Rowing and Sculling Gloves and Pads
Protective gloves and pads for rowing and sculling come in various sizes and shapes and are made from various materials. No wonder, since they are used in various situations for various purposes.
In most cases, rowing gloves used for rowing on home rowing machines are common gym gloves. Features of the good indoor rowing gloves are:
- used materials must be strong and durable, but also comfortable for longer use,
- gloves must fit perfectly - be very careful when deciding the size of the gloves. I will rather have slightly larger gloves than too small gloves - too small gloves are uncomfortable and decrease air and blood circulation,
- to avoid blisters and calluses, palms padding protection should be tough and durable, while fingertips should be free. Rest of the glove should provide good air circulation to prevent buildup of sweat and moisture in general,
- straps should hold gloves firmly on the hand,
- gloves must be hand washable using warm (not hot!) water and a detergent.
In most situations, rowing gloves don't have to have wrist wraps.
Gloves with wrist wraps provide additional support and fits more firmly on the hand than gloves without wrist wraps.
However, when rowing, especially when rowing on the exercise machine, there is no actual need for such additional support - in fact, in certain situations, such support limit wrist's range of motions and require more force to finish the movement.
If you do have need for such gloves, feel free, but for most indoor rowers, they are not required.
Heavy duty rowing gloves are used mostly when rowing during bad weather and in extreme environment.
They are heavily padded from all sides and entire hand is protected not only from wind and water, but also from mechanical hits and impacts and sharp objects.
The palm and fingers are often made using rubberized, armored synthetic materials which give good grip and durability. These gloves must be extra tough, but also soft and pliable.
Elastic wrist wraps are highly recommended - they provide additional support, but also cover sleeves to prevent wind and water from entering into the gloves.
Rowing pads provide protection just to the palm and partially to the fingers. They provide excellent air circulation and are often used for light protection during rowing and gym workouts.
Rowing pads come with or without wrist support - for longer use, wrist support pads are better fit than pads without it.
Personally, I prefer gym style gloves for rowing, since their fit is better than the fit of the rowing pads - but again, that is highly personal.