Tips for surfing w/ Type 1?

The one area of my control that I worry the most about is when I’m in the ocean. I don’t have a waterproof system for carrying glucose or testing my blood sugar when I’m surfing (my wetsuit pockets are only barely big enough for my car key. I’ve started leaving glucose tablets on the beach with a note asking people not to take them…but who knows). I used to intentionally elevate my blood sugar to around 150-160+ before I went in, but I no longer want to have my sugars get that high if I can help it. I’m wondering if anyone else who is trying for tight control (80-120) has a system for staying safe in the water, or elsewhere that testing and/or emergency glucose is a challenge?

I know the wetsuits for tris are a little different than wetsuits for surfing, but I’ve been able to stuff a gel in my sleeve or into the neck area as an “emergency” when I’ve been in long distance races…so maybe you can try that? I know it’s probably not “the cool” thing to do, but you could get a spi belt and put a gel or two in there, and attach it around your waist (making it as tight as you want it). I use that for holding my CGM and a gel for my long distance runs–it doesn’t bounce at all, so I’d assume it could take getting hit w/ a few waves, but I don’t have any experience w/ that…

Thanks Bradford, I was thinking that gel might be the way to go. Measured, compact, no hard edges. Every once in a while, getting hit with a big wave can flush the suit and might wash it away, but it’s a good start. The Spi Belt is a good idea too…their armbands would be plenty big…actually, now that I think about it I bet I could get a waterproof case for my Dexcom and and keep in one of those bands. Thanks, this was a huge help!

not sure whether this would work for surfing or not, but for some other water sports, I’ve had some luck with using my CGM (I use Dexcom) and just having the receiver in a watertight, but flexible container so that I can still push buttons and stuff. Then, that could go anywhere. I have had a special waterproof bag, which has a rope and it goes around my neck and under my bathing suit. That way, when it vibrates to let me know that I’m getting low or high, I can feel it without even having to look.

Thanks Carolyn, that’s exactly what I’m going to try. Glad to know it’s working for someone. I just ordered a waterproof case, and a Spi Band, and will try out that combination. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before…I have a waterproof case for my camera, but not my Dexcom? Not very impressive…

I think you’ll get a system figured out and you’ll be good to go :slight_smile: The spibelt will expand pretty well and should your Dex and at least one gel w/o any issues. Let us know how it works out after you’ve had a chance to try it out!

Hey Sisiay,

It looks like you bough a spibelt, so that’s cool. If you don’t like it, or it doesn’t work well, I’ve had great luck with Aquapac. I bought this product because I needed a waterproof place to keep my pump:

which is a watertight belt with a spot to allow the tubing to come through (if you’re a pumper). I think it was originally designed for water-proofing microphone pacs for filming in the ocean, but it’s pretty cool. They have a bunch of different sizes and shapes and utilities.

Thanks Vanessa. Also a great tip. The more good answers I get, the more I can’t believe how long I went without doing something about this. I usually consider myself pretty savvy about my care/creative solutions, but man, this was a massive blind spot. I’ll report back on the first system I try, and keep sending stuff back until I get something that works the way I need it to. Those Aquapac bags definitely look like they’re slightly higher quality than what I ordered (though it looks decent) but if I wear it on my arm, it shouldn’t stay submerged for too long at a stretch. I supposed I could put it in a ziplock too for an added layer (if I can still see the screen).

I’ve surfed with power gels for almost a decade and never lost one due to flushing. And I have to tell you they taste about 100 times better in the salt water. don’t know what it is, but they are amazing out there and everyone in the lineup looks at you longingly thinking about their empty bellies. Bring a couple for a long session. As far as a monitor I’ve left mine on the beach too, but some spots are such a paddle out (think: swami’s) that if I feel at all low I will gel. and then if i need to go in and test. I find the leg of my spring suit better than the arm (less chafing). And I sometimes had my husband stash a few in his trunks pocket just in case.

My trick is fruit roll ups under the wetsuit on my leash leg. 11g of fast carbs in each and delicious. Just stuff the trash back under my suit. I guess any slim energy bar would work there too, as long as it isn’t too many carbs for one quick snack.

I just got a dexcom and am looking for the best fit for a waterproof armband for the receiver, I’ll report back if I find a good one.

Where do you wear your sensor?

I haven’t surfed in about 15 years (I prefer rock climbing now), but when I did I would take the BD pack of 3 individually wrapped glucose tabs and put them under the leg of my wetsuit (spring suit). If you can’t get individually wrapped ones, you could take a few from a bulk package and put them in a zip lock bag and put that in the same place. they are pretty flat, so I don’t think it should yield any discomfort.

I just started surfing and was trying to figure out how to store some carbs while in the water. Great suggestions everyone. The fruit rollups around the ankle sound kind of delicious. :)

Hey Chris and anyone else, I am interested in getting the spiband, and wanted to know if the spiband, not belt, fit the Dexcom receiver alright and which waterproof case you ended up getting that works the best for the Dexcom receiver?

Hi Wiffy,

The SpiBand does hold the Dexcom, even in a case. I had someone stich a bunch of extra velcro on the strap, just to make it more secure. I ended up with the Aquapac, but can't remember the dimensions off-hand. The key is that the edge with the hard plastic closure has to be parallel with the Dexcom, not perpendicular, or else it won't fit in the band.

To be fair, I don't take the Dex out that often, because I fried one during my trials, and am a bit skittish about doing that again.

Thanks Chris! Got the Spiband and love it! I wear it on my ankle during the day, it's nice and out of my way yet still feel the alarms! At night i wear it on my wrist and never loses contact with sensor, as it did when i put it under my pillow. Thank you for your help, I am so much happier with this now I will continue to wear my dexcom without hating it!

That's great to hear Wiffy! You have inspired my to try to be more consistent about carrying it with me in the water.

is the spi waterproof, then?

No Natalie, it's not, you still need a waterproof case for the Dexcom. The Spi is just a convenient way to attach it to your body if you're wearing a wetsuit (or other clothing without pockets).