When you’re exploring the ocean, you need a decent pair of gloves. Not only do they keep your hands warm, but the best spearfishing gloves will protect you from all sorts of nasties.
Now, on my first couple of spearfishing adventures as a grommet I had very little spearfishing gear. Armed with a pole spear, my fins and a snorkel, I wasn’t even wearing a wetsuit in these early days, as it was the middle of summer and the conditions were perfect.
Getting a pair of the best spearfishing gloves seemed like overkill. Until I came across a cave full of crayfish. Despite being severely underprepared, myself and two friends managed to each pull a crayfish each from under the ledge. This proved far more difficult than I had ever imagined. Of course these suckers didn’t want to let go, as we’d yet to figure out you need a strong grip on the top of their carapace.
Without even a towline we swam back to shore crayfish in hand. It was when I got home that my mom almost had a heart attack, as my palms and fingertips had been slashed to ribbons from the spines on the crayfish.
But that wasn’t even the worst part. I had to stay out of the water for a week while they healed. The very next thing I did was buy a pair of the best spearfishing gloves. At least, the best available from the surf shop in my little coastal town. A pair of U.S. Divers’ Warm Water Gloves.
- Comfo Sport Glove
- 2mm neoprene back warm water glove
- Reinforced synthetic suede palm
- Elastic band withhook and loop closeure
- Two-year limited warranty
They were great. Grabbing onto rock ledges as I pulled myself underwater to check out hidden ledges, fighting with crayfish on almost every dive, and also making it a bit less hairy when you’re trying to wrangle a struggling fish off your spear. The only downside was they lasted only about a season, as I put them through the works. Soon the fingertips started tearing through, and I needed to upgrade these again and again.
These days, I’m loving my pair of Strike gloves from Ocean Hunter. They’re a much tighter fit, and the sealed seams helps to cut down on the water washing through which keeps my fingers much warmer. Plus, the fully reinforced palms and fingertips feel a whole lot sturdier and have already lasted two seasons with only a little wear. Being neoprene they’re flexible yet still very strong, as I’d rather strength over flexibility in a pair of spearfishing gloves any day of the week.
Why get the best spearfishing gloves?
Your hands are important, but I found that after spending an hour or two in the water your palms and fingertips soften rather dramatically. What would result in just a small scratch normally is now a deep cut if it happens while you’re spearfishing.
There’s a few reasons to buy a pair of spearfishing gloves
First and foremost is the protection they give. It’s like a safety net. One of the spearfishing techniques I like to use is a slow dive along the bottom, pulling myself along. The added protection on your hands means I can do this without a worry I’m tearing them up.
Plus, you’re able to grip and grab things you normally wouldn’t. Like pulling a crayfish from under a rock, or sticking your fingers into the gill of a fish. The added protection means you can do this without a second’s thought.
It’s also safer. I am a big fan of shallow-water spearfishing in the wash of the waves along a headland, and there’s been many times I’ve gotten just a little too close. Having a decent pair or spearfishing gloves means that any time I need extra support to stop myself smashing into the rocks from the push of a wave, I can simply grab onto whatever is nearby.
Finally, the best spearfishing gloves will keep your hands warm. In summer it’s not as critical, but if you want any hope of a long dive during winter, keeping your hands warm is one of the most important steps. Once your fingers get cold, you’ll struggle to handle and reload your speargun.
These days, a pair of spearfishing gloves are a must-have in my basic setup, and I always have at least one or two pairs as backup in my boat.
What are the best spearfishing gloves?
I’ve tried everything when it comes to spearfishing, and have heard many different opinions when it comes to the best spearfishing gloves to buy.
One friend swears by his work gloves. They’re designed to be puncture resistant, and I’ve watched him use these to pull crayfish after crayfish out of their holes without a second’s thought. I like the protection myself, but I found the lack of insulation to be a big downside, especially if you’re diving deep or in cold water. My fingers get numb far too fast.
The next choice is to get cheap “gardening-style” gloves from the hardware store. They’ve got good rubberized grips and provide some protection for your fingers, but I hate how loose they fit. It might just be me, but I’ve yet to get a good close fit on a pair of cheap gloves. They always balloon up with water and feel like they want to float away when I’m swimming. Plus, they don’t last all that long and provide zero insulation.
My advice is to buy a proper pair of spearfishing gloves.
You want to find a pair of gloves that have a nice snug fit on your hand when you’re putting them on dry. They will stretch when they get wet so snug is perfect, just ensure it’s not too tight that the gloves are cutting off the circulation to your fingers. That’s bad.
For me, I also use gloves as an insulator, because my fingers go numb fast when I’m spearfishing. I always opt for 2mm spearfishing gloves, which I’ve found to be a good balance. They’re thick enough to keep my hands warm, yet I still have quite a lot of mobility in my fingers when I’m trying to wrangle a crayfish or reload my speargun.
If you can, I’d also recommend looking for gloves with a long wrist cover. That way you can create an overlap between your gloves and your wetsuit sleeve. I tuck my gloves underneath the sleeve of my wetsuit, which forms a nice barrier against any water getting in. But I’m not quite done. On my right wrist goes my dive watch, over the top of it all to hold the seal tight. On my left forearm I strap my dive knife, which I position so the top strap forms a second lock holding the seal tight on this wrist.
Now I’m ready to go spearfishing. My hands are protected from both the cold water and anything I may need to grab on a dive, and I’m able to last much longer in the water than if I wasn’t wearing spearfishing gloves at all. Don’t risk tearing your hands up or needing to cut your dive short. Get a pair of the best spearfishing gloves today, like the Ocean Hunter Strike. It’ll be worth it. Trust me.