Old 17th April 2010, 05:39 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Default Wrist support?

Hi there,

I'm relatively new to the sport, only sailed for about a year, but almost straight from the start I got a sore wrist after each sail. It stays painful for about three weeks before getting better, but I rarely give it that long to recover anyhow. At least when I'm on the water adrenalin makes me forget about it completely... haha.

I'm thinking I'll probably just have to live with it, but was wondering if anyone else has the same problem? If so, has anyone found any sort of device to support weak wrists? Straps etc.?

First I thought it was because of the countless times I had to haul myself back onto the board after falling in, but these days I only waterstart, so no more drastic bending of the old wrist. Other reasons I could think of are a) the fact that I'm of pretty light build - could the forces just be too much for my bones?
and b) that said wrist had a fracture about twenty years ago.

Any other ideas? Wrist-strengthening exercises? Supplements or healing balms that have worked for you?

Any tips would be much appreciated.

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Old 22nd April 2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,202

Hi Romy,
Sorry none of our ladies have stepped up to answer your question here.
I had a similar problem many years ago, but it was not from an injury ,
not from climbing on the board, and not from waterstarting.
My hands and wrists would burn and cramp after any several hour sailing session
The pain (after sailing) was noticeable and one of my sailing friends was an intern MD
at the local hospital.
She suggested that since I have quite small hands that the larger (1.25"/3.175 cm) diameter booms and big sails (7.5-9.5 m2) I was using were putting too much stress on my hands and wrists.
Her suggestion, after seeing me wringing my hands and wrists at post sailing pizza dinners, was to get smaller diameter (1.125"/2.8575 cm) booms.
Also she suggested fairly heavy doses of anti-inflammatory drugs (3 200 mg Advils) after
Use of the smaller dia. booms, and occasional Advil binges (after many hours of sailing or racing) have kept me sailing pretty much pain free for around 20 years.
Also, I concentrate on not "gripping" the boom.
I learned this from the coach of the USA Juniors Formula Experience Team where some of the girls on the team were having wrist issues.
Teaching them to "play the piano" on the top of their boom with all the fingers while sailing or racing on 8.5 m2 FE rigs, keeps your grip on the boom much more loose.
You hold the boom fine, but you do not "grip it" tightly which causes lots of hand and wrist stress.
Also use of an Easy Uphaul device on larger sails, and having your harness lines adjusted to take as much load as possible off your hands and arms and put those loads down on the much larger muscle groups in your hips and thighs are good strategies for reducing hand and arm stress when windsurfing.
Hope this helps,
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Old 2nd May 2010, 12:47 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14

Try to give it a rest, and start up slowly, muscle strength builds up faster than tendons.
Slowly increase load and duration. I used artifical climbing and Mountain bike to improove my under arm stamina in the early days of WS. These days I use SUP, but again here start with a padlle with a smaller blade (less load) and shorter sesions.
Best of luck
Lars H.
(Father of 3 Prodkids, two girls)
Lars Helmersen
Team Helmersen

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