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Rowing and Reynauds Syndrome

I suffer from Reynaud’s syndrome (white hands in cold weather) and have a locker filled with pogies that … read more

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I suffer from Reynaud’s syndrome (white hands in cold weather) and have a locker filled with pogies that do not fill the bill to keep my hands warm while rowing. Help!

Reynauds is certainly a pain to live with  for rowers.  I suffer from it myself.  Here’s advice from the Rowperfect community on how to manage this condition.  The new Winter Rowing Gloves we sell may help some people.

Reynauds Syndrome and rowers Reynauds Syndrome and rowers[/caption]

My primary way of dealing with it is to use pogies of different fabric weights and waterproofness to get me through the cold wet winter and shoulder rowing seasons, including the erg bay.

Last year I wore them at least once in every month. I have several that I gravitate to, including a pair from Rowperfect that is great for sculling and another from JL Racing with fleece-lined Gortex that is a bit looser for the fatter sweep blades.

But the pair I use most often were custom made for me by a rower here at the Vancouver Rowing Club and they have small pockets stitched inside that I can load up with a hot shot or two. (hand warmers) They keep me toasty warm when nothing else will.

My doctor prescribed the vasodilator Adalt, which I use if the symptoms set in before I can get into pogies – when rigging a boat before a race, for instance. But I’m not sure it has a strong enough effect and may be more psychological.  A couple of scoundrels here have suggested Viagra but …..

Another rower says

I get Reynauds and I notice it mostly when I’m going out to race in cold weather.  I lose feeling in my hands and sometimes I

Shooting mittens for Reynauds in Rowers Shooting mittens for Reynauds in Rowers

race with so little feeling in my hands that I don’t know if the oars are squared or feathered.  I just have to get on with it!  I don’t like this at all.

The best solution I found are shooting mittens a bit like those pictured.  These are sheepskin and allow me to grip the oar in my palm unencumbered.  What’s strange is why something warm on only the back of your hand keeps your fingers warm… but it does.

My pair are less “wrapped around” my hand than those in the picture.

Anyone else got solutions?

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

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