To be honest, I hate gloves. Cumbersome comes to mind. Disconnected. Uncomfortable. For years I refused. And when I did wear them, the only thing I wanted to do was shake my hands feverishly like some kind of inspired spirit fingers performance – trying desperately to free myself from them. Oh, and did I mention that getting them on was no easier than getting them off? A real pain those goddamn gloves were. But when you start surfing in the winter, or the fall for that matter, they become more important. Because unless you’re some sort of Ice Man, like Arnold in that shitty Batman movie, your fingers are gonna freeze. So I caved and bought a pair, some 3mm gloves made by Matuse, or maybe they were made by O’neil. Anyhow. They kept my fingers from freezeing. For awhile. Then everything went to shit. The seams split and I wore a hole right through the palm, and they eventually let so much water in that I may as well have not beer wearing them.
My second set was similar. They might have lasted a little longer, or perhaps I just didn’t care about cold fingers that fall. But they fell apart, and so did my third and fourth pair of paw warmers. Disgruntled I was. “Why the hell can’t someone make a pair of mitts that won’t fall apart so fast?!” “Dude,” a friend replied, “gloves are only good for three months, tops!” Bullshit! I’ve owned wetsuits for longer than I’ve owned cars, longer than I dated my high school girlfriend. So if that shit can stick together so well, why can’t they get their glove glue together?!
Enter the R3. Now you gotta know I was skeptical of these gloves – with that fuzzy white wool on the inside and the rubber cement covered seams. Karissa had owned an earlier iteration of the R3 and they had, like my friend suggested, lasted her just two or three months… tops. But these looked better, well built if you will. And so here I sit, some six months into ownership, wearing a pair of gloves which appear entirely unaffected by the use and abuse they’ve received. They’ve survived sunset sessions in spring, early mornings in May, evenings in August and now October, which is all kinds of cold. And the entire time these gloves have not only kept my fingers from freezing, but provided additional grabability and are easier to get on and off than anything else I’ve owned. 4/5 as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see how the work this winter!
You can pick up your own pair of Patagonia R3 Gloves, here.
Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.