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Hand numbness while winging

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Dave_H
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Hand numbness while winging

Postby Dave_H » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:34 am

I have been winging a fair bit over the past week and my limiting factor each session seems to be both my hands get numb from the knuckles to the finger tips. I know a harness would help when riding between transitions, but I am not convinced I want to add another line hanging from the wing at this time. Currently I am riding a 6m F-One Swing. My sessions have all been in relatively flat or choppy conditions, so there are no suitable waves to allow me to depower the wing and ride without wing power. I tried some work gloves today, which only seemed to help a little. I also make and effort not to have a death grip the handles. Have any of you wingers experienced similar hand/finger numbness issues and have you figured out a good solution?
Thanks,
David

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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby slowboat » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:18 pm

Haven’t had the same problem but try switching front grip every now and then. Also frequent transitions. Your body will develop wing fitness over time. If hand numbness persists, you need to rule out an underlying medical cause.

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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby joekitetime » Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:50 pm

I've been winging daily for about 6 weeks and my knuckles hurt like hell, especially the ring finger, but not the thumbs. I started on a 5m, then 6m, but now down to 2.8m. I can say that the smaller wings hurt less. I do foresee this as a future problem for me, or for the sport. I used to play guitar daily as well, but currently my knuckles are too swollen to play (no bueno).

Perhaps technique modifications will help (changing hand position). Certainly riding with smaller wings helps a bit. Perhaps using my harness will help but I kinda doubt it because my reaches are about 10-30 seconds before jibing on swell which means the harness will only be used for seconds each minute.

I'm trying to work out this issue as well!

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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby sflinux » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:26 pm

Perhaps the handle is too small. If you have an old wetsuit, you could sew a loop of neoprene around the handle for additional padding. Or add some pipe insulation around the handle, then wrap with tape. The bigger diameter/larger surface area, should be easier on your knuckles.

Dave_H
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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby Dave_H » Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:17 am

I can kite for endless hours without any hand issues, my time between my transitions wing foiling are fairly short and I don't have any symptoms that would suggest any underlying medical issues causing the finger/knuckle numbness. I am thinking this might be a new sporting related condition I would dub 'Winger's Finger' I have taken a closer look at the handles and they seem to have a inner flat strap with a foam strip on the inner side where the fingers grip. I agree that the handles seem a bit narrows and I believe the edges of the inner flat strap are causing areas of line contact that are interfering with circulation and/or impinging on some nerves. It was not windy today so I made two different prototype handle covers. The first was out a 1" OD plastic tube that I heat formed to match the profile of the handle. I slit it down the palm side to install and wrapped it with some waterproof cloth tape. The second was a 1-1/4" OD section of reinforced rubber hose. I also slit this one on the palm side to install it over the handle and glued it back together with some Aquaseal. The blue tape is just to hold it together till the glue cures. It looks like it is going to be a couple days before the wind picks back up here, but hopefully one of these handle covers will ease the pain. I will give them a try and report back on how they work out.
IMG_2903.JPG
heat formed 1" OD plastic handle cover Prototype 1
IMG_2905.JPG
1-1/4" rubber hose handle cover Prototype 2

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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby sewerrat » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:57 am

Dave, looks like you did what I was going to recommend (besides switching to a Duotone...) I was going to suggest using a heavy vinyl tube and wrapping it in padded tennis racket tape. Maybe not so long so that the tubing could slide a little and stay more straight as opposed to curved with the handle? Hope your experiment works! Don't the swings come with a harness line? I have a feeling these old chest harnesses are suddenly of value. https://www.ebay.com/itm/184349331725

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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby joekitetime » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:49 pm

Thanks everyone for the great tips/thoughts. I did an experiment last night winging which I believe has solved the problem for me. I call it the "lazy grab". I've been using a lazy grab, meaning that I bend both hands at the 2nd knuckle while holding the wing (the middle knuckle). But last night I tried bending at the first knuckle (the knuckle you would punch someone with). By forcing my hand deeper into the handle, and trying to make the handle come into my hand rather than at that 2nd knuckle it seems to solve the problem. My hands feel much better today. So for me it seems like I need to simply change my grip.

I hope that helps for others.

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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby dangavere » Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:01 am

Duotone Boom Wing might help:)

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slingshotucf
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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby slingshotucf » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:47 am

A faster foil will help also. Less drag, less stress on the hands

Dave_H
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Re: Hand numbness while winging

Postby Dave_H » Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:24 am

An update on trying the prototype handle covers out today. The conditions were from under powered to over powered on the F-One 6m Swing. Both the handle covers seemed to provide significant relief from the previous experienced finger/hand numbness. I liked the formed plastic prototype 1 handle cover a bit better as it kept its round cross section and didn't deform under load. I may wrap it with some windsurf boom grip foam for a softer feel and give it a slightly larger diameter. The prototype 2 handle cover (rubber hose) worked reasonably well, but seemed to deflect and flattened out/kink in cross section at the middle when under load which made it not quite as comfortable. I will probably make another handle cover like prototype 1 and replace the prototype 2 handle cover.
I also put a harness line on the wing and used an old Dakine chest harness which gave my finger/hands a bit of a break when pointing upwind in the gusts. It felt really good to be able to wiggle the finger around some on the straights, if even only for a few seconds. I did get flung across the wing once when hooked into the harness line, but it was not near as bad an experience as my memories of being flung over the bars windsurfing in very gusty conditions.
I also agree with Slingshoutucf that a faster/more efficient foil might help. To date I have tried several Go Foils, Armstrongs and a Lift. Are there other brands/models of foils that are faster/more efficient in particular for wing foiling in lighter winds? I have seen some photos of Mike's Lab wing foils which truly look like models of speed and efficiency. The video on the website states they riding in only 13-14 mph, but are ripping around on what looks like 5 and 6m wings. Does anyone know of any production foils for winging that are even close to the speed and efficiency of the ML?


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