Tape Gloves How-To

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Make one wrap around the wrist. This helps hold everything together while making the glove. For extra wrist protection, make several wraps side by side up the forearm to extend the glove further back.

Place a strip across the knuckles, but do not wrap it around the palm. Make sure the strip is far enough forward towards the fingers to keep the later wraps from splitting apart around the knuckles. For extra protection, place additional strips across the knuckles and back of the hand. Additional strips will also help stabilize the later wraps and will make a more durable glove. Reduction in sensitivity is the only downside.

Wrap a strip around the second knuckle of the thumb. It isn't essential to protect this knuckle, but it helps when fist jamming.
Wrap around the thumb...
... then around the index finger...
... and back to the wrist. The purpose of this is to protect this area as well as to prevent the later wraps from splitting apart between the thumb and index finger.
Do the pinkie. Start...
... and end at the wrist, taking care to make sure the tape extends down the side of the hand and is held there by its anchoring position at the wrist. In use, the tape will roll up, so make sure to start with good coverage of the side of the hand.
Do the middle finger in a similar fashion. Take care to keep the tape as flat as possible across the back of the hand and bunch it up neatly where it goes around the finger.
Middle finger done.
Do the ring finger.
Ring finger done.
Do one more wrap around the thumb. Align the tape to give good coverage to the edge of the hand as on the pinky side. An option is to do this wrap earlier, after the first wrap around the thumb and index finger.
Thumb done. Finish up with one wrap around the wrist to hold everything together.
The completed tape glove should look something like this. Minimal palm coverage is best. The edges of the glove will roll up a bit in use, so a little too much coverage at the start is fine. When doing the wraps, make them snug but not too tight. The gloves will loosen up, but if they are too tight at the beginning they can be quite painful.

When done, cut the wrist loops on the palm side and carefully peel off the gloves. For subsequent uses, put on the gloves and then tape around the wrist to hold them in place.

I've found that old tape looses it stickiness and therefore doesn't make very good gloves because they tend to delaminate too easily.

If the gloves split in use, patch them by applying tape to the inside surface. Tape applied to the outside tends to get peeled off quickly in use.

 

Download a PDF (385k) of the images (no text instructions).

 

Some other web pages about making tape gloves:

An alternative to tape gloves is Hand Jammies. These are special gloves that consist of a piece of rubber that covers the back of the hand and is attached by elastic loops around the fingers and a velcro wrist band. The rubber makes for very comfortable jamming because it protects the back of the hand from the roughness of the rock. However it eliminates a lot of the feel and this usually makes for a less secure jam. The thickness of the rubber also makes your hand thicker. This can be beneficial for small hands or wider cracks, but obviously is not so good in the opposite cases. Hand Jammies don't do much to protect the sides of the hand and so tend not to work so well for fist jams.

 

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