You may have seen that we have a FREE eBook on the website (here), I thought I'd also share that useful information within our blogs.
Chapter 7 is called: "How Should I Care For My Guards?
(You can read the previous chapter here)
When a gymnast has a new pair of grips, it is important that they break them in properly. The best way to break grips in is by doing simple skills, or swinging with them lightly on the bars. The reason for breaking in grips is so that the leather moulds to the gymnast’s hand and the bar.
Handguards will naturally grow slightly over time, stretching as a gymnast’s hands grow, or just stretching from all the work they do. If a current pair is a “medium”, they may have stretched and a replacement "medium" pair may actually be too small. When ordering, a gymnast should always check with their coach as to what their hand size is currently and order accordingly. An earlier section above covers sizing in detail (if you missed it).
Many gymnasts mistakenly use water on their handguards, to aid chalk to stick. This is a terrible idea! Water and leather are not good buddies, and spraying water onto handguards makes them dry and brittle. This reduces handguard performance, weakens the leather and greatly shortens the lifespan. Instead, smart gymnasts use a Handguard Conditioner called "Monkey Spit" in the place of water. Conditioners such as Monkey Spit care for your grips and will help maintain handguard performance and life.
Most gymnasts keep their grips in a grip bag or pouch, helping to keep them safe and secure. It might seem like a daft point, but there’s so many people and handguards in a gym that, even if not deliberately, they can be easily taken, moved or lost. It is a good idea to put a gymnast’s name on their grips, but obviously only when certain they fit and are being used (any dirt, chalk or marks will prevent grips from being exchangeable).
Handguards should be regularly checked to see if
they are fit for purpose (see the section above this one for more detail).
You can read the previous chapter of this guide on handguards here: "How Do I Know When I Need New Grips?"
The next Chapter is here: "The Importance of the Rule of Two!"
Thanks for reading,