Although Jiu Jitsu is frequently called the gentle art, even gentle things can erode the hardest materials over time. Our fingers are constantly called on to make grips, both in the gi and no-gi, and are subject to considerable abuse as our opponents fight to rip our hands off of them. Sometimes our fingers may even get caught on the mat or smashed by a wayward knee. To protect and reinforce these precious joints we call upon finger tape.
You’ve probably seen your coach or a veteran competitor taping their fingers before class – in this article we’ll explain why we tape, teach you how to tape your fingers, and offer our top picks for BJJ finger tape.
The Tale of the Tape
You’ve no doubt witnessed your gym’s competitors or an older Jiu Jitsu players in your gym sitting in their chosen corner of the mat, meticulously looping tape around each finger. While there isn’t a ton of scientific evidence supporting taping, most tape users report greater confidence due to the physical support, in addition to reduced pain during and after training.
It’s important to know that tape is literally a bandaid for your problems – it will not magically heal a sprain or fix chronic inflammation. Treat finger tape like headgear, knee pads, or a mouthguard. It can help protect against injury or support recovery, but it won’t reverse chronic hand issues.
How to Tape Your Fingers
While there are different methods to finger taping, the guiding principle should always be support for your digits. In other words, focus your taping on areas that you believe are most vulnerable.
The easiest way to wrap your fingers is to put rings of tape above and below the joint you’re supporting. Instead of wrapping multiple times, use 3 layers of shorter lengths of tape. You want each piece of tape to slightly overlap itself. For smaller digits like the pinky you may only need to use 2 layers of tape. The tape does not (and should not) completely cover the space between your knuckles. Experiment with different widths of tape to find the size that is comfortable and supportive.
For the most support, and that classic competition look, use the cross, or “X” taping method. As the name suggests, you will create an “X” pattern around the joint to cover and protect more surface area of the finger.
Our Top 5 Finger Tapes
The best finger tapes are easy to tear, offer adhesive which last throughout your training session, and can be removed without scissors or leaving behind sticky residue. Some tape comes pre-sized for fingers, while others are wider and need to be torn to size. Personally, I prefer using a wider tape and selecting my own width by tearing. This lets me get a better fit on all of my fingers – my pinky and top knuckle do better with thinner strips than my other fingers and lower knuckles.
- 1-count roll of Johnsons & Johnsons Coach Cloth Sports Tape measuring 1.5 inches by 10 yards
- Cloth sports tape protects joints from sprains and other injuries and provides support to help speed recovery after injuries
- First aid tape is ideal for use on fingers, wrists, or ankles. The breathable tape is designed to provide comfort and protection
- Breathable cloth tape provides comfort
This is the tape that started it all. While it isn’t specifically designed as BJJ finger tape, it is still some of the best tape on the market. Reddit agrees, with numerous testimonies asserting that this is the tape to get. This tape comes in 1.5″ width (3.8 cm) so you’ll need to tear it into narrower strips for fingers. This tape is one of the easiest to tear tapes on the market – both length and width. It is essentially infinitely adjustable.
This tape is great because it doesn’t come off during training and doesn’t leave any residue after removal. Sometimes it can be hard to find the end to remove, as the tape can become one with itself during training. Try to remember where you end your wraps, so you can find the ends for removal!
Editor’s Note: I have personally been using Johnson and Johnson coach tape for 6 years. I once purchased it in bulk… I had 32 rolls sitting in my closet! I’m down to my last 2 rolls from that original purchase 3 years ago.
- ✅DON’T STOP MOVING — Get the ultimate protection for your hands and fingers so you can keep doing what you love. Our jiu jitsu tape & rock climbing tape is engineered with pro-grade materials and designed specifically for hands. Whether it’s getting back to the gym or on the rock face, you need an athletic finger tape that offers proven skin protection.
- ✅PERFORM LIKE A PRO — Designed and inspired by a BJJ Black Belt, our finger tape is the one professional athletes prefer. With a slender width, it’s made specifically for wrapping fingers and hands, which makes it an ideal hand tape for sports like judo, rock climbing, bouldering, weightlifting, and crossfit. If you’re serious about your sport, whatever it is, get the finger tape bjj pros rely on.
- ✅SPEED UP RECOVERY — If you’re committed to daily training, you can’t afford to miss a session, and with the right protective gear, you shouldn’t have to. Finger and hand strain can cause pain and limit your movements. Get the jiu jitsu tape that offers maximum compression to bind and immobilize fingers to prevent swelling and assist a faster recovery. Easy to apply, comfortable to wear, and durable.
- ✅APPLY & REMOVE WITHOUT FUSS — Many athletic tapes fray and leave a sticky residue behind. Our rock climbing tape is made with a cotton substrate that gives strong, no fuss compression and protection, and works well with chalk. Second Skin Technology adhesive keeps the tape securely in place without any irritating gummy residue left behind.
- ✅60 DAY DOUBLE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE — Your purchase of a jumbo 8-roll pack of bjj finger tape comes with 100% satisfaction. We stand by all our products, which is why our It’s-A-Wrap Guarantee offers a DOUBLE REFUND. If you’re not happy with the performance of our finger wrap tape, simply tell us within 60 days and we’ll pay you back, twice! Buy now to get this unbeatable offer.
Hampton is a respected name in the tape world and offers its tape in narrow .3″ (.8 cm) width which is suitable for most finger taping need. This tape is easy to tear, has a long-lasting adhesive, and removes without leaving residue.
- PROTECT YOUR FINGERS 🛡️ Gold BJJ finger tape is the ideal protection for Jiu Jitsu athletes. Prevent injury and support your fingers while you train. Also great for toes!
- NEW AND IMPROVED ADHESIVE 💡 You asked, we listened: our tape is now made with upgraded adhesive that is strong enough to stay on during tough training, but does not leave sticky residue behind.
- MADE FOR, AND BY, JIU JITSU ATHLETES 🥋 We’re a team that actually trains and uses our products every day. Our tape has stood the test of time, and is trusted by 1000’s of BJJ athletes.
- VERSATILE 1/2″ THICKNESS 🙌 Generic athletic tape can be too wide or narrow to cover tricky spots like your fingers. Our 1/2″ thick, 10-yard rolls are perfect for fingers, toes, wrists, and more.
- BACKED BY THE GOLD BJJ GUARANTEE 💯 We stand behind our products completely. If for any reason you’re not thrilled with your Gold BJJ tape, we’ll replace or refund your order no-questions-asked.
This tape is made by BJJ folks, for BJJ folks. This tape has an incredibly robust adhesive and promises not to fall off even during the hardest rolls. However, this does mean that it often leaves a sticky residue behind after you remove it. If you have sensitive skin the intensively strong adhesive may even bother you if you remove it too quickly.
This tape is available in .5″ (1.25 cm) width, meaning it can be used as is, or torn in half for smaller digits.
- Monkey Tape Premium Athletic Tape – Unique blend of fabric that never falls off. The super sticky adhesive on Monkey Tape will stick to your hands and hold true to form. Flexible so it does not constrict and cut off circulation.
- Keep your fingers protected throughout long sessions on the mats. Monkey Tape is dependable and lasts longer than any other grip tape on the market. Uniquely woven to wick sweat. Easy to apply. Latex-free adhesive. Other tapes fray and leave sticky residue behind – Monkey Tape doesn’t.
- Serious tape for serious athletes — Improve grips, help prevent injuries, reduce soreness, recover faster, and perform longer. Support your hands, fingers, feet, and toes. Monkey Tape can protect an injury and promote healing while you continue to train.
- Monkey Tape is the leading tape for all sports and athletes. Used by top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champions from all over the world. Monkey Tape was developed by BJJ athletes in response to other brands’ failure to offer tape that meets the grueling standards of professional athletes. Monkey Tape is also great for rock climbing, weight lifting, cross fit, gymnastics, tennis, bowling and other sports.
- Monkey Tape 4-Roll Variety Packs includes a single roll of 0.2″, 0.3″, 0.4″, and 0.5″ tape and are available in black, white, and tan color options.
Monkey tape is one of the original BJJ finger tapes and has been out for a long time. This tape comes in a variety of sizes including: 0.2″, 0.3″, 0.4″, 0.5″ making it perfect for people who want to get tape that provides the perfect fit every time.
This tape has a durable adhesive that errs on the side of being perhaps a bit too sticky and sometimes leaves a residue. Also, while the size options are neat, you pay for the privilege.
- Jiu-Jitsu Finger Tape: FUJI finger tape is made from a sweat-resistant fabric that offers a strong grip and a better hold
- Judo Finger Tape: The judo tape comes in a pack of 6 rolls, each roll being ~30′ long
- Athletic Tape: No scissors required to tear the tape. The tape also comes in a convenient storage case
- Grappling Tape: FUJI tape does not leave any messy, sticky residue behind post removal. The judo tape is 0.5 inches wide
- Jiu-Jitsu Grip Tape: With increased structural integrity, the tape is designed to help protect your fingers during training and competition
Fuji, the respected BJJ gi manufacturer, produces their own line of finger tape as well. This tape is comes in .5″ (1.25 cm) width rolls and even comes with its own carrying case for those who don’t like the idea of their tape rolling around at the bottom of their bag.
The consensus is their tape is sticks well and removes without leaving behind residue.
Finger taping can help slow an avid grip fighter’s descent into arthritis. But, it is important to note that finger taping should only be utilized as a method of support, and should not be expected to be a cure all. Think of tape as an equivalent in its use as headgear or knee pads. The best way to protect your hands is allowing injuries time to heal and letting go of grips before your opponent forcibly removes them.
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Evan is nomadic brown belt, currently living in Germany. He enjoys pressure passes and tacos.