Rock climbing flappers suck. They’re painful, inconvenient, and can put an immediate halt on your climbing session. Sure, you can snap a wicked pic of blood dripping down your digits to fool all 50 of your followers into thinking you just crushed some futuristic V15. But we all know the truth. It happened half-way through your warmup because you don’t take skincare seriously. Rad project or not, taking care of your skin is vital for a lifetime of climbing success. That’s where a climbing hand cream or salve, like Bomber, can help.
The Flapper Fundamentals
As we climb, calluses begin to form on our digits. They give us the protection we need for long sessions at the gym, crag, or in the weight room. If left untreated, these calluses continue to thicken until one day they catch on a sharp or porous hold and tear. Ideally, climbers should have skin that is thick enough for optimal protection and comfort, while not being so beefy that they turn into flappers.
You’ve Got A Flapper, Now What?
Should you tape it down and keep going? Rip off the dead flesh and stuff that bad boy with chalk? Superglue the skin back down? Start crying and throw a Mickey Mouse bandage on it? These are all things you’ve probably seen or done, so what should you do?
Step 1. Clean. Clean. Clean.
Rinse it with water to get out dirt and debris. Your hands are probably covered in chalk, and since gyms and crags are super dirty places, your first goal is to prevent an infection. Wash around, and in the flapper itself. Yes, it’ll hurt worse than when Dumbledore died, but at least it’ll be clean!
Step 2. Throw Some Bomber Rock Climbing Salve On It
If you want to get back to climbing, which of course you do, apply some Bomber rock climbing salve, fold the flapper back down, and bandage it up. You can use an actual band-aid, then some climbing tape or if you’re a sucker for pain, just tape. Just know when you take the tape off later, it’s going to suck.
Step 3. Change Bandages During The Day & Air It Out At Night
We use our hands a lot, so they’re always touching nasty germ-infested areas. During the first stages of your flapper healing process, clean your wound regularly and change the bandages during the day. Since that skin needs to toughen a bit, let it air out overnight when you are less likely to touch germ-ridden surfaces.
Step 4. Chop Off The Flappy Skin
The next morning after your flapper has had a chance to air out, and that poor detached chunk of skin has shrivelled up, you can go ahead and chop it off. Make sure to cut it (please don’t rip!!) nice and close to the base so that it doesn’t start snagging on the things you touch.
After a couple of days, you’ll notice that baby skin isn’t screaming in pain every time you wash your hands. Way to go! You have grown back some new skin! If you go back to the gym before your flapper has fully healed and toughened up, make sure to properly wrap and bandage it. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to send hard during your recovery.
Chill out and go climb some slab, you’ll hate it, but at least your flapper won’t hurt!
As your new skin starts to grow, keep it moisturized with a climbing hand cream or salve like Bomber. The apricot-kernel oil and essential oils have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to keep your hands healthy. The skin on our hands is always being stretched and squished too. Having some moisture on your new skin will give it a little bit of extra elasticity to prevent any unfortunate healing setbacks. We’re looking at you cracked scabs!
Step 5. Get Back At it!
If you’ve followed all of our steps, your skin should be good to go and you can get back to your climbing routine. Just make sure to follow our steps for flapper prevention and hopefully you won’t have to deal with them ever again!
How To Prevent Climbing Flappers
It’s much easier and less frustrating to prevent flappers than it is to fix them up. With just a little skincare and effort you can be flapper free just like the 1930s.
File Your Calluses
Flappers happen when calluses build up. You can manage this with some sandpaper, pumice stone, or a similar skincare tool. When you notice your skin pads protruding, it’s time for some much-needed love. Using plain old sandpaper (80-120 grit) on dry skin. This will give you a lot of control over what comes off. Be sure not to file them down too much, you still want a little bit of protection for your digits.
Wash Your Hands After Climbing
After your climbing sessions, don’t just head straight home. You’ve got excess chalk on your hands that will continue to dry out your skin so, give them a quick wash! This will also prepare you for the next step.
Use Bomber Climbing Hand Cream
Right after your session, throw on some climbing hand cream like Bomber. It’s quick-drying and non-greasy which climbers love! By the time you leave the gym and sit in your car, your skin would have already absorbed that good stuff. You’ll be able to grab the steering wheel grease-free. It also saves you from applying it right before bed and laying there like a mummy, praying that your hands don’t touch anything.
Don’t Use Regular Moisturizers
Moisturizers from the department store like Jergens soften the skin and help remove calluses, which is great if you’re a normie! But as a climber, you need those skin pads. Softer skin is way more prone to tearing and flappers. Climbing hand creams moisturize the top layer of skin and leave your calluses intact so you can send hard without worrying about tearing your skin open.
Bonus Skincare for Climbers Tip*
If you really take climbing seriously, you’ll limit the amount of time you spend in a hot shower. Have you ever noticed after a long-steamy shower or bath that your fingers are all pruney and soft? That’s flapper heaven. So get accustomed to short showers, using cooler water, and wear rubber gloves when doing the dishes.
Staying healthy lets you enjoy this great sport to the max! Nobody likes being sidelined by flappers, so take control of your skincare with the best climbing hand cream around. Lotions are for babies, Bomber that shit!