How annoying is it? Just off the plane, awesome wind forecast for the next few days and your hands and feet are covered in open blisters from that first 3 hour session! It is a nightmare for anyone who has been left stoked from a first session on the water but left the hands covered in blisters because they haven´t had the time to adapt to the extreme sport. And the forecast looks like the wind will die down in a few days … What are we to do?

Holiday blister - Windsurfing Callouses

We can choose to do one of three things:

Suck it up

The first is to fight through the pain and just keep going with the mindset that “it will have time to heal in the lull after the storm”. While this is a valid option for a masochist or anyone seeing the pain as a reasonable price to pay for a session (guilty!), it doesn’t solve the problem. If anything it makes it worse and takes away from enjoying the session.

Return of the Mummy

The second option is to tape our hands covering the blisters. This is by far the most preferred option as it covers the wound to a certain extent, protecting it from direct contact with the boom. Without the constant friction on the boom, the lack of contact with the sand and salt water, the wounds have a chance at getting better. They probably won’t heal, but they also won’t get much worse. Sure it’s not the most stylish option to reenact the Return of the Mummy, but to a certain extent it works. It can be a hassle to apply and depending on the affected area and our gripping style, the tape might not last too long. Usually it is difficult to apply the tape in a way that it doesn’t roll up or peel off with little more than making a fist a couple of times. I might make a post in the future dedicated to the technique that works the best.

Let it Heal

The last alternative is to actually take a break from windsurfing and letting the wounds heal. Naturally we are not talking about just waiting passively. We want to get back into the water as fast as possible!

Aloe Vera

By far my favorite approach. This plant works wonders. Depending on the severity of the wounds, the healing process will take maybe a day or two, and when they are cured it will be with tougher skin, ready for hardcore action. It is also good for scrapes and scratches.

Aloe Vera against Windsurfing Callousses

Applying this will most likely allow you to hit the water after a break of one day, maybe even less if you leave it overnight and apply it again in the morning. The biggest downside is that it’s basically goo, and it stains the clothes easily (and maybe permanently …) so you have to make sure the area is covered. It also smells funny…

Either way, if we stick at it, it will be like curing the aching body after a workout session at the gym and we will get used to the friction of the boom and end up with callouses. But that is something you must put into alignment with your level of femininity or metro-sexuality.

If you know any other ways to deal with callouses let me know in the comments.