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If you climb frequently, you may be familiar with the frustrating and excruciating finger injuries that are common to the activity. Your fingers can suffer from repetitive strain injuries, which range in severity from minor skin tears to more serious tendon strains. Your fingers may feel dry, worn out, and prone to tearing after several hours of climbing.
Climbing tape, on the other hand, is a quick fix that can help prevent these wounds and improve your climbing experience. You can add an extra layer of defense and lower your risk of skin tears and other minor injuries by wrapping your fingers in a layer or two of climbing tape.
In addition to preventing injuries, the climbing tape can give your fingers more support and traction, which will make it easier and more confident for you to climb. Climbing tape can be a useful tool in your climbing toolbox if used properly, allowing you to push your limits and reach your objectives while reducing the risk of injury.
What is Climbing Tape?
Climbing tape is utilized as an additional layer of defense to prevent skin tearing. This is typically done when your fingers are raw, painful, exhausted, and most likely to tear during a long, challenging session. By adding an additional layer or two of tape, you can prevent an injury that might take a few days to heal. Climber finger taping is effective when you consider the benefits of climbing tape for your digits, as it claims to provide structural support. What is the purpose of finger-taping in rock climbing?
Rock climbers use finger tape for two different purposes: either to replace the protective layer that covers your skin or to support injured tendons and pulleys. The following are the most typical justifications for finger tapping while climbing:
- Finger pulley damage.
- Fingertip skin that is cracked or raw.
- to shield your skin from extremely sharp rocks, typically while stretching or practicing moves.
It’s likely that you will come across at least a few of these reasons to tape up over the course of your climbing career.
Why do Climbers use Climbing Tape? (Advantages)
Climbers use climbing tape because their skin is already torn or is about to tear, or because they want to support their tendon, climbers frequently tape their fingers. The benefit of climbing tape is clear when it comes to skin protection. The vast majority of minor nicks and tears that your fingers might sustain during a taxing climb should be avoided. Although these types of minor accidents happen more frequently outside, climbing gyms also frequently use tape.
In addition to serving as a preventative measure, the climbing tape can also serve as a temporary barrier between an injury and the wall. Climbers also use tape to prevent excessive damage to their hands when their fist or hand gets stuck in a crack. The climber protects the skin that will come into contact with the rock by wrapping the tape around their hand like a glove. Of course, the drawback of this is that you won’t get as much friction from the tape.
Use of Climbing Tape (Disadvantages)
A lot of doctors and physical therapists have looked into how tape can be used to support tendons both before and after an injury. Their research suggests that taping won’t help the risky movements that caused the injury in the first place. Unfortunately, the tape often has the psychological effect of giving climbers a false sense of strength. The likelihood of making dangerous decisions that result in more damage is increased by this feeling of strength. Always be aware of your climbing technique and take it easy on your tendons to avoid this.
Another disadvantage is that the more tape you use, the less your skin adjusts to the roughness of indoor or outdoor climbing. It will be challenging to complete any lengthy climbing sessions if your skin doesn’t improve endurance, and you risk leaving the gym with painful skin.
How to Tape Your Fingers for Climbing?
Grab some climbing tape for this approach; don’t worry, it’s the simplest way to tape. It safeguards the two main pulleys that frequently sustain damage. As in the illustration, wrap the tape around the finger to resemble a ring. Since the middle finger is one of the fingers that is most frequently injured, we used it in the photograph. While wrapping your finger in tape, keep it slightly bent.
Then begin wrapping the tape around the finger like a wedding ring by pulling it slightly taut. Maintaining a slight bend in the finger, slowly move the tape up the finger until you have overlapping strips. Just be careful not to pull the tape too tight, as you don’t want to bandage the finger or reduce blood flow. If you can feel the tape supporting your finger a little bit when you crimp or flex the finger, the tension should be just right to fasten the tape in place.
This method involves taping the front and back pulleys of a joint. The theory states that it is best to tape both pulleys together because if one is hurt or damaged, it is likely that the other will do the same. In essence, you’ll tape both pulleys with the same piece of tape. Tape should be wrapped around the first pulley in front of the joint. To reach the other area behind the joint, cross the joint again after pulling the tape tightly and completely around. Cross back to your starting point after proceeding and making one complete turnaround.
What you have now resembles an X because the tape crosses over in the middle of the joint. Several times. You can move freely through your entire range of motion now that both pulleys are fastened, and the tape will support them when you flex or crimp.
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Best Way of Taping Your Fingers
I personally think the H method is the best way to tape your fingers. Cut a piece of tape in half so that it resembles the two tiny legs in the image. Actually, it is a wide piece of tape that has been roughly divided in half on each side. The results will be much better if you use a wider tape. Place the letter H’s center over the joint after you’ve wrapped it around your finger. Starting with the front pulley, move up to the top using the smallest leg possible.
If it interferes with your movement, just push it aside and wrap your fingertip around it. It should be secured with a strap. Next, pass the other leg only partially through the pulley to finish it. Secure the obstruction-causing tape by moving it to the side. Work your way around the finger after starting over at the back pulley.
Follow the opposite direction with the second piece of tape. Because your finger’s knuckle is not taped up, you can move it around and still have a full range of motion. On the other hand, when you crimp or flex the finger, you can see that you have a lot of support from the pulley and the back of your finger. If you crimp or flex your finger, you ought to be able to feel the support of the tape now that both pulleys are secured.
“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.“– Rachel Wolchin
In the end, the climbing tape can be a helpful tool for climbers because it adds an additional layer of support and protection for their fingers. However, it might not be effective for everyone or in all circumstances, just like any equipment or technique. It’s crucial to try out various strategies in order to determine which suits your needs and climbing style the best.
Taking care of your fingers is crucial for a successful and enjoyable climbing experience, regardless of your level of experience. When necessary, the climbing tape can help you avoid minor injuries so you can concentrate on pushing your limits and achieving your objectives. Therefore, keep climbing and feel free to post any questions you may have in the comments section. I will get back to you as soon as possible.
What is the tape used for in climbing?
A) In climbing, the tape is primarily used for two purposes: skin protection and structural support.
How do you heal ripped skin from climbing?
A) I cover the wound with salves or balms and then bandage it with climbing tape. I fold a small section twice to stop the sticky side from adhering to the wound. I cover it and let it stay moist for a while, then I let it air out to dry for a while.
What are the functions of a climber’s tape?
A) Climber’s Tape is used to cover climbing wounds like flappers and blisters so that you can still continue to climb. If you ever do any fist jams, the climbing tape can also be used to wrap your hands to prevent scratches.
How tight should finger tape be?
A) Ensure that the tape is tightly cinched, but not so tightly that it causes the fingers to swell, change colour, or go numb. Remove the tape and try again with a fresh piece of tape if this occurs. If done correctly, the injured finger will still be able to flex and extend so you can grasp objects, but it won’t be able to twist or move from side to side.