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General >> General Slinging Discussion >> How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
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Message started by Dawesome21 on Jun 6th, 2022 at 11:54am

Title: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Dawesome21 on Jun 6th, 2022 at 11:54am
I have two questions.

1. How does everyone solve their own problems of finger chafe when slinging?

2. How do you think ancient slingers solved the problem of finger-loop chafe, and how would this solution be different from the modern-day?

A sling by nature has a finger retention loop.  And as I throw with the sling, it is rotating around and chafing my finger inside the loop.  It can even chafe the fingers next to it.  I thought I would solve this problem by adding a second finger loop, so using my middle and ring fingers to retain the sling, and not just my middle finger.  But this has only reduced the problem and not solved it.  After a couple of hundred shots, I still tear the skin on the base of my fingers.  I have resorted to using heavy-duty band-aids around the base of each finger.  This, with the double-finger loop, has sufficiently solved the problem for me.  But I am wondering, how do other slingers attack this issue?  And more importantly, how did ancient professional slingers attack this issue?  If a sling has this problem by nature, then ancient slingers must have had their own solution, which is probably better than my solution since they were professionals.  Plus, all of the re-enactors, modern Balearic slingers, and ancient sling finds that I know of only have one finger loop.  I don't think I see anyone in Spain today using band-aids around their fingers, and they usually have just one finger loop.  How do they avoid tearing their skin off?  What am I missing here?  Do we have any evidence for how this problem was addressed in history?

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Greenjay on Jun 6th, 2022 at 5:01pm
Interesting. I use a sisal split braid with a single loop, and I've never had that problem. Even after hours of slinging. However, I have had chafe from long-tailed release cords after shooting really heavy stones.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Greenjay on Jun 6th, 2022 at 5:06pm
Do you have a close up picture of your hand, with the sling  held in the ready position?

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by MMF on Jun 6th, 2022 at 7:58pm
Maybe it's the material you are using (or thickness).
How heavy are the projectiles you're shooting?

I made a sling with 2 mm polyester cords that had a rough, scratchy surface and it would rip my skin but it would take over an hour of continuous practice.

For heavy ammo (>500g), I use slings with thicker finger loops ~1/4" (~65 mm).

As for ancient slingers, I'm not aware of any accounts related to your problem. It was not discussed by Livius who wrote about the Balearic and Achaean slingers as a historian. The sling is still used today in the Andes (where the oldest surviving slings have been found) and by shepards around the world. They also don't have this problem. The Spanish did not note anything either when they fought the Incas or the Aztecs who both used the sling against the Spanish. There are several other accounts on slinging too numerous to mention but none that I know of talk about this.

As for today, there are videos on YouTube of amazing slingers, many of which compete in tournaments and I don't recall any of them doing anything special to prevent chafing.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by IronGoober on Jun 6th, 2022 at 8:40pm
I very often get blisters if I sling a lot (several hours). Calluses are the answer for most problems along these lines. A double finger loop also helps. A single finger loop is basically a guaranteed blister for me.

Athletic/medical tape on the fingers also provides a lot of protection.

Most of the balearic slingers put a piece of leather in the finger loop which slides on your skin more easily than fibrous material and it seems to spread the forces much better, too. You can see that they usually put in a very wide piece.

I would think that most ancient slingers would just develop calluses, but if it continued to be a problem, they may have just wrapped the fingers in cloth or leather. That would have helped solve the issue (like athletic tape).

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by slingostarr on Jun 7th, 2022 at 2:17am
I get chafed skin at my index finger knuckle, but I hold my sling unlike most other slingers.

I used lip balm on my chafed and cracked slinging finger. Eventually it will callous and won't be so much of an issue.

Other solutions may be to wear a glove, or buy some elastic finger protectors (ebay), or even using sports tape.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jun 7th, 2022 at 3:31am

Dawesome21 wrote on Jun 6th, 2022 at 11:54am:
all of the re-enactors, modern Balearic slingers, and ancient sling finds that I know of only have one finger loop



Dawesome21 wrote on Jun 6th, 2022 at 11:54am:
A sling by nature has a finger retention loop


All archeological  sling don't "necessary" have a fingerloop.
https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?action=downloadfile;file=enluminures%2Epdf

I don't use a fingerloop, I hold the retention cord in my palm.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jun 7th, 2022 at 3:56am
If we take the time to look, several ethnological slings don't have fingerloop. Page 2, the sling made in Tierra del Fuego is interesting.

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/x9128

I admit I didn't answer your question.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Mersa on Jun 7th, 2022 at 8:07am
A nice cinch can help but itís very dependent on materials some just cut u up more

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by lobohunter on Jun 7th, 2022 at 10:34am
I solve that problem by using a wrist loop

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Rat Man on Jun 7th, 2022 at 11:32am
    That's a problem I've never had.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by joe_meadmaker on Jun 7th, 2022 at 12:18pm
I've had this issue mainly from finger loops with a rougher texture, or finger loops that are larger in size which allows them to slide around on the finger(s).

I'm currently using a loop on the pinky finger and keep it pretty snug.  No issues with any rubbing, chafing, or blisters as of yet.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by IronGoober on Jun 7th, 2022 at 12:19pm

Rat Man wrote on Jun 7th, 2022 at 11:32am:
† † That's a problem I've never had.

Really? I am very surprised. I thought all slingers would have some skin rip-age.

That was the immediate problem I had when I first made a sling at 14 years old. The blisters were so bad and painful that I didn't sling for another 8 years because I didn't know how to solve the issue. Wrist loops just made the blisters form on my wrist...

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Sir Missalot on Jun 7th, 2022 at 2:18pm
I don't get this problem because I pass both cords through my palm so there's no swing-rubbing.

You could line the loop with rabbit fur if you have some, or, lacking that, whip the loop with some fluffy acrylic yarn.

It'll still rub, but at least it's cushy.  Hmmm... too much sweat would ruin that, though.  Worth a try, it's easily reversible if it doesn't make you happy.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by slingostarr on Jun 7th, 2022 at 7:11pm

Sir Missalot wrote on Jun 7th, 2022 at 2:18pm:
I don't get this problem because I pass both cords through my palm so there's no swing-rubbing.

You could line the loop with rabbit fur if you have some, or, lacking that, whip the loop with some fluffy acrylic yarn.

It'll still rub, but at least it's cushy.† Hmmm... too much sweat would ruin that, though.† Worth a try, it's easily reversible if it doesn't make you happy.


Sounds like you hold your sling like I do, with both cords next to each other, and the release knot between the end of the thumb and the first knuckle of the index finger?

I've still managed to crack my skin at the first knuckle if the index finger during extended sessions.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Dawesome21 on Jun 8th, 2022 at 1:32pm
Wow, thanks for the input everyone.  I'm surprised that not many people experience this issue.  IronGoober seems to be the only one so far who understands me!  haha

Y'all are right to point out to me that not every sling has a finger loop.  Good point.  And some even have wrist loops.  I would guess that wrist loops just result in wrist chafe though?

Tombelaine, thanks for the link to the British Museum!  Wow!  There are some really high-class intricate sling finds.  I need to up my weaving game for sure!  I especially like the ones from Micronesia and the Marquesas, the Pacific Islands etc.  I didn't realize we have found so many awesome extent slings.  Some of these are made from coconut fibers and rough vegetable fibers etc that look really coarse/rough/scratchy.  I would have to imagine they would tear skin during heavy throwing.  But As,+.1961 has a really nice thick finger loop...  Some don't have finger loops at all.  None have double finger loops, and only one loop I see even cinches.

I use a lot of jute and rough hemp (twine is pretty coarse, not smooth seaming twine), but I also have the problem with paracord.  I'm just throwing tennis balls.

Maybe I have been going about this all wrong in my personal slinging.  I have been trying to do a double finger loop and cinch it down really tight, but maybe this just distributes more chafe around my fingers.  Maybe it would be better to do one large, loose, wide, and smooth finger loop and allow it to swing/move around while twirling?

I didn't have the problem early in my slinging journey when I did mostly casual short slinging.  But also early in my journey I didn't cinch down the fingerloops tightly.

I'm going to have to mix things up and see what works for me, it sounds like this isn't a universal problem and it's probably from something I'm doing wrong.

First step, maybe I'll get back into a loose, wide single-finger loop and let them move around freely while throwing.  Maybe trying to make a tight loop is the opposite of what I should be doing.

Second step, maybe don't go so hard, stop when I get hot spots, use a lip balm or such after the session to help heal.  See if I can build callouses.  Using band-aids is only giving my fingers an excuse NOT to develop thicker skin.

I'll have to let you know how this goes in a few weeks.

I also definitely crack skin open on the inside of my release/pointer/index finger, for sure.  Especially with rough hemp.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by IronGoober on Jun 8th, 2022 at 1:46pm
Sports tape fixes all. :)

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Archaic Arms on Jun 8th, 2022 at 6:18pm
I've also always contended with "slingers fingers".
Ways I deal with it are by wrapping the finger-loop with something soft like wool yarn, or by holding the sling in a particular way. I find by having the finger-loop on the middle phalanx on my index finger, I experience less chafing than other grips.
When the blood runs, I use sports tape (a godsend)
Thick skin and callouses help a lot too once you develop have them.
Also I find Tiger Balm helps heal the dry cracked 'wounds' a lot faster...

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by JudoP on Jun 8th, 2022 at 6:47pm
I've had it on occasion, but rarely. Usually I sew a leather cover on the underside of the loop if it's a rough material like sisal. On some paracord slings I just use a leather strip as the fingerloop which is extremely comfortable.

For some reason the worst I had was some form of braided nylon which just took the skin off so easily. Usually it's not too bad though, I tend to use a very loose fingerloop relative to other slingers too so not sure if that helps things.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by TOMBELAINE on Jun 9th, 2022 at 2:39am

Dawesome21 wrote on Jun 8th, 2022 at 1:32pm:
Tombelaine, thanks for the link to the British Museum!

All the credit goes to AncienCraftwork.

https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1615648623




Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by lobohunter on Jun 11th, 2022 at 11:34pm
[/quote]. Wrist loops just made the blisters form on my wrist...[/quote]
I am surprised at that . Then I some times get a burn on the the index finger where I hold both strings

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by IronGoober on Jun 12th, 2022 at 1:09am
https://www.instagram.com/p/CerKQkXOr51/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Maybe give this a shot too.

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jun 16th, 2022 at 4:29pm
Use a sliding leather finger loop.

Because it pulls tight, there us no movement if the loop during slinging, so no rubbing.
And leather is comfortable and pliable.

I've never had any finger rubbing with any if my slings, even after extensive slinging sessions

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by AncientCraftwork on Jun 18th, 2022 at 12:13pm

TOMBELAINE wrote on Jun 9th, 2022 at 2:39am:

Dawesome21 wrote on Jun 8th, 2022 at 1:32pm:
Tombelaine, thanks for the link to the British Museum!

All the credit goes to AncienCraftwork.

https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1615648623

All credit goes back to Archaic Arms to whom if I remember correctly I owe the discovery of that museum page.

As to finger loop chaffing, multiple finger loops help as well to prevent it

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Jun 22nd, 2022 at 9:27am

Curious Aardvark wrote on Jun 16th, 2022 at 4:29pm:
Use a sliding leather finger loop.

Because it pulls tight, there us no movement if the loop during slinging, so no rubbing.
And leather is comfortable and pliable.

I've never had any finger rubbing with any if my slings, even after extensive slinging sessions


Same here.  Never had a problem with this type of finger loop.

1744280B-7503-41DF-88FE-72D67CE6344A.jpeg (150 KB | 1 )

Title: Re: How to solve the slinging problem of finger-loop chafe ?
Post by ilovepancakes on Jun 22nd, 2022 at 6:38pm
I do a bowline knot as my retention knot. Trick is to make it long enough to tuck under the tail and double the loop on your finger.

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