How to Test Your Sports Tapes - EAB Tape

How to Test Your Sports Tapes - EAB Tape - SPORTTAPE

Originally created to provide flexible support, Elastic Adhesive Bandages (EAB) have become widely adopted in sport due to their versatility. There are two types of EAB; TEAR EAB and NON-TEAR EAB (also known simply and confusingly as EAB).

This blog post will help you choose the best EAB for you and your club. We take a look at how you can test the properties of the tape and why they matter.

  • PEEL
  • RIP


TEAR EAB is, hand-tearable, lightweight, flexible and often used for compression, light support or covering a Zinc Oxide application.

Whereas, NON-TEAR EAB is made from a heavier fabric, is semi-rigid and has a much higher tensile strength. It’s suitable for supporting non-weight bearing but heavily loaded joints such as shoulders, elbows and knees.


Apply an even force to the ends of the tape in opposite directions (pulling one end of the tape away from the other).

Tear EAB should require light force to stretch but not feel loose and have a strong end-point. It should have a maximal stretch of 170%.

Alternatively, Non-Tear EAB should require more force to stretch and have a stronger recoil. It will comfortably stretch to 130-140% with reasonable force. Finally, you should not be able to rip the tape by hand.


The ability of an EAB to recoil to it’s original length is really important in order to provide the correct level of compression and support to the area you're taping.

As muscles heat during a game, they will expand, and if the tape cannot expand and recoil with the muscle, then your application will end up loose and needing to be replaced.


Hold the tape for a few seconds under tension (at a realistic level of stretch), the recoil force should remain consistent. Then, let it go and see if it maintains its original structure and recoils to it’s original length.


The adhesion of a tape is just as important at its strength. You need to be confident that an application will last.


The glue should feel tacky to the touch but not excessive or as aggressive as Zinc Oxide Tape. Take a closer look, the glue covering should be consistent.

We prefer a porous glue pattern on the fabric. This allows moisture to wick away from the skin and fabric. Preventing it from becoming heavy and loosing tension when wet.


The peel of a tape is a sure sign of the quality in your hands. A good tape will peel away from the roll smoothly and with moderate resistance.


Simply unwind the roll as if you’re applying an application. If it comes off with very little resistance, or jumps, that is usually the sign of a weak glue; conversely if it is difficult to unwind you will struggle to perform multiple applications, especially when time is of the essence.

The peel should be consistent and smooth, all the way down to the core. This makes it easier to apply your application with the same tension and use also use the entirety of the roll.


The ability to rip a tape by hand (not your teeth!) is really important if time is of the essence. However, it is important that any hand-tearable tape can be ripped cleanly without excessive fraying.


Tear EAB should be quick and easy to rip. Unroll a small amount of tape, pinch the tape between your index fingers and thumbs, and rip the tape. It should feel crisp and leave a relatively neat edge.

Non-Tear EAB should be completely impossible to rip by hand and should need scissors in order to cut it to length.

Run through the checklist next time you’re looking to top-up your EAB TAPE supplies.

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