HOW TO TEST YOUR SPORTS TAPES – ZINC OXIDE TAPE

ZINC OXIDE TAPES are an essential in any tapers medical bag. They form the foundation for most supportive applications and are heavily relied upon. 

This blog post will help you choose the best ZINC OXIDE TAPE for your club. We take into consideration the properties of the tape, performance and value for money.

Discover how to test the following and why they matter.

  • TENSILE STRENGTH AND STRETCH
  • RIP
  • ADHESION
  • PEEL
  • MALLEABILITY

TENSILE STRENGTH AND STRETCH

ZINC OXIDE TAPES are used to immobilize, restrict range of motion, and provide support of a ligament or muscle. Consequently, they must withstand considerable force; up-to 4 x body weight.

HOW TO TEST

A rough and ready test is to try and pull the tape apart by hand. Be careful to apply even pressure and see if you can stretch and rip the tape.

They should have absolutely NO STRETCH, you shouldn’t even notice the smallest movement.

  • ZINC OXIDE WHITE is a lighter more malleable cotton fabric so it will rip by hand under considerable force
  • ZINC OXIDE TAN is impossible to rip by hand. The man-made rayon fabric will withstand up to 200lbs of pressure.

RIP

It’s crucial that ZINC OXIDE TAPES can be be ripped by hand easily and quickly. When you have a full changing room of players to tape, time is of the essence and scissors will only slow you down.

HOW TO TEST

Check to see if the roll has a serrated edge. This makes the tape much easier to rip and allows for quick and convenient applications.

See how easily and neatly it can be torn, and if the edge is neat after you have done so. It should feel quick and crisp, leaving minimal fraying and require little effort

ADHESION

Don’t be mistaken. It’s not a simple equation; stickier or more glue, doesn’t equal a better tape. 

A good glue should:

  • Be sticky but not overly aggressive (minimize skin irritation)
  • Be breathable (this improves longevity & reduces irritation)
  • Be hypoallergenic
  • Leave minimal or no residue on removal.

HOW TO TEST

BREATHABILITY – Hold the tape up to the light. Visually, the layer of glue should be smooth and consistent, without any patches of excess or missing glue. 

ADHESION – The glue should feel tacky, stick quickly and strong. We would recommend performing an ankle lock to assess the performance. 

RESIDUE & GLUE QUALITY – Fold the tape onto itself and try peeling it apart. It should be difficult but the adhesive should remain on the cloth and not separate from the fabric.

PEEL

Overlook this at your peril. When you’ve got to perform multiple applications, a nice peel is a real forearm saver.

HOW TO TEST

Peel the tape away from the roll it should come off the roll smoothly and with moderate resistance 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.

MALLEABILITY

You want a tape that conforms to the body, making it easier to handle and ultimately more comfortable for your athlete.

HOW TO TEST

Check the shear; peel a little tape from the roll and hold it vertically and taught in one hand whilst holding the roll in your other hand.

Check the sheer by moving your lower hand from side to side. You are looking for the point when the tape starts to fold and crease. Malleable ZINC OXIDE TAPES will allow for around 20-30 degrees of movement before creasing.

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

BUY THE BEST STRAPPING TAPES YOU’LL EVER USE BELOW.

HOW TO TEST YOUR SPORTS TAPES – EAB TAPE

Originally created to provide flexible support, Elastic Adhesive Bandages (EAB) have become widely adopted 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 your club. We take a look at how you can test the properties of the tape and why they matter.

  • TENSILE STRENGTH AND STRETCH
  • RECOIL
  • ADHESION
  • PEEL
  • RIP

TENSILE STRENGTH AND STRETCH

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.

HOW TO TEST

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.

RECOIL

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 are 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.

HOW TO TEST

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.

ADHESION

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

HOW TO TEST

The glue should feel tacky to the touch but not excessive or as aggressive as Zinc Oxide tapes. 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.

PEEL

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. 

HOW TO TEST

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.

RIP

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.

HOW TO TEST

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.

BUY THE BEST STRAPPING TAPES YOU’LL EVER USE BELOW.

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