Black Diamond’s Enforcer glove, which won’t be available until next fall, was made for ice climbing. Specifically, the company (www.bdel.com) designed this mitt for ice-ax-swinging climbers prone to bashing their knuckles against the wall.
Indeed, I can relate. Many a foul face was generated in my ice climbing days from knuckle bashing against the hard white sheen of a frozen fall. Swing the ax the wrong way over a protrusion and—BAM!—you’re in for some hurt.
But Black Diamond, working with d3o lab, a U.K.-based chemical engineering company (www.d3o.com), has introduced a handwear innovation that might just alleviate the knuckle-crushing issue altogether. By inserting d30 lab’s special shock-absorbing gel into the back of the glove, Black Diamond builds in a protective layer between your hand and the ice.
The d3o gel is a proprietary material made with “intelligent molecules” that are flexible under any normal situation, letting the glove bend an move naturally. But put impact on the gel and it seizes up, molecules instantly “shock locking” together to absorb energy and create a solid pad.
above: a representation of d30 gel on the molecular level
It works, too. I’ve not yet tested the BD glove. But I have tested d30 on armored mountain biking apparel from Spyder, which incorporates this magic jelly into its race skiwear, gloves and some cycling apparel.
Black Diamond’s Enforcer glove is 100% waterproof, with a breathable Gore-Tex outer shell. A removable liner makes for easy drying on multi-day routes.
Available: September 2008