OzBungy wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:39 pm
What's "LHR technique"?
I thought most experienced knew that ? Maybe you do, just dont know the term
It stands for Lewis Hunting Response (or Reaction) which he described in 1930, and it was really practical for hunters or soldiers or fishermen who had to be able to fire with the fingers or carve fish up, in cold surroundings and water/rain, without getting cold and not last long.
Usually it can only be started when temperature is below 15C/59F, but makes sense as you dont get cold hands above that
It is a pulsating blood flow, combined with blood vessel contractions, in short.
For us surfers it is even more important, and there are more aspects in this, for us, because we hold with our hands quite closed around a boom or bar, and because we "heat up" from the inside as we use our muscles when moving around physically on the water, opposed to when not having LHR, as then your fingers get colder and colder, accelerated by the grip your fingers need, til you have to stop quite soon.
The typical known example is:
You go out on a cold day and ride - and after half an hour your fingers are cold and numb, maybe so numb you can not feel how cold they are ?
When you go ashore, blood will rush back into your hands, and after a few minutes your fingers and hands feel like they got electric shock from the inside and you just wanna scream, and maybe you will vomit too
10 minutes later though, they are okay and you are warm again - and can ride the rest of the day now, without issues
This is the classic most of us know of course.
To be able to ride longer, some use thicker gloves now.
This only postpones the "numbness" and cold hands, and your grip is lousy and maybe you get sore forearms...
The trick is, to go out only 10 or 15 minutes - then you go ashore, FULLY ashore not holding your kite, and go around relaxed, maybe fiddling with something with your fingers - about 10 minutes (not more as then your body gets cold) and then, when your body have mastered (for most it is a natural thing), the LHR kicks in, and you can ride being warm from now on.
The upside for us surfers, opposed to fishermen and similar, is we use our muscles so much, that we start to heat our hands from inside, meaning our hands and fingers will actually be warmer and warmer duing the hours, when you "work out" seriously on the water.
Doing it this way, on purpose, you avoid getting cold hands, and no pain (both are not sound of course), and you can either avoid gloves or use thinner gloves which are much better in every way - thick gloves are IMO totally useless, and only used by those who got it wrong, and typically stop quite early when colder
Some will say it must be unhealthy - I dont think so and have been doing it for almost 40 years (in windsurfing it is even worse with gloves as the grip is stronger/harder) and no issues whatsoever, except for a highly developed "way" my body can start LHR, which is awesome !
My hands dont get cold, and I dont have cold nor freezing hands - it is a misconception to think so.
IF your hands, or feet, gets just slightly colder over time out there, it is a no no, as it will mean the end of your session at some point
Important to know, that LHR works just as well when wearing gloves, as without - no difference - so one has to learn this if ever having cold hands when on the water, thus normally stopping quite early.
By far the best way is to go ashore after 15 minutes, to kickstart the reaction in a pleasant and full-on way that lasts.
In time when you get better, you might be able to get a similar effect, especially when kitesurfing, if you put your hands in the cold water for some time, before you rig your gear up - it might give you the LHR and you dont have to go ashore again at all.