My wife and I have been riding a tandem for a few months now, and lately she's been having a lot of wrist pain. We're trying the usual things like raising the bars, but she also mentioned that she has to "hold on for dear life" because she's getting bounced around from unexpected bumps and cadence changes -- which seems like an obvious cause of tension and thus pain.
Now, unexpected bumps and cadence changes are obviously something we can work on (though most of our riding is in heavy traffic on bumpy roads, which makes it harder). But it seems to me that even in bumpy spots, it shouldn't be necessary to hold on to the bars tightly. I suspect that she's doing so because she's inexperienced and a little nervous -- but then again, I've never ridden as a stoker, so maybe it really is different. Can any of the stokers out there shed some light on this?
I also wonder if the bars might have something to do with it. I ride with drop bars, and I can rest my hands very securely on the hoods without having to grip the bars at all. She has flat bars and usually rides on the bar ends -- which give a similar hand position to hoods, but maybe are more slippery?