Carly Clifton shares the dos and don’ts of water ski blister prevention.
By Kari Wilberg
You don’t need to be a professional water skier to get gnarly blisters on your palms. Duct taping your hands before hitting the water can prevent those painful suckers, but only if the tape is applied correctly. Two-time Nationals open women’s overall champ Carly Clifton has had some unfortunate experiences with bad blisters in the past that left her unable to water ski. Because of that, the pro water skier and coach mastered the art of duct taping her hands and is here to walk you through how to do it.
1. Buy the right tape
Buy the most expensive duct tape on the market. Cheap duct tape doesn’t stick, doesn’t rip correctly and can roll up while water skiing, causing the tape to be ineffective in preventing blisters.
2. Start wrapping
Take the duct tape and fold it in half so the sticky part doesn’t touch your hand. Tape your first finger above the knuckle, making sure you don’t tape over the knuckle. Tape down the finger on the inside of the hand to the wrist. Then go back to where you started the tape on each finger and wrap a little around the top of the finger to hold the tape in place. The tape should cover the fingernail. Do that for each of the first three fingers.
3. Getting it to stick
After the three fingers have been taped, take one piece of tape and wrap it around your wrist to hold the tape from the fingers tight.
4. Making it work for you
Use the duct tape where you get blisters most often; just avoid using the sticky part of the tape where your blisters are.