Can You Use Cycling Gloves for Kayaking?

Can You Use Cycling Gloves for Kayaking?

You might be wondering if you can use the same pair of cycling gloves for both kayaking and biking. Generally speaking, no – there are key differences in the design and purpose of each type of sport that requires different types of gloves. Cycling gloves are designed to minimize loss of power from squeezing the handlebars, while kayaking needs more skill since you have to control your paddle independently from everything else.

Cycling gloves are designed to be lightweight, but there is no need for this for kayaking. Many kayaking gloves out there are absurdly heavy and bulky, making it harder to grab on to things. Using a pair of cycling gloves, on the other hand, will make your hands stiff from the padding, thus making it harder to do delicate maneuvers with your paddle while also increasing the likelihood of losing control over your boat.

If you want to have one pair of gloves for kayaking and biking, I suggest choosing cycling gloves rated highly for kayaking usage. Gore Bike Wears’ body-mapped padding on the palms, for example, has a specific amount of padding on the heel and each finger. Each type of padding has its function and purpose: extra padding on the heel gives more comfort and support while paddling; extra padding on each finger makes it easier to grip the paddle tighter. The padding material itself is thicker and stronger than those used for cycling.

If you are going to use a pair of biking gloves, make sure they are waterproof, such as the Sub Zero II Cold Weather Cycling Gloves from Body maps. Most kayaking gloves out there are not waterproof because water would seep through the material and into the gloves, resulting in your hands getting wet. Wet hands can lead to cold hands or, worse – hypothermia.

Some kayaking gloves are also designed to improve hand grip by over-padded. That can lead to less fatigue and greater control of your paddle. If you’re unsure if your current pair of cycling gloves are up to the task, try them out on a paddleboard first, then put them on for some kayaking.

If all else fails, you can always take two pairs of gloves. One will be for kayaking and the other for biking.

What to Look For When Choosing Kayaking Gloves

So what makes the best kayaking gloves? The right gloves will depend on several factors:

Type of material

Make sure your paddling gloves are made from a synthetic, non-absorbent material that can minimize water absorption from the inside. Water-repellent fabric or vinyl can be useful here but never use cotton gloves.

Synthetic materials often have stretch properties that allow for a more precise fit and better movement between your hand and the paddle. Water-repellent materials can help keep water out as well. Remember that water will still be able to seep in through fabric and seams, so always keep an eye on how quickly water is leaking in.


A proper paddling glove should have padding at the base of your fingers, the metacarpus, and the palms. These areas are where your hand will be in direct contact with the paddle. The padding should be thick enough to absorb shock and protect your fingers from blisters but thin enough that you can still feel what you’re touching with your hand.


The fit of your paddling glove is also very important because it will determine how well you control your paddle. Gloves that are too loose will make it harder to control your paddle’s movement. Gloves that are too tight will leave indentation in your palms, which can create blisters and other problems. You’ll want to ensure that your gloves fit well, so choosing a slightly larger size than the measurement of your hand will help prevent any problems.

It would be best to look for paddling gloves with adjustable straps and velcro fastenings. These are more useful than sleeves because you can adjust them depending on whether you’re using a paddle or not, and you can take them off more easily if they’re hindering your movements.

Experience with various paddling gloves

Many different paddling gloves are available for sale. Some are made from synthetic materials, while others have cotton or leather padding. Some have a thumb and forefinger that extend upwards, while others come with a faux-leather palm extending further.

Different paddling gloves may serve different purposes, as you’ll see listed below:

Thumb and Forefinger Paddling Gloves: 

These gloves have extra padding on the thumb and forefinger to help prevent blisters. They let you adjust your grip on the paddle to suit different strokes better and help you have a stronger, more comfortable grip.

Fingerless Paddling Gloves:

These fingerless gloves do not cover your fingers but still extend upwards to prevent blisters when paddling. They are typically made from a synthetic, stretchable material that will give you a snug fit. However, they may not be as water-resistant as other gloves.

Long Finger Paddling Gloves:

These paddling gloves extend up to your middle finger. As such, they provide more protection against the paddle and more comfort when paddling since you can move your fingers more freely. They are made from the same synthetic material as fingerless paddling gloves.

Canvas/Leather Paddling Gloves:

These paddling gloves are made from a thick canvas material and padded with leather. They are more durable than other materials but at the same time keep your hands warmer. They have extra padding on the base of your fingers, on the metacarpus, and the palm for extra protection.

Full Finger Paddling Gloves:

These paddling gloves typically come with a synthetic liner that prevents water absorption and makes them last longer. They usually come with a thumb and forefinger that extend upwards, which allows for a better grip.

Neoprene Paddling Gloves

Neoprene gloves are made from synthetic rubber. They provide more protection against water and cold since they have a waterproof lining, but they are less breathable. That is why it’s important to monitor your hands regularly.

The right glove is the one that suits your needs best. It should work for different kinds of paddling technique, regardless of whether you’re going on a day trip or a week-long kayaking trip.

For example, if you’re looking for gloves for multiple uses, such as fishing, bird watching, and even kayaking, then thumbless paddling gloves may be the most convenient choice. They allow you to access your phone or camera without removing your gloves.

Some paddlers like to use paddling gloves that cover their entire hand, which allows them to keep their hands warm and dry while they’re in cold water. Others want a thinner glove to feel the roughness of the wood underneath the paddle. The paddling glove you choose is going to depend on your needs.

It’s important to keep in mind that paddling gloves are also useful for kayak fishing. These gloves can keep your hands dry and warm during extended fishing sessions. They prevent the formation of blisters on your fingers, too.

A note about paddling gloves sold at outdoor shops: 

Most paddling gloves are made from synthetic materials. However, if you chose to buy one from an outdoors store, it is always best to try it before purchasing to make sure that you will like the way the glove fits your hand and that it will be form-fitting enough for different paddling strokes. Also make sure to wear all-weather clothing to be comfortable when you are in any outdoor activities.

Choosing the Right Paddling Gloves for You

Expect to spend around $10-$30 for a pair of paddling gloves. If you choose fingerless paddling gloves, expect to spend less. If you want something made from durable materials, such as canvas or leather, plan to spend more.

When you’re choosing paddling gloves to purchase, you should also take into account:

The style of the paddling glove

Paddling gloves can be made from canvas, synthetic materials, leather, or neoprene. Canvas paddling gloves are the least expensive option. They’re usually strong and durable. Synthetic paddling gloves are more affordable than leather models and tend to resist water and stains better. Leather paddling gloves are the most expensive kind of paddle glove you can buy. They often have reinforced fingertips to withstand wear from a hook or fishing line slip-knots.

Fabric and materials used in the construction of the glove.

Paddling gloves are made with a variety of materials and fabrics. A paddling glove made from thicker fabric or a more sturdy material will cost more than one made with less material. For example, canvas paddling gloves will cost less than ones made of leather. The same goes for the fabrication of the paddling glove, where treated and reinforced areas are built into the glove to make it stronger and sturdier.

Accommodations for your hand.

For instance, paddling gloves with holes for your fingers allow you to finger your paddle without removing the glove first. Gloves with snug wrist bands can prevent water from getting inside your jacket sleeve when you’re on the water because they keep the sleeves from riding up your jacket arms as you paddle.

The temperature of your paddling venue

If you’re a kayaker who goes out on the water when it’s cold and high tide, you’ll want something warm and windproof. Waterproof paddling gloves are also a good choice if you kayak in wet and windy conditions.

How much use the gloves will get.

If your paddle gloves are used for recreational paddling, functional paddling gloves will do just fine. If you paddle a lot for example in Kayaking and Rowing Speed, you may want to invest in a pair of padded gloves to help protect your hands from the pressure of paddling.

The cost of the gloves.

If you are on a tight budget, you can get some relatively cheap paddle gloves, and for most purposes, they will serve their purpose just fine. Opt for more expensive gloves if you are going to use your paddle gloves regularly.

Your Shopping Options

When you’re buying a pair of gloves, it’s best to buy them online because you can get a better idea of fit and how the gloves feel before you buy them. However, there are a couple of places that you can buy them in person. You can purchase them from local shops or sporting goods stores. Or you can order them online and have them shipped to your front door.

If you’re buying a pair of gloves online, you’ll be able to compare models more easily. You will be able to get more options for different brands and different types of gloves, so it can be easy to find the best fit for your needs.

You can choose from many different brands and types of kayaking gloves when looking for a new pair of gloves. Always read the reviews and make sure you’re getting a good product. You’ll also want to find out if the gloves are returnable or refundable, especially if you don’t get the size right. That could help you avoid disappointment or hassle if your pitch was not what you expected. Also check out some good kayaking outfit ideas to make kayaking fun and enjoyable.

Wrap Up

Some bike gloves out in the market may also be a perfect option for kayaking. For instance, you can go for thicker gloves or lighter ones. The thicker gloves will keep your hands warmer; however, they might give you more blisters when paddling. The thinner gloves are generally more breathable and will still keep your hands dry while kayaking.

If all else fails, you can always take two pairs of gloves. One will be for kayaking and the other for biking. This way, you’ll keep your hands dry and warm for your kayaking. You can also use gloves made specifically for paddling as a backup pair when you’re out on the water.

The best kayaking gloves will offer you the protection you need to keep your hands dry and lets you enjoy a day on the water. Kayaking is a fun activity that requires your paddle, but it can also require special protection for your hand to have an enjoyable time.