One of the most common questions that we receive from customers is:
How long will my GRINDSTONE last?
The short answer is: it depends on how you use it...
If you are following the directions that came in your RIPT Kit, the way to maximize the effectiveness of your stone is to make sure it lives in your shower and that you let your skin soak up some warm water before you start wet sanding.
Use it dry, and it's probably going to fall apart...
The above picture is a stone after ~6 months of use.
Why is wet skin and a wet stone so important?
We often hear from customers that their stone flakes, and leaves a black dust on their hand. This is true! And a very important feature of the GRINDSTONE. We chose the material for the stone specifically because it wears a little, and this is so that you don't make the mistake of taking off too much skin at once (the stone wears slightly and makes it more forgiving). If you a callus shaver or natural pumice before, you will be familiar with how unevenly these tools wear through your skin. The crevasses, gauges, bumps and ridges left by these tools cause your skin to dry out at different rates and become more prone to ripping in the future.
As mentioned in a previous post about proper hand care for CrossFIt and rock climbing, the trick to high performance calluses is to sand and contour them so they are thin at the edges and thicker in the middle (picture a convex lens).
The fine grit texture of our GRINDSTONE, when mixed with the lubricating effects of water, and skin that has been softened in the shower makes for the perfect environment to polish off layers of skin in a highly controlled manner (one layer at a time). As opposed coarsely chewing through skin like a natural pumice stone, or hacking off huge chunks with a razor or shaver.
In exhaustive testing (you name it, we tested it) we also found that because of the hard nature of volcanic pumice, and the aggressiveness of a shaver or razor, they are effectively useless on skin that isn't thick and rough yet. Which means your calluses spend most of their time at the physical extremes and are never in the sweet spot of hand and grip protection.
The perfect callus is thick enough to be protective, but thin enough to stay hydrated by your body, making them flexible or stretchy (and hence less prone to rips and tears). If your hand care tools only work when calluses are thick and gnarly, and then your only use option is to grind or shave them completely off, you're always flip flopping from too thick (prone to shears and flappers) to too thin (not protective, and extra sensitive if you're not careful). This is not an ideal situation.
The GRINDSTONE allows you to ALWAYS keep your calluses in the sweet spot by only taking off small amounts of skin at a time. One or two passes, examine, and repeat until you've achieved the desired thickness.
In conclusion, if you make a few callus swipes with your GRINDSTONE part of your daily routine, you will help maintain a high performance grip, and you will never have to deal with thin sensitive hands, or thick, dry calluses ever again!