To all the aspiring crack addicts that might not yet know your love of crack, Creek season be approaching! Ok, it’s already started, and sadly it looks like I am going to miss it this go around. Fear not though as I will be right alongside in spirit, smirking about every gobie and pulled cam.
Since I will not be there in person, my main rope buddy has requested to go over my tape system before I run away about as far away from the creek as one can get and still remain in the lower 48…. Before we get into this one though, remember there are a lot of different tape gloves, I’m only going to cover how I do mine. If you are looking for reusable gloves I would suggest continuing your search as I’m not a fan, although I have many friends that are very talented in the reusable type.
I like the way I do mine for a couple reasons
- It seems to adapt easily to various types of specific crack climbing, i.e. easy to covert for OW
- It doesn’t use that much tape, one roll easily makes two pairs of gloves
- Its fairly thin on the knuckles for tighter cracks, I.e. karate chops
- If done clean they easily last an entire day of rugged jamming
Alright so let’s get started… Tape choice can make a world of difference in durability; I prefer Euro tape which I get from Gearheads in Moab, even though Pagan claims to be the only shop in NA with Euro tape. I find it’s easy to tear and thin yet durable. Johnson&Johnson is by far not sticky enough for my liking and Metolious is pretty thick making thin gloves next to impossible. Next thing that will absolutely make or break your gloves, hands NEED to be CLEAN! Any grime or sweat will prevent the tape from getting a good stick. So wash your hands well, I don’t care how hippie you’re trying to be in the creek just wash your hands.
The Secret weapon: pre adhesive (multiple choices) it allows for a much stronger stick, but makes washing the hands after climbing that much harder…
So with clean dry and maybe sprayed hands, start out by planning ahead, strategy can really help here. Start by tearing off a 4-5 inch piece of tape, then a 3-4 inch piece followed by a 5-6 inch piece then 3 more 3-4 inch pieces. I find it best to stick each piece to a pant leg awaiting the skin, and try to keep them in order.
The first piece goes over the knuckles slightly over… barely onto your fingers, notice how I spread my fingers to prevent getting the tape too tight.
Next piece is the wrist lock piece.
Third piece starts at the wrist lock and goes over the web between the thumb and fingers.
Then the 3 short pieces, these will go over the back of the hand starting on the thumb side, be carful to position the first piece to completely overlap the seam of the web piece. I like to pat each piece to help get it stuck to the skin.
And now back to the roll, start a pull of a couple inches, you’re going to rewrap the knuckles. I like to start on the pinky side and wrap towards the thumb, remember fingers spread.
Continue around the palm wrapping the knuckles once more, this is one and a half times around the hand. On the next pass start to angle across the thumb trying to barely overlap the last wrap when you come around by the pinky again. This lets you angle across the back of the hand locking all the short piece seams.
From there wrap the wrist, but DO NOT wrap too tightly, very easy to do too tight and have to undo the glove from excess pain and poor circulation. And there you have it one basic all day single use glove.
With this base it’s easy to make an OW glove too, only take one more piece of 4-5 inches and a narrow piece. Start with the same basic, but after the over the web piece use the long piece to go up the thumb from the wrist strap, stop at the last joint in the thumb and use the narrow piece to lock it via wrapping around the thumb.