Blister pain, and how I learned to love Rowtex hand cream

Rowperfect is always happy to receive feedback to our activities. Read below how Gareth feels about using hand cream as a rower.

Rowers hands are, like runner’s feet, are subject to a great deal of punishment. Crying to your coaches or fellow rowers will bring you little or no sympathy, with the prevailing attitude of that “they will toughen up”, or its your fault “gripping the handle too tightly’. To be honest for most new rowers all of this is true, time and improved technique do indeed solve the problem.

However, for myself and many many others this truth is very painful and lead to dreading the outing and in extreme circumstances even giving up the sport. Our skin never seems to toughen and develop those fabled callouses, with myself it seems the warmer weather, more frequent outings and sweaty palms that brings the skin off my hands. For some it’s because they only row once a week and and spend the rest of the weekend in pain for others it’s the punishment of a rowing camp or a rowing tour holiday.

Gloves, yes, I have them all. My kit bag has a rare selection with a pair for cold, hot and wet weather and they are great, but bring a chorus of abuse from my gnarly skinned crew and at best a very disappointed look from the coach.

Ordenary blister plasters, oh I have tried them and they last about 10 mins before they become unstuck.

A new approach was needed. Rowtex hand cream.

I came across a new to me rowing brand Rowtex when I bought their Elite gloves last summer and received a fantastic rowing specific Rowtex anorak for Christmas from my wife – a life saver in the cold and wet European winter.

With this history of some high performance products I was intrigued by the Rowtex “Hand cream for rowers”. To be honest my expectations were not high, hand cream … hmmm… sounds slippery and at £13.99 not cheap, but an outing in a new strokeside seat in the club 8 and the resultant blister to end all blisters, something had to be done.

How did I use the Rowtex hand cream?

Rowtex hand cream from Rowperfect

“Apply 30 mins before and immediately after rowing” yes well, things don’t quite work out like that at 7am on a shivering February morning, 2 mins will have to do. The initial greasy feel didn’t last long and I was surprised by how quickly it disappeared into my skin, so not slippery. The little blue tube was easy to stow out of sight of my crew of alpha males. The session followed the familiar pattern which my hands went from; freezing cold and wet, to perfect, to sweaty … then … here we go, blister time, but with no time to worry. As we dock I brave a glance at my hands OMG nothing, just a little soreness. I am convinced, I apply the cream “immediately after rowing” as instruction demanded and two hours later my hands are “normal’ like it was all a dream, bring on the next session!

Love finding stuff like this genuinely makes my rowing life more comfortable.

Gareth Simpson UK


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