Climbing can be rough on your hands, and the more battered they are the harder it is to crush. With autumn kicking in and winter hot on its heels, keep your climber’s hands clean and cared for - without loosing those calluses.
Wash your hands
At the start and end of every session, wash your hands. Not only does it prevent sickness from spreading (and let’s face it, this is the season of sniffles and raging coughs) but it’ll make your chalk more effective and keep your skin in better nick.
Tape comes in two forms: for skin protection, or for structural support. If you’re coming away from the wall with raw and sore skin, then the first type of tape could be for you. These extra padding layers can save you from scabs – though it will lessen your grip on the wall slightly, it also stops you getting blood on the holds, which is just unpleasant for everyone. Always pop tape over any existing cuts to prevent them from reopening mid-climb.
Castle Shop stocks a range of tape, but for more flexible, elastic and good skin protection we recommend Lyon fingertape, available in narrow (1.25cm) for £2.75, and wide (2.5cm) for £3.50.
Choose Your Chalk Wisely
Some chalks dry your hands out more than others – liquid chalk contains alcohol, which can dry the skin. Be aware of what’s in your chalk before just choosing the cheapest… and remember, you probably don’t need to use as much as you think.
The Castle Shop currently stocks refillable and sustainable chalk balls, Black Diamond White Gold, and Friction Labs in three varieties of texture: Unicorn Dust (fine), Gorilla Grip (chunky) and Bam Bam (super chunky).
Prices range from £2.20 for a chalk ball up to £17.50 for a large bag of Friction Labs.
Keep those calluses smooth as possible with a sanding block – the best and easiest way to prevent them from ripping in the middle of a problem. Best time to use it is at the end of your training session.
Climbers hands take some pretty rough treatment, and a common mistake for new climbers is to slap on the moisturisor. But you want to let those calluses build up, because they’ll protect your skin in the long run. ClimbOn is the perfect solution; it’ll moisturise your hands whilst still letting your skin toughen up over time, and it’s made of beeswax and essential oils so no nasty chemicals. Apply after you’ve washed your hands at the end of a session for nourished hands.
ClimbOn – Mini bar £6.99, Large bar £11.99, or it comes in an eco-friendly compostable tube for £7.50.
Black Diamond Skin Kit
Keep those flappers at bay! All the essentials in one place, this perfect maintenance kit has all you need to keep your hands in tip top condition – including tape, split roll tape, sanding block and nail clippers in a tidy pouch. Also makes a good present for your gnarly-handed friends!