UKC

/ Jamming/crack gloves

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Wiley Coyote2 - on 05 Jun 2017
Suddenly, out of nowhere I have become aware of crack gloves with two friends using them on separate crags this weekend. Is there a general consensus on whether they are legit or not? My initial reaction was that they were a bit iffy since they obviously made jamming easier and seemed to grip better than bare hands or at least less painfully. However on considered reflection I thought, well if you can wear sticky rubber-soled shoes why not gloves? And chalk seems to stick better than clean hands. Thoughts?
2
pec on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

I've seen a few people wearing them now. The impression I got was that they all needed to learn how to jam properly rather than buy some daft looking gloves to compensate for their lack of jamming skills.
I'm sure there's some routes out there (probably in California or Baffin Island or suchlike) with 2000' of gnarly cheesegrater jamming where they might come in handy but 99.9% of the time they seem pointless.
21
TobyA on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

I'm reviewing the Ocun ones and the OR ones for UKC currently, and I've owned a pair of Singing Rock ones for something like 6 or 7 years now.

I was chatting to the folks in the climbing section of Outside in Hathersage a few months back and they said they are selling well now, including to some "alpine hardmen", guides etc. who have obviously decided they are they are hard enough to deal with the scorn of people like pec! ;) I've seen plenty of people using them now out on gritstone.

Like anything you can argue its an advantage, but we all spend ages and money getting the best rock shoes for our foot shape and the type of climbing we do, so covering the back of your hands doesn't seem so different. It's 16 years since I first tried taping up for crack climbing, on holiday in Lofoten where we were doing 100s of metres of crack climbing day after day and it just helps keep your hands good through your trip. After that I then used tape gloves from time to time in the often very crystalline granite cracks of the crags of my local area (tape gloves are reusable and you'll get many days out of a pair). Around a decade ago the Singing Rock crack gloves started being sold in a local climbing shop and lots of us started buying them rather than using tape. So when I moved back to the UK, I then used the gloves I already had for gritstone crack climbing here, 3 years ago I don't remember seeing other people using them here, but I definitely have done over the last 18 months. I think them being available from Outside, and their blog doing a review of the Occun ones might have helped popularise them.
TobyA on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

> The impression I got was that they all needed to learn how to jam properly rather than buy some daft looking gloves to compensate for their lack of jamming skills.

Perhaps they wanted to get better at jamming routes and got some gloves so they could do it more without ending up hurting themselves?

I remember reading IIRC a Steve McClure column in Climb where he cited the UK climbing team's doctor as saying that women will suffer pain more than men when jamming (something to do with thinner skin or more sensitive skin perhaps?) and would therefore benefit from taping up more. Do any medically minded people have an opinion on this? I could have misremembered it...



1poundSOCKS - on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> Thoughts?

I got the OR ones because they were a bit less bulky than the Ocun ones. Can definitely save some skin if you bite off more crack than you can chew, and I've got a fairly low tolerance for pain.

Although they do occasionally make things a bit harder, if the crack is a bit tight for your hands.

And try not to worry about what anybody else thinks. Who cares, it's all good fun isn't it?
pec on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> Perhaps they wanted to get better at jamming routes and got some gloves so they could do it more without ending up hurting themselves? >

If the aim is to learn to jamb then you're not going to do it by removing the pain that tells you you're doing it wrong!
My original post was a bit tongue in cheek but it remains the case that for all the people I've seen using them, the gloves were to compensate for poor technique not to aquire it.
I do accept that for a small number of routes they could be useful, especially on multi day ascents in big mountains but I've jammed my way up a lot of granite in the USA, Lofoten, the Alps etc without needing gloves and so have many of my friends.
14
wilkie14c - on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

the green furry scabs that form as your body purges the lichen ground into the backs of your hands is character building.

It also freaks my boss out and when asked about it, i just say 'I can't talk about it' (deadpan)
Mark Kemball - on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:
I think you are talking through ignorance or trolling. I certainly know how to jam properly - have been jamming for 40+ years, however as one ages, the skin on the back of the hands thins, it is prone to cut break or bruise much more easily. Jamming gloves (mine are Ocun) have put the pleasure back into crack climbing for me. Nobody has objected to taping up in the past, gloves are effectively the same thing. Just back from a weekend of gritstone jamming, gloves made all the difference for me.
Post edited at 23:12
Kevster - on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Yet to see a pair. There were at least a dozen teams at the coastguard cliffs at portland on Saturday, not a glove in sight. Plenty of bolts though, which is to be expected for these parts. Maybe it's a regional thing?
TobyA on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Yeah, I love crack climbing too, but also notice that my skin seems to heal slower than a decade or so ago!
I think pec is right that as you learn to jam well it hurts less, but there are certain routes that are always going to hurt (the quartz crystals that Helsinki region granite was infamous for just cut you like a blade!) and make you bleed, particularly at whatever your respective top level is. Gloves or tape make those routes much more fun.
TobyA on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Kevster:

Yep. Can't imagine they would be that much help at Portland! You could wear them the wrong way round and see if the rubber on your palms would make those super polished holds feel any less slippery. ;)
oldie - on 05 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Climbed with someone in 70s who had tight thin leather fingerless gloves he used for jamming....he said they were quite often used on grit. I never used them myself but they don't appear to be anything new.
cb294 - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Why would gloves not be "legit" if taping up is considered OK?

I love crack climbing, and use Ocun gloves for most cracks I would have previously taped my hands for. Saves quite a bit of money (I go through a roll of tape every couple of weeks for my Judo anyway).

It is true, though, that there is a certain width of crack (somewhere between finger and small hands) that is more difficult to climb with gloves. Good thing is you can take them off as needed, again better then tape.

CB
beardy mike - on 06 Jun 2017
pec on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Check out these total punters. They need to come learn a thing or two. >

Well none of them are wearing gloves.
Like I said, everyone I have seen wearing them was a total punter with poor jamming technique who needed to learn how to jam more than they needed to wear gloves.
I have also said I can see there is a role for them on small number of particularly gnarly routes. I have also said my original post was a little bit tongue in cheek.

I hadn't considered the ageing process which may be a valid point. I haven't reached that point yet but it might not be far away
All the people I've seen wearing them however were in their 20's and didn't have that excuse. I suspect they'd simply fallen prey to the marketing because a shiny new piece of kit is easier to aquire than skill.
5
HeMa on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

> Well none of them are wearing gloves.

Actually, they were... OK, Steph only taped fingers, but still...


And yes, tape vs. premade crack glove, to be honest the difference is minimal (in use), and I use both or neither depending on numerous things.

I mainly use Ocun gloves, as I don't get out enough to harden the skin... the local granite is like cheese grater (worse than Sennen), as Toby mentioned... And they are easy to use plus low maintenance.

But I haven't used tape nor premade gloves in Norway lately (Nissedal, Uskedalen and also Lofoten) as the rock is generally slabby enough to lessen the loads on your hands.

And for harder climbing, I tend to use tape as it gives enough paddin' to save the skin and I also can fit into tighter jams with tape.

But then again, sustained 20m cracks of Sennen quality (or worse) big crystal granite with miniscule or non-existant footholds tends to wear out the skin, no matter how good your technique. Especially if the grades hover in high f6s or f7s (or higher, not that I can get up them).
pec on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to HeMa:

> Actually, they were... OK, Steph only taped fingers, but still... >

No they aren't. Two of them have taped up hands, one has a bit of finger tape, probably to support tweaked tendons. None of them are wearing gloves.


HeMa on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

Difference between a glove and tape glove (i.e. taped hands) is *NADA*, *ZERO*, *ZILTCH*

And Steph is taping fingers, not to support pulleys (not tendons)... but the protect the skin when climbing sustained (so 30m plus) finger-crack... Which IG is full off.
1
beardy mike - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:
They are wearing tape gloves - jamming gloves are just a commercial solution to the same problem and you see plenty of people taping up for cracks in the states, just not so much here. I think this all hs more to do with localised perception and ethics than any real advantage other than pain reduction. Don't get me wrong, I don't wear them in the UK, but can understand why people would. And my post was tounge in cheek too. I guess the point is if it gets people jamming and doing routes they want to do, who gives a toss whether they wear jamming or tape gloves (both of which afford protection and extra grip). If it's good enough for the pros... As for falling for shiny new bits, I supposewe could all pull a bonatti and climb with iron biners and crap crampons, with ahawser around our waists but inbetween day jobs, being punters and just wanting to have a laugh, there's not a huge amount of room for being a goddamned hero.

PS here is steph explaining how to make tape gloves and finger gloves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lU3IX31IJ4
Post edited at 10:32
ashtond6 - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to cb294:

>It is true, though, that there is a certain width of crack (somewhere between finger and small hands) that is more difficult to climb with gloves. Good thing is you can take them off as needed, again better then tape. CB

Not anymore! The new OR gloves are much much better as they are thinner than tape.

Used on many green and red creek cracks.

ashtond6 - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

> I've seen a few people wearing them now. The impression I got was that they all needed to learn how to jam properly rather than buy some daft looking gloves to compensate for their lack of jamming skills.

E2 climber is the leading voice on jamming skills for all?

Apologies that I cannot jam and look daft to you!
2
cb294 - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to ashtond6:

Thanks, may give them a try!

CB
Christheclimber on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

Thanks for the very informative link on taping up. My problem is that like others have mentioned, as you get older the skin on the back of hands can get thinner making jamming more painful. I'm also allergic to zinc tape as my skin gets really itchy and covered in bumps. I think it's time to invest in some jamming gloves
Christheclimber on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Hi Mark,
Looks like you had a good weekend jamming on the grit. Didn't know about this event!
Cheers Chris
krikoman - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

They'll be having sex with condoms on next!!
tmawer - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Couldn't agree more! With thinner skin and arthritic fingers I had moved away from jamming almost completely, but with gloves I am back to looking for a few more cracks to enjoy.
Rick Graham on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to tmawer:

I have got some, but with already big hands, the original Triop? ones feel detached from the rock, so only use occasionally.

Must get some neater ones.

Apparently for alpine use, crack gloves really help on both cold and wet rock.

Big Lee - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

> I hadn't considered the ageing process which may be a valid point. I haven't reached that point yet but it might not be far away

Maybe you should consider also that not everybody has the same hands as you. I've got possibly the boniest hands known to man. It's easy for climbers with bit of 'in-built protection' to think gloves are not needed.

Personally I use gloves verses tape gloves because I can't be bothered with the faff of taping. Plus I can easily put them on midway up a route if I have to.
jim jones on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

> Personally I use gloves verses tape gloves because I can't be bothered with the faff of taping. Plus I can easily put them on midway up a route if I have to.

I was "converted" after climbing cracks in Bohuslan, most local wore them. Tape's a faff and having to shave hairy hands a complete nuisance. My skin definitely damages more readily now I'm older too.

cb294 - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to jim jones:
> Tape's a faff and having to shave hairy hands a complete nuisance.

Just skip this step, only once will do!

CB
Post edited at 15:20
jim jones on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to cb294:
> Just skip this step, only once will do!CB

Skipped it by buying gloves!
Post edited at 15:25
cb294 - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to jim jones:

Just joking, of course! For me, the pain of pulling the tape off is actually not the main reason for shaving before taping (if possible), but the higher risk of skin inflammation and infection if you peel the hard way.

CB
Bulls Crack - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

I wear those new-fangled rubbery things on my feet nowadays

The don't half save my poor toes.
Big Lee - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to jim jones:

> I was "converted" after climbing cracks in Bohuslan, most local wore them.

Yes everybody uses tape or gloves in Bohuslän. That's where I started to also. I think you'd be hard pushed to find a more crack orientated destination in Europe so the locals must know something.
Wayne S - on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

I have a pair of Ocun gloves in the top of my rucksack. I don't use them often, but they do get used, but I have never been bothered to tape up ever. For me they are just a convenient way to not to add more scar tissue to my aging hands, which as others have said, scared skin gets thinner over time and is slower to heal. Plus sometimes it's nice not to always look like some kind of street fighter/ bare knuckle fighter at work! If only they made shin guards!

I have no idea if they perform better or worse than tapped gloves, but I certainly wouldn't see them as cheating. I have climbed wet grit cracks with them where I might not have started off on the route without them on that particular day. Arguably you can torque hands in harder, but equally you could wait till a dry day, and you do loose a bit of feel/ tactility. Swings and roundabouts really.

Wayne
planetmarshall on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to pec:

> If the aim is to learn to jamb then you're not going to do it by removing the pain that tells you you're doing it wrong!

On this very website is a video series by a couple of guys, 'The Fat Guys', or something. Anyway, the very first episode is on how to construct a tape glove. Perhaps you should drop them an email to tell them they've been doing it wrong, and need to experience pain to learn proper technique.
HeMa on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

> Yes everybody uses tape or gloves in Bohuslän. That's where I started to also. I think you'd be hard pushed to find a more crack orientated destination in Europe so the locals must know something.

Oddly enough, I didn't wear my gloves (nor) tape as much as I wear back home. The thing is, it's mostly fingers in Bohuslan and also the granite isn't as gritty as in Kustavi.
1
TobyA on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to ashtond6:

Have you got a pair of the OR ones? How are you finding them for longevity? I noticed a tiny amount of peeling on my test pair, I heard on the first ones this happened a lot but was meant to be fixed.
TobyA on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Apparently for alpine use, crack gloves really help on both cold and wet rock.

I've found they make a surprisingly? positive difference even on winter grit in that way. Definitely makes wet cracks both more secure and less chilly!

TobyA on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to HeMa:

And Kustavi is nicer than Helsinki region I reckon!
HeMa on 06 Jun 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Nah, it Really Ain't
1
ashtond6 - on 07 Jun 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> Have you got a pair of the OR ones? How are you finding them for longevity? I noticed a tiny amount of peeling on my test pair, I heard on the first ones this happened a lot but was meant to be fixed.

They initially wore faster but then seemed to stay the same way. New versions out soon I'm told!

For me, they are a mile better than the competition
Fakey Rocks - on 07 Jun 2017
In reply to beardy mike:
> Check out these total punters. They need to come learn a thing or two.http://exploregram.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Pamela-Shanti-Pack-@shantipack-on-the-Bob-Scarpell...


Notice the blonde lady also has arm / elbow sleeves on, like sports joint support stuff, but i bet its just for protection from scrapes, and the bloke doing the foot jam, has some shin protector thing on, i was wondering if the "5" you see is part of 5-6, who make skateboard gear + padding, but maybe it's not.
http://exploregram.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Pamela-Shanti-Pack-@shantipack-on-the-Bob-Scarpell...
http://alexekins.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/IMG_9595-590x839.jpg
http://stephdavis.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/fairy-tales.jpg
Post edited at 19:59
TobyA on 07 Jun 2017
In reply to Rock to Fakey:

They're just 5.10 high top boots aren't they? I think Pete is sponsored by 5.10.
Fakey Rocks - on 07 Jun 2017
In reply to TobyA:
I wondered that too, is the 5 usually so big?

Trouser leg is tucked into a black shin sleeve though.
Post edited at 20:20

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