Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gear review :Sailing gloves

Now the best gloves for you will depend on three things 1. What position you are on the boat? 2. What shape hand do you have? 3. Temperature 4. Do you like your finger tips out?

Regarding these issues
1. Generally you will use your gloves the most when you are a trimmer. Line sliding in and out of gloves causes tons of wear and tear. Better wear and tear on your gloves then on your hands. Helmswomen often do not even need gloves unless it is for cold metal helms or if the helm is slick. Fordeck it depends on your own preference and grip. Generally, fordeck can get away with less rugged gloves. The most durable gloves are the Gil Pro racers. However they start very stiff and are a lot harder to move your hands in.

2. They sell women's gloves. Sometimes in pretty colors. For those with small and narrow hands this can be a great option. However for women who have large or wide hands this will not fit. Women generally have longer fingers compared to width of hands then men and this causes an issue with gloves. Since the women's size gloves are only a good fit for women with small hands if you wear a medium or large gloves in the men's sizes( large women's gloves in women's winter gloves really anything over glove size 7) women's sailing gloves will not fit. Men's full fingered gloves will also not fit as the ratio of width to height is perpetually off. The best solution is to wear the smaller size in 3/4th fingered gloves.
My favorite sailing gloves are Gil's Championship gloves. I've been wearing versions of these gloves for years. they seem to tweak them every year from blue to black to slightly other designed but they seem to always be the best fit on the market for me.

3. Temperature! Well it is probably obvious that on a 110 degree day in August and a January Frostbite race -10 degree day you want different gloves. The Gil Championship gloves I recommended in the previous section have been black for the last few years and make your hands sweat something fierce. I miss when they used to be blue and and not cause as much hand sweat.  During that time of the year I recommend Ronstan gloves as they are a lighter color and your hands will not sweat as much. During the mid summer I know a lot of people just cut the tips off of latex coated cotton gloves that you buy at the hardware store. They only last a race but they are very cheap and not nearly as hot and sweaty as other gloves due to being white. Mid January when it is snowing and cold you need warm warm warm gloves. If you are at the helm or in a position where you do not have as much wear on your gloves any waterproof winter gloves can work and good ski gloves are great.However, if you are a trimmer and near lots of wear the best option are the full fingered extreme sailing gloves by Gil. I wear silk glove liners inside my gloves when it gets really cold. This also helps with the fit of the full fingered winter gloves.

4.  Finger tips out. My general preference is for finger tips out and this results in better grip for me. However friends of mine have said the opposite. So at the marine store try on the gloves both with full finger and 3/4 and go over to the line and see which works best for you.

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