That first run of the season can leave you with your hands up in the air. It might be frustration with your still-hibernating skills, but just as likely it's the pain of winter-softened calluses. Here are four tips for keeping your hands in shape:
Soaking your hands in warm water with Epsom salts will help dry the skin out before you start skiing, as well as treat it after the damage is done. Soak every evening just before the season begins, and continue once you start skiing.
Lifting dumbbells or rowing without gloves in the off-season can help you maintain the calluses you developed over the summer. Or try tying your handle to a tree and mimic using it without gloves.
Tape your palms and wear gloves if you want to be extra careful and avoid blisters altogether. Cut duct tape longways into thin strips and place a strip along each finger, down your palm to your wrist. Apply the tape while your hands are still dry.
Skiing in cold water can help ease your hands into the season by building calluses while the weather is still cold and dry, not humid. Once the water heats up, your hands will start getting softer and the skin will tear more easily.