here. To recap briefly, I mainly got them because my fingers get a little battered from hanging on to the mat.
I received the gloves yesterday and I have to say that I am most impressed by the quality of them. The rubber used appears a perfect thickness and flexibility and like it will be tough and durable. I love the way in which they have secured the webbing across the back of the palm and fingers which again inspires confidence that it will remain attached over time. They appeared to fit perfectly, there are eleven different sizes, so I chose well thankfully, and I was really looking forward to an opportunity to try them out.
As the bar has been opened at our usual surf spot, and always takes a little while to settle down, today Michelle and I decided to check our old home break out. We suspected that the river mouth bar there would also have been breached recently and when we arrived we found that indeed it had and three punters were out enjoying what looked like a very nice little peak indeed on a bank directly in front of the river mouth. It was raining and cold with a lively off shore wind but the water was a beautiful green as we remembered and that little peak just looked too inviting not to go in.
So we struggled into our still wet and cold wetsuits, God I hate having to do that, and walked out to the break. Luckily, two of the punters decided to come in just as we got there so it was just going to be the 3 of us sharing. The gloves are a good fit and it was a little bit of a struggle to get the second one on using the hand that already had the first on. I like the way in which the wrist section of the glove is a good length easily covering the end of the wetsuit arms at the wrists. As I paddle out, I am an arm paddler on a mat rather than just kicking until I get out the back anyway, I can feel the gloves are providing plenty of resistance as they pull though the water. Ummm, it is looking like on this count they may be a valuable assistance on the take off. I get on to my first wave, a quite powerful and cranking little left, getting a very decent ride before the wave closed out pretty hard requiring me to do some serious grabbing on to of the mat with my right hand in order to retain it for the next wave. I certainly would not want the gloves to be any thicker as it would certainly have made it difficult to hang on to the mat because it felt like there was a slightly reduced purchase than I am used to with an ungloved hand. It was not enough to make me think it would be problematic and I think it was more that the sensation was unfamiliar and there was probably more grip available between the two materials than I was actually aware of. By the end of the short but sharp session in which I collected another couple of really great fast rides I had become quite used to the feeling and was not thinking about it anymore. On another note, I am wondering if it may have been a good idea to get a pair one size smaller as there was a tendency for the finger tips of the gloves to ride up the finger and a little effort was required to get them back in to place again. It only happened occasionally but if I need to buy another pair sometime in the future I might consider it.
They certainly helped to ease the stress on my fingertips when hanging on to the mat, provide an extra degree of warmth and having the extra paddling power is an added bonus and so they will become a part of my mat riding kit from now on. I have a pair of Duck Feet on the way and so I am also thinking having webbed gloves may make up somewhat from the power I am going to be losing by switching from the bigger UDT fins.