GEAR,  Product Reviews


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 affliction!

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. 


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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.