Getting Into the Groove


How a silicon band saved my marriage (and kicked off a trend in action sports)

By Kim Zep


It almost happened this last winter as I was paddling out through the waves at San Onofre. The ocean temperature was frigid and, well, you know what happens in cold water. Shrinkage. That’s right—I’m talking about my hands.

As the blood vessels in my fingers constricted with the exposure to the bone-chilling water, my wedding ring spun loosely on my finger with each stroke. When I felt it begin to slip off as I dug in to clear over a wave, my heart lurched and then so did I, jamming my hand forward in an effort to harpoon the band before it cleared my fingertip. I got lucky then, and so I made a second vow on that ring: to remove it before any future surf sessions. The thing is, I feel naked without it. Seventeen years’ marriage has an interesting way of imparting its essence in the space contained by a band around one’s finger.

So I opted for a place holder.

A ring made of silicon has its virtue. It’s flexible, durable, and breakable in situations under duress, which is a good quality if you get your hands into a predicament. (I’m looking at you, rock climbers and mechanics.) I happened upon the Groove Ring, made by Groove Life.

Groove Original silicone ring in storm grey

Groove Life makes an active, silicon ring like no other. Its patented design incorporates recessed grooves on the inside of the band making it “breathable,” so it won’t retain moisture. Its low-profile, smooth construction makes it sit comfortably snug and yet it is ultra light. And, if you’re a color hound like me, you’ll appreciate the fact that Groove rings come in a bevy of hues and in two profiles: Groove Original and Groove Thin. A ring will cost you about $30 and they come with a lifetime warranty so if it breaks or tears Groove Life will replace it. Better to replace a ring than a digit, I always say.

I take to the waves without trepidation now, sporting my groovy, pink Groove ring. Its form and functionality have been quite the conversation piece amongst the dawn patrol crew during lulls in between sets. The perfect distraction before I spin around to take the oncoming wave. (