All over the world ultimate is played by hundreds of thousands of players in warm sunny climates, on green grassy fields with a gentle breeze in the air. However, for many of these players, for half the year, the sun hides behind clouds, the green grass turns white and icy and the gentle breeze is enough to freeze water. So, the question becomes…if you’re going to play ultimate in the frozen white tundra (places like Canada, parts of the US, Northern Europe, etc..) should you wear gloves when you play or not?
For me, this question comes down to a few factors. Namely, why would you want to wear gloves? Obviously to keep your hands warm. Ok but what about grip when throwing? What about having really bulky gloves on your hands? And what about your hands hurting from catching a disc in the cold weather?
Well, no matter the weather, I would recommend throwing with nothing on your hands. However, in some cases this isn’t really ideal as it’s just too cold (although if you’re playing in weather so cold that a disc can break in half or even shatter, then you probably aren’t worried about having perfect flick hucks. Just saying).
In the case where a glove is necessary, I have 4 types of gloves that I would recommend checking out. They all have their pros and cons but really the best thing to do is try them out. See what you like. Obviously you want a combination of low bulk, warmth and grip. Some people care about having a bit of padding too on the palms/fingers which can help protect your hands but might take away from the grip.
Lookfly ultimate gloves – these are the only gloves made specifically for ultimate (the first 3 fingers are exposed while the last 2 are kept warm so you still get a good grip on the disc). They look pretty thin so maybe not the warmest:
Football receiver gloves – great for grip and low bulk. Warmth? Meh…(I googled “football receiver gloves”):
Biking gloves – good for warmth and padding and grip. Bulk…sort of bulky. (I searched “bike gloves”):
Winter sports gloves – great for warmth, not bad for grip (I use these for disc golf although I almost always throw with the glove off and put it back on to keep my hand warm. Not so easy to do in ultimate though). A bit bulky depending on the style (I searched “cross country skiing gloves”):
If you’ve used gloves playing in the cold, let me know what you recommend. And if you have any recommendations you’d like to share with the readers, add them in the comments below!