Butt Blisters: How to Effectively Deal With Those Paddling Sores on Your Posterior
Dragon kisses. Butt blisters. Whatever you call them, they are a true pain in the butt. Literally. Nearly everyone gets them, yet no one likes to talk about them. If you have been rotating properly and using an effective leg drive, it is likely that you have experienced blisters on your rear end a few times. You start to feel that pain, at some point the skin rips open, and when you get in the shower you scream like a little girl when the water hits your rear end. Most all of us have been there at least once or twice. So, what are the best ways to help prevent or alleviate the pain on your backside?
The first thing paddlers typically want to do to prevent blisters is to not rotate. DON’T give up your rotation!!! Take other measures to prevent butt blisters, but maintain your rotation. Some methods of prevention:
- wear compression shorts
- wear two layers of tight-fitting dry-fit shorts
- Typhoon8 makes paddling shorts with a built-in pad in the rear. (Personally, I’m not a fan of them because when they get wet, it feels like you are wearing a wet, soggy diaper, but some people like them)
- don’t wear baggy or loose-fitting shorts that can bunch up and create friction
- wear thong underwear (for women) to eliminate seams on your “sit bones”
- rub petroleum jelly or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on your rear end to prevent chafing
- use a high quality “butt pad” such as the Dragon Saddle (invented by Doug Bedgood).
Once you have butt blisters, there is no turning back. You’ve got to treat them in order to heal them. Be careful—you don’t want them to get infected! Some ways to help your blisters or sores once you’ve got them:
- use a large, waterproof bandage to cover the blister while paddling (you might need a really good friend to apply this, unless you are extremely dexterous!)
- use New-Skin on the affected area
- use Neosporin or a similar ointment to help the healing process
- give yourself a few days off the boat to heal, if possible
- wear breathable clothing when you are off the boat
Eventually your posterior will develop thicker skin and you won’t be as prone to blisters during regular practices. However, any time you spend more time than usual in the boat (such as a paddling camp or extensive practice sessions), you may find yourself developing new blisters.
Thank you to Janet and Kevin on Puff Dragon Boat Racing Team in Miami whose posterior pain and discomfort inspired this blog post.
Have suggestions to include here? I’d love to hear them!