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Nonumb $12

It’s often useful to look at innovation in other sports that could be transferable to open water swimming. surfers gave us the dryrobe, and now they deliver nonumb.

Nonumb is a simple little device designed to keep your hands warm and avoid the infamous “claw” hand which is so uncomfortable and kills your catch.

Despite being initially sceptical about the comfort and benefits, i decided to give it a try as i suffer quite badly from claws on long swims and in cold water – a very debilitating affiction!

As someone who can’t even stand swimming with a watch or wristband, i was happily surprised to discover that within five minutes i had completely forgotten i was wearing them. so much so that i completely forgot to take any photos of it for this review on my first three outings! my hands stayed comfortably “warm” – or at least they didn’t go numb and unmanageable like they usually do. no claw either, as my little finger was kept nicely tucked against the other fingers. the principle is simple: Nonumb allows the hand to recycle bodyheat from one finger to the other.

Some will argue that you shouldn’t mask the “claws” as they are a good indicator that it’s time to get out of the water because you are getting cold. true, but for wetsuit swimmers this is not always the case. Nonumb is a good alternative to gloves as it doesn’t fill with water and maintains your feel for the water. It’s not a device for races, but it is a good training aid, allowing you to swim outdoors for longer in the winter or the early season.

It comes in two sizes (S-M and M-L) and an Xl is coming out soon. Nonumb is hard wearing, but if you did manage to wear them out, you can post them back and Nonumb will ensure they are recycled appropriately. I’ve been wearing them for the last month and i thread them into my goggle strap at the end of my swim to make sure i don’t lose them. Katia Vastiau

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About Outdoor Swimmer

We know that most of our readers are fully converted to the joys of swimming outdoors and only venture into indoor, chlorine-filled pools when necessity (or a training schedule) dictates. But it seems that some people haven’t yet discovered our world. They don’t know the thrill of cool water against their skin, the joy of looking up and not seeing a roof but sky and trees. They don’t know how to gauge the temperature of natural water (nice, cool, flippin’ freezing!) or the special properties of river, lake and sea water. When they swim they don’t hear bird song, they hear the aqua aerobics class from the lane next to them. If you know one of these people, please help them by showing them a copy of this magazine. We have lots of inspirational stories and features to help them break out of that chlorine-filled box. What better way to dip into swimming outdoors than wild swimming in our beautiful national parks? Our feature on the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales will guide you to the best swim spots in both parks. Or if you prefer your waters a little warmer, why not head to the Costa Brava, where I explored the coast from the safety of new boat-free areas. We have also been hearing from readers about their epic swims: English Channel, North Channel, round Bermuda and the length of Britain’s longest river. We love reading your inspiring stories, even if your challenges sometimes scare us a little bit... Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.