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Avoiding Rowing Blisters: When Prevention is Better than Cure

Rowing Blisters: Part 4 For when you really, really, really don’t want blisters . . . Rowperfect met … read more

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Rowing Blisters: Part 4

For when you really, really, really don’t want blisters . .


Rowperfect met up with Surgeon Philip Game at the Australian National Masters Regatta in Tasmania; he was really keen to show us how he looked after his hands.  I should warn you that the methods he uses aren’t for the more slapdash amongst us but effective they certainly are.   Remember this is a man who relies on his hands staying sensitive, soft and dexterous; they are the tools of his trade.

You start with two rolls of tape, one wide, one narrow, and a sharp pair of scissors. The type of tape is critical: Philip’s experimentation has come down to this brand, this reference number, made in this country – beware all imposters!

Leukoplaster Blister Tape

Blister Tape 01524-66

It’s a wrap

Starting on the back of your hand, at your first finger and wrap round the base of your finger, between your thumb and fingers, across the base of all your fingers and  just under the first knuckle of your little finger, round your little finger and back to your first finger.

Wrapped hand

Nice and smooth now

Press your hands together firmly and smooth the tape down: make a second skin.

Snip, snap, just so . . .

Use the sharp scissors to make one or two cuts, in the webbing, down the side of each finger.  It depends on how much room you have between your fingers: make two cuts (cut out a small rectangle) where the gap is large.

Snipping for the fingers

Wiggle your fingers now

Smooth the cut edges down between your fingers.

Taped back of hand

Let’s put a ring round it

Finally, use the narrow tape to wind round each finger (seam on the back of your fingers) to hold the tape in place.

Philip tapes his hands first thing in the morning and at least two hours before he races so that the tape has time to bed in and the adhesive time to adhere.

Thin tape winds around fingers

Have you got what it takes to be a surgeon?

I think most of us are going to need a friend for all that left-hand snipping!

Read Rowing Blisters Part 1

Read Rowing Blisters Part 2

What do you do to keep your hands baby-soft – any other handy tips out there?


3 thoughts on “Avoiding Rowing Blisters: When Prevention is Better than Cure

  1. This is great – I’m a surgeon as well and have just returned to rowing after an 8 year hiatus. I didn’t have to worry about blisters then but now I do!

    I hope this works for me. Thanks!

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