sweat Free
Blisters are caused due to sweat in your hands or on the grip of the handles. Sweat will not let you hold the handles firmly and will damage the skin cells causing blisters. So a pair of gloves can keep your hands dry and stop excessive sweating.
The use of gloves will eventually keep your hands moist-free and dry, saving skin from inappropriate contact with the machine’s handle. The right quality of gloves is very important to ensure it absorbs the excess sweat from hands and serves the purpose.
#3 Better Grip
If you have blisters in between your fingers or on the upper side of the palm, it is an indication that you are not holding the handles in the right manner. The grip of the handle should be correct to avoid any scratchy friction between hands and handle.
The grip on the handle should not be too firm or too gentle; it should lie in between.
Always try to hold the handle in the form of a hook and push the handle towards yourself using that hook. So a quality pair of rowing gloves with a good grip on handle will save you from damaging your hands and help to produce the effective sessions.
#4 Prevent Calluses
If you are an athlete already or training hard to become one, regardless of the sport you play, you might have faced calluses forming on your hands.
Calluses or hardening of skin slowly forms because of the friction between your hands and handles; they gradually convert to blisters if you do not take due care. So in order to avoid getting blisters or calluses (or both), all you have to do is start wearing a good pair of rowing gloves while exercising.
How to Measure Your Hand for Rowing Gloves?
I have previously written in this article that you need to select the right size and quality pair of gloves. The size matters first so that you can choose the one that fits best and then see the quality of that right fitting product.
Measurement of the fit size of rowing gloves is very crucial; otherwise, you will spend money on something that is not even going to perform the intended function of saving you from the issues mentioned previously.
Here is a brief guide to measuring your hand size to buy the right size of gloves for indoor/outdoor rowing:
- Outstretch your fingers, as much as you can.
- In that outstretched position, measure the widest part of your palm’s upper portion.
- For better understanding, the measurement point on your palm is halfway between the thumb and forefinger’s distance.
Check out this video below to get a better understanding as to how you need to measure your hand for the optimum sized gloves.
General Size References for Rowing Gloves:
- 15-17cm hand circumference is XX-small size
- 17-18.5cm hand circumference is a small size.
- 18.5-21cm hand circumference is medium size.
- 21-23cm hand circumference is large size.
- 23-25cm hand circumference is X large size.
- Anything above is XX-large size.
If your hand measurement lies in between these size ranges, then always opt for the next bigger size. You will also find the size charts with online product listings which you can use as a reference to decide the best fit for you.
Types of Rowing Gloves
Gloves are the most basic type when it comes to a variety of rowing gloves. You can use gloves not just for rowing but for any sports. The gloves should be made from breathable material to make sure it doesn’t create moisture or sweat in your hands. A leather base of rowing gloves will help you avoid blisters and skin hardening, so choose the material wisely.
Rowing pads are another type of gloves that you can use if you are not comfortable wearing full hand coverage. These pads are only meant to cover the desired area of the palm. However, the issue is, because of their shape and not-so-fitted layout, they tend to move around and can cause hindrance in your training.
Grips are a combo of a glove shape and a pad. These grips are meant to give protection to the area exposed to blisters all the times after rowing sessions. It’s better fitted than pads and less covered than a glove. However, the problem would be that these will protect your lower fingers and upper palm only. So the rest of your hand is still exposed to blisters or skin hardening.
As the name suggests, it’s a combination of all previous types. It is designed for the entire hand and gives all sort of protection for your rowing training. These are multi-purpose and multi-usage gloves, mostly intended for all types of sports and all sort of seasons. Depending upon the fabric type, hybrid gloves can be used in all seasons.
Top 5 Picks of Best Rowing Gloves
Now if you understand the different types of rowing gloves and have decided to buy a pair, here is a selection of a few top-rated products available in the market. I will guide you about the purpose that each glove serves and why it is good or bad, and then you can decide based on your needs and budget:
Sculling and rowing gloves are the hybrid type of gloves available in the market. It provides the best fitting, grip, and coverage to the hand. Hence, saving your hands from blisters and preparing you better for hard training.
However, with these gloves, you need to be cautious about the size as issues may arise due to wrong size measurement; make sure you measure your hand correctly to avoid any problems. The majority of my fellow rowers who have used or using it are satisfied and suggested me to recommend these to my subscribers.
Trideer Padded Gloves are popular hybrid rowing gloves. These are the gloves that I am using right now during my training.
The padding is just right, exactly what I wanted. Moreover, they are inexpensive comparatively and are available in all sizes and also one of the widely used gloves of all time, though the price differs on the basis of the sizes.
However, the structure of the glove is so fitted that during initial usage, you may face difficulty in removing them.
Hornet is another multipurpose gloves manufacturer in the market; their gloves come in almost all sizes. Being a multipurpose pair of gloves, these can be used for a variety of sports like Kayaking, Sculling and rowing.
But, if you are looking for the coverage of more than 1/2 for your fingers, keep looking, as this product is not for you. This pair of gloves is not as suitable for indoor rowing as the ones mentioned above.
If you are a casual user, I would suggest you go with these. But specifically, if you row on Concept2 machines, then you can give it a pass.
This is one sort of padded coverage for your palm area only. So if you are looking for rowing gloves that can give you coverage for the entire hand, keep looking for other products, as this one will secure your palms only.
There is an issue of blisters due to the small coverage area that this pad offers. But you can opt for a bigger size pad for broader coverage of your palm.
Boaters gloves are designed to provide full hand coverage to boaters and rowing athletes. This is an open fingers design with best fit and coverage to palm area. However, these gloves are best suitable for the winter season to keep protected from the sun as well as from damages done by hard rowing training.
The palm protective material is synthetic leather, and the upper part is made of nylon/spandex blend fabric.
Choose the Right Rowing Gloves
It is crucial in any sports to have the right equipment. Similarly, rowers need the right size and quality of rowing gloves to ensure they practice well and don’t end up having tempered skin cells, blisters and skin hardening.
There are many brands, quality types, sizes, gloves shapes, usage types available in the market. This left most of us overwhelmed, that’s why I decided to cover this article providing a very brief knowledge of the characteristics of suitable rowing gloves and why should you buy one.
Once you understand the type of glove you need and know your size, the options are endless. Just be careful while buying by carefully analyzing the product material, sizes chart, guarantees, and usability.
If you still have questions or any confusion, feel free to write back, and I will be happy to guide you as much as I can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I avoid getting blisters when rowing?
A: You must choose the right pair of gloves in terms of quality and size to avoid getting blisters when rowing.
Q: Do rowing gloves work?
A: Yes, they do. Given that you have chosen the right size and quality, rowing gloves work.
Q: Are these gloves available in multiple sizes?
A: Yes, these are available in sizes ranging from extra small to double extra large.
Q: Do rowing gloves improve efficiency and make time to row longer?
A: Yes, gloves can help you to row for longer, harder training and avoid all types of hand skin issues, which increases your efficiency as well.
Q: Are gloves reusable?
A: Yes, depending upon the quality of gloves, these are usable and durable for years.
Iowa State Recreation Services
Rowing Injuries – Jane S. Rumball, Constance M. Lebrun, Stephen R. Di Ciacca, Karen Orlando