Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Socks while Sandboarding

When you think of appropriate clothing when going Sandboarding, you usually think of summery or protective wear but a thought has occured in my mind of an essential item of clothing people don't tend to think about... Socks.


Reasons why wearing socks is a good idea

  • Prevention of sand getting within your toes, this may sound like a simple argument that makes sense for a normal Sandboarder, but how many times do you get sand on your feet and you have to endure the 4x4 or bus ride home with sand grains on your toes? This exact reason is why wearing socks will try to prevent just that, also the "sand" may also contain foreign objects such as glass, sharp rocks, bits of metal, and in some cases animal droppings; so for the interests of hygiene and safety I believe that this would be a good case to wear socks. below, is some of the stuff you don't want in your feet, I would know as something like these rocks gave me a cut on the dunes once. In the desert it shouldn't be an issue to get objects in your toes (because there's not much there) but in 2014, the VSS Enterprise crashed in the Mojave Desert in California; the chances of space debris landing in the dune region you're in is slim, but always good to stay one step ahead, Right?
 
Courtesy of: Roland Unger Title: Silica Glass Area, Egyptian Sand Sea, Western Desert, Egypt License: CC BY-SA 1.0

  • Depending on your choice of sock and your location of choice, socks are beneficial for warmth as if you wanted to go on the dunes in Uruguay, the UK, or maybe some parts of the USA; it can potentially get a little chilly because of inland, coastal, or high altitude winds; nobody likes cold feet; also if you prefer to Sandboard in the evening or at night this will also further reduce heat loss by wearing socks, I wouldn't personally wear the layered thermal socks you can buy in the winter, I'd save them for the snow mountains. I don't choose thick thermal socks because the heat of the outside environment plus sweat will more likely lead to wet socks due to the excessive sweat.
  • If you're willing to spend some cash, you can buy some gripped socks which aren't 100% comfortable but if you're planning on doing tricks and need to stay to your board, these socks will be of great assistance to you.
  • This may sound counter-intuitive but wearing black socks will keep you cool in the summer, you would think white socks will keep you cool; but Esther Inglis-Arkell reports that "Black absorbs everything coming in from the sun, sure. But black also absorbs energy from the body instead of reflecting it back. Now, the helpfulness of black clothes depends on finding black clothes that are the same thickness and looseness as those summery white clothes." 
Esther Inglis-Arkell. 2012. The Physics that Explain Why You Should Wear Black This Summer. [ONLINE] Available at: https://io9.gizmodo.com/5903956/the-physics-that-explain-why-you-should-wear-black-this-summer. [Accessed 3 January 2019].

Courtesy of: Jason0917624610 Title: 中文: 學生襪 License: CC BY-SA 4.0
  • There can be potential benefits that it can limit the damage done to your feet, however this isn't the sock it's also the material that you choose; for example, a cotton sock will be more resistant to small objects and weather conditions (like hail & snow, just in case you Sandboard in Northern Europe), this will be more effective than socks made of Polyester, but at the same time both will do a good job in limiting damage, the advantage may be horrendously small but it is still worth considering.
  • Wearing socks will help reduce your risk and vulnerability to conditions such as athlete's foot, the socks can absorb the sweat you produce and also can reduce the likelihood you'll have a fungal infection or be prone foot odour due to your feet literally being in a world of sweat.
It's worth mentioning that some people have and do wear 'diabetic socks' which according to the website 'Diabetes.co.uk': "Diabetic socks are socks aimed at people with diabetes. Quite often, diabetic socks are designed without seams in order to reduce the chance of blistering. In addition, diabetic socks may also be designed to control moisture in order to reduce risk of fungal infection or with cushioning to prevent foot ulcers. Good skin care and foot care is essential. Foot ulcers affect as many as 10% of people with diabetes." 

Diabetes.co.uk. 2019. Diabetic Socks. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetic-socks.html. [Accessed 9 January 2019].

In my opinion, wearing these kinds of socks would be a revelation and a discovered miracle for the sandboarding world; however it's only an opinion as first, I haven't worn these myself and second, I have heard no other sandboarders use these socks; so I'll let you decide (If anyone has used diabetic socks while sandboarding and has any feedback, let me know; you might get a blog t-shirt... *hint hint*)

To summarise, wearing socks is a must as this can easily prevent foreign objects such as debris and nasty diseases from entering your body, you wouldn't think it but we do stand on two feet pretty much most days; it's good for the relaxation and control of your body's internal controls, and also depending on what kind you use, socks can even give you a sandboarding experience in comfort. You may hate them during your birthdays and Christmas, but the next time you get a pair of socks, wear them with pride!

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