Forums > Wing Foiling General

Wing Handles and hand blisters

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Created by Dcharlton A week ago, 14 Jul 2021
Dcharlton
121 posts
14 Jul 2021 4:54AM
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So I'm loving my Slingshot V2 6.4. Lots of fun, power and control. But my hands aren't liking it too much and I'm getting blisters on the outside of my pinkies and index fingers.

Any options in terms of making the handles not rub against the hands like putting on a rubber tube over the handles or using electrical tape? Should I wear gloves?

Of course the other option is to just stop whining and man up until my hands get used to it, which I'm fine with but wanted to see if others had the same problems and what they did.

DC

foilthegreats
211 posts
14 Jul 2021 5:40AM
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I just wear gloves and avoid the problem.

DavidJohn
VIC, 16766 posts
14 Jul 2021 8:05AM
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When you say "blisters on the outside of your fingers" is it because of them rubbing against the stitching or rough surface on the inflatable strut?

hilly
WA, 6132 posts
14 Jul 2021 7:26AM
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Relax your grip, just hook in three fingers when up and flying.

MidAtlanticFoil
177 posts
14 Jul 2021 7:58AM
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foilthegreats said..
I just wear gloves and avoid the problem.


Which gloves you go with?

foilthegreats
211 posts
14 Jul 2021 8:09AM
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MidAtlanticFoil said..


foilthegreats said..
I just wear gloves and avoid the problem.




Which gloves you go with?


Dakine Full Finger Sailing Gloves

Gorgo
VIC, 4643 posts
14 Jul 2021 10:55AM
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With a heap of use the internal padding of my handles got crushed down to almost nothing. My little fingers were being crushed and I was getting sore knuckles. I tried variations of grip but it's a bit crap having to compromise your grip just because your handles don't work.

I covered the handles with some split garden hose, then wrapped it with self-fusing tape. The result is thin, reasonably stiff, comfortable handles. They're very comfortable, very easy to hold with any kind of grip, and rigid enough for efficient pumping. I rate them better than some high-end name brand handles I have used.

I've never used gloves for wind and kite boarding because I hated the feel. I find winter wing foiling cold on the fingers because there's little chance to move or rest my hands to keep the blood flowing. I tried some 2mm neoprene cycling gloves and they were very good. No decrease in feel and reasonably warm fingers.

Dcharlton
121 posts
14 Jul 2021 9:38AM
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DavidJohn said..
When you say "blisters on the outside of your fingers" is it because of them rubbing against the stitching or rough surface on the inflatable strut?


It's the rough handles, no problem with the strut.

Pasquales
120 posts
14 Jul 2021 11:16AM
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Had the same wing, but just switched to a 4.8 PPC.

In terms of grip, I just use my finger tips. Find this suffices and is less work.

DavidJohn
VIC, 16766 posts
14 Jul 2021 2:36PM
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Dcharlton said..

DavidJohn said..
When you say "blisters on the outside of your fingers" is it because of them rubbing against the stitching or rough surface on the inflatable strut?



It's the rough handles, no problem with the strut.


So.. is it the outside of your fingers or the inside?

eppo
WA, 8101 posts
14 Jul 2021 2:16PM
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Yeh I'm the same on the ppc. Just the fingers tips.

mcrt
206 posts
14 Jul 2021 8:14PM
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Try some self fusing silicone tape.Very smooth but gives enough grip.Easy to do and undo if it does not work for you.

JonathanC
VIC, 932 posts
17 Jul 2021 11:58AM
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Took some inspiration from the ideas you guys presented (thanks Gorgo!) and stiffened up the handles of my Smik wings to prevent hand crush. Found particularly on my 3.5 that the handles were relatively narrow that led to squashed and aching old knuckles! Cut some very rigid 1" poly pipe into 85mm long pieces, then cut one side longitudinally, deburred the ends and the cut, good soak in boiling water and pop them over the handles, split away from the wing. Wrapped handle and poly pipe with self fusing silicone tape and bingo 'mini mini booms' ! First go I cut the pipe 100mm long and that made the handle a smidge too close to the wing, could still easily get my hand in but wasn't as easy as I wanted it to be. 85mm seems to provide plenty of flat length and gives much more room for getting my hands in and out even with gloves on.




Gorgo
VIC, 4643 posts
17 Jul 2021 2:01PM
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I started with short lengths of garden hose because a longer length made the handle sit too close to the strut. I found with use the hose bent into shape and there was plenty of clearance. I am now up to 180mm hose length and thinking of going longer to get a more positive connection between the handle and the strut.

I have only put tube on the handles I use the most. On bigger wings I am usually looking for power and mostly use handles 2 and 4. The tube on handle 2 has migrated itself towards the rear of the handle. On my 4m I am well powered or overpowered and ride on handles 1 and 4. That keeps the wing very balanced and allows me to feather through the gusts. I have only recently added tube to those handles.

I will try gloves some more and see how that works. It felt quite nice the first time and could solve a lot of niggling problems with handles and seam abrasion and bumps and twists and stuff.

hilly
WA, 6132 posts
17 Jul 2021 2:29PM
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I would have thought the smooth tape would be terrible to hold.

Guys here waiting for their Duotone booms to show up made booms from sup paddle handles. They got bad arm pump from trying to hold on to the shiny handle. They solved it with hockey tape.

Gorgo
VIC, 4643 posts
17 Jul 2021 4:51PM
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hilly said..
I would have thought the smooth tape would be terrible to hold.

...






The first time I tried it felt slippery. I think I hadn't washed sunscreen off my hands properly. Since then no problems at all. The handles are quite thin and fit neatly inside my closed hand or can be gripped with finger tips.

I believe there are variations in the tape as well. My mate bought cheap tape from the gardening section of Bunnings and that was very slippery. I bought Nitto tape from the electrical section (because all good SUPers use Nitto tape ). It's only a few dollars more but it works nicely.

I think a wide radius like a paddle or boom would be harder to hold. It takes more finger strength to hold a partially open grip compared to a fully closed hand. My newest wing has fairly thick handles and they are less comfortable than the thin handles. It requires more adjustment of grip during long upwind runs. Downwind and general circulating are not an issue.

JonathanC
VIC, 932 posts
17 Jul 2021 5:00PM
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The silicone tape is funny stuff, I've used it quite a bit on surfski paddles over the years. Hockey tape can actually be too grippy on a surfski paddle and can cause blisters but would probably be fine on a wing handle. Something about the silicone tape makes it surprisingly grippy. Anyway, so far so good, actually even considered chopping all the handles off on one of my older Smik wings and sewing a pocket onto the furthest in and furthest out 'stump', then using an old paddle shaft. That seemed a bit drastic so glad I've come up with an alternative.

FLACTOMAN
WA, 18 posts
17 Jul 2021 6:08PM
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I cut the second handle off and then fitted a piece of sup paddle between them, I wasn't having a problem holding the handle but just trying to make the hand switch easier and it works great .




JonathanC
VIC, 932 posts
Saturday , 17 Jul 2021 10:10PM
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That's brave Flactoman! So does that mean you can no longer use the front handle, or can you still grab it and the shaft at the same time? On my 3.5 and 4 Smik wings I basically always use the front handle and either last or second last back handle. My 4m is getting so 'used' can feel a boom experiment coming up!

Dcharlton
121 posts
Sunday , 18 Jul 2021 7:31AM
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wow! some great innovations here! I like the idea of the mini-booms putting some small section PVCs over them. Any drawbacks to this that you've noticed?

JonathanC
VIC, 932 posts
Sunday , 18 Jul 2021 9:51AM
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Dcharlton said..
wow! some great innovations here! I like the idea of the mini-booms putting some small section PVCs over them. Any drawbacks to this that you've noticed?


Handle is a bit bulkier and somewhat closer to the wing but for me at the moment I think it's an improvement

FLACTOMAN
WA, 18 posts
Sunday , 18 Jul 2021 9:08PM
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Jonathan the front handle still works fine , I use the first and last handle the most ,I shaped the carbon tube around the handle so that it wouldn't effect my grip .

mcrt
206 posts
Monday , 19 Jul 2021 12:48AM
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FLACTOMAN said..
Jonathan the front handle still works fine , I use the first and last handle the most ,I shaped the carbon tube around the handle so that it wouldn't effect my grip .


I had not noticed that you contoured the carbon to match the handle curve.Great job.

I want to do the same to a pair of Takoons soon to arrive but i do not know if i will dare cut any in-between handles.

I think it would be the best way to do it,leave front and back to attach boom tube and eliminate the clutter and weight of the other handles.
Insta Duotone Stick :)

But resale value scares me off :(

Alysum
NSW, 783 posts
Tuesday , 20 Jul 2021 9:22PM
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I don't understand all these mods to the Smik handles... They are (in my opinion) the best handles on a wing on the market. Everything else I've tried is smaller and nowhere as stiff. Even the PPC handles are smaller thickness so I find it hard to believe how those Smik handles cause pain/issues. It's the first thing I miss when I try other wings

There's plenty of sailing gloves that can fix finger soreness/damage, e.g. Ronstan www.ronstan.com.au/marine5/range.asp?RnID=258

eppo
WA, 8101 posts
Tuesday , 20 Jul 2021 8:52PM
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I reckon the units handles are the best I've tried so far . could have been a bit stiffer but for comfort those rounded covers was great. Looks a bit like what you smart fellas have engineered. That being said hand soreness is not something I encounter, but it doesn't mean that is the case for everyone.

mcrt
206 posts
Tuesday , 20 Jul 2021 8:59PM
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Alysum said..
I don't understand all these mods to the Smik handles... They are (in my opinion) the best handles on a wing on the market. Everything else I've tried is smaller and nowhere as stiff. Even the PPC handles are smaller thickness so I find it hard to believe how those Smik handles cause pain/issues. It's the first thing I miss when I try other wings

There's plenty of sailing gloves that can fix finger soreness/damage, e.g. Ronstan www.ronstan.com.au/marine5/range.asp?RnID=258



My Starboard/Airush handles are pretty muck OK.But after a year of many sessions the front one was getting a bit too soft.Some garden hose,duct tape and silicon fusion tape and now it is better than new.
Handle Viagra.


hilly
WA, 6132 posts
Tuesday , 20 Jul 2021 9:09PM
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Alysum said..
I don't understand all these mods to the Smik handles... They are (in my opinion) the best handles on a wing on the market. Everything else I've tried is smaller and nowhere as stiff. Even the PPC handles are smaller thickness so I find it hard to believe how those Smik handles cause pain/issues. It's the first thing I miss when I try other wings

There's plenty of sailing gloves that can fix finger soreness/damage, e.g. Ronstan www.ronstan.com.au/marine5/range.asp?RnID=258


Hear hear. Not sure I understand the problem. I got sore hands windsurfing in the 80s and kiting in the 00s. Wingding is no different it just takes time to harden the hands up. First season sore hands now all good. Gloves and harness will mitigate most issues. Cutting handles off and adding bits of carbon are laughable.

tightlines
WA, 3377 posts
Tuesday , 20 Jul 2021 9:29PM
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Yep, I don't understand either Hilly.

I was using F-One Swings which had rather thin, floppy handles and now using SMIK's which have much thicker, stiffer handles.
So they are pretty much polar opposites, at first I was more comfortable with the Fone handles that I was used to but now prefer the Smik handles, however I can still go from one to the other, not have any issues and wing for hours.

I think that a lot of the issues people have might be from holding too tight, with a sort of death grip and not relaxing or moving the hands around.
As others have said I often will just hold the handles with my finger tips but at other times really put my fingers through and almost use my palms.
I also think that as you get better at winging and pumping up onto the foil you probably don't put as much load on the hands, especially when you start using higher aspect, lower drag foils.

mcrt
206 posts
Tuesday , 20 Jul 2021 9:44PM
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You can get used to anything of course,but i very much prefer a stiffer handle,specially the front one.I get much better input and control in maneuvers.

Gorgo
VIC, 4643 posts
Wednesday , 21 Jul 2021 12:38PM
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My earlier wings had soft padding in the handles. With use the padding collapses down to nothing and you're holding basically a bare bit of webbing.

Apart from being a bit less comfortable, it resulted in my little fingers being crushed over the top of the adjacent fingers causing sore knuckles.

Riding with a finger tip grip helps, but in some situations a finger tip grip is not appropriate. Jamming upwind for long runs with a load of apparent wind and power calls for a more solid grip. My favourite kind of riding is long upwinders followed by downwind play.

Tube and tape easily fixed the collapsed foam and I find it more comfortable than other wings with more substantial structure in the handles.

More importantly, other than being handles the gear should not dictate how I ride just because there's a design flaw in the product. I should (and do) ride how I want within the general capabilities of the equipment.

As for swapping hands and booms, I learned fairly quickly that on a gybe I will happily grab any handle and ride through the gybe. I can easily change handles on the new tack.

Alysum
NSW, 783 posts
Wednesday , 21 Jul 2021 12:46PM
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tightlines said..
Yep, I don't understand either Hilly.

I was using F-One Swings which had rather thin, floppy handles and now using SMIK's which have much thicker, stiffer handles.
So they are pretty much polar opposites, at first I was more comfortable with the Fone handles that I was used to but now prefer the Smik handles, however I can still go from one to the other, not have any issues and wing for hours.

I think that a lot of the issues people have might be from holding too tight, with a sort of death grip and not relaxing or moving the hands around.
As others have said I often will just hold the handles with my finger tips but at other times really put my fingers through and almost use my palms.
I also think that as you get better at winging and pumping up onto the foil you probably don't put as much load on the hands, especially when you start using higher aspect, lower drag foils.


Yep that's right I alternate between my Fone Strike and Smik, at first I got super sore hands with the Strike but not so much anymore, I've gotten used to it, plus I use a harness line.
Only transitions are not as easy with the floppy Fone handles but it's a way more performant wing which keeps me happy



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"Wing Handles and hand blisters" started by Dcharlton