The experienced climbers among us, we’re sure will understand that most of us aren’t just born with rock ready hands. Months of preparation and most importantly serious effort goes into each and every callus to ensure our hands are at their best. For those just starting out, or even those looking to try something different, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to ensure your hands don’t let you down.
1: Keep them bone dry
Moisture creates a barrier between your skin and the rock, reducing friction and making your palms slippery. Soft or slippery skin tears. Fact. Get cut bad (no matter how macho you think you are) and it can leave you unable to climb until your wounds heal.
Even beginners know to use chalk to soak up the sweat, but if that’s not cutting it – upgrade to liquid chalk. Use sparingly or you could counteract the positives by over drying; encouraging cracking, or go for an antiperspirant gel, like Friction+ which is alcohol-free to prevent over drying.
2: Keep them clean
You’re bound to get cuts and grazes, but the last thing you want is a gammy hand. Don’t let them get you out of action, keep your wounds clean to prevent infection and aid recovery time. Try an antibacterial spray like Neosporin – It’s pretty hard to get hold of in the UK, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll take it on every climb.
3: Prep your nails
*Definitely not for aesthetic purposes*… A sharp jagged rock face is no place for nails. Keep them short, tidy and snip any hangnails or file peeling skin.
4: Repair them… and fast
The drying and beating your hands go through is inevitable. But there’s nothing more frustrating than being out of action. We know the feeling, that’s why we developed our saving grace. ProBalm. Apply to cuts, grazes and sores for 100% natural healing power like no other (we’re not bias, it really is the best, just ask our ambassadors) to get you back on the rock.
5: The most important rule
KEEP CLIMBING. It’s a nice idea that those perfectly formed calluses appear at the drop of a hat, but we all know that’s not true. Nothing prepares your skin more than the rock.