Windsurfer hands: blisters and calluses are part of the job | Photo: Carter/PWA

Only windsurfers know the feeling. And it is not a good one. After a couple of hours or days in the water, sailboarders begin to suffer from sore and blistered hands. Learn how to solve it.

Blisters and sore hands are probably the worst things you can develop in windsurfing. If the complication gets severe, you might be forced to stop sailing for days or weeks.

Blistered hands can cause a lot of pain. If you don't go out sailing regularly, the problem will become worse. The good news is skin thickens and hardens to protect you from unwanted tears. In a way, calluses are a good thing to have.

It's quite clear that gripping the boom is the cause. Blisters form where skin is repeatedly rubbed, and salted water doesn't help. So let's learn how you can avoid or reduce pain in your hands while windsurfing. Here are a few options:

1. Plan shorter windsurfing sessions, and let your fingers rest from time to time;
2. Have a regular windsurfing activity, and your hands will get used to it;
3. Always wear gloves;
4. Apply hand cream or moisturizer before and after windsurfing;
5. Replace hand grip with harness power;
6. Get a new comfortable boom;
7. Place the boom at the crease of where the fingers meet the palm of the hand;
8. Tape your hands;

If you already suffer from sore and blistered hands, do the following:

1. Wash, clean and disinfect the area around blisters with iodine or rubbing alcohol;
2. Disinfect a needle and insert into the side of the blister - it won't hurt;
3. Press and drain the blister;
4. Leave the deflated blister skin intact;
5. Apply bacitracin antibiotic or polymyxin B to the area;
6. Bandage it;
7. Cut the dead skin a few days later;
8. Moisturize your hands on a daily basis;
9. Follow a healthy diet and include the healing properties of proteins;
10. Don't smoke - cigarettes reduce blood supply and dry your skin;