This week, we take a moment to review the ultra-sticky athletic tape, Goat Tape.
CrossFit and hand tears are synonymous.
Whether you are new to the sport, or a Games athlete with years of experience, there are very few ways to stop your hands and fingers tearing apart during vigorous workouts.
But one product I have had positive results with in recent times is Goat Tape.
As they name suggests, Goat Tape is a form of athletic tape, but with a difference. Unlike other brands on the market, Goat Tape is actually designed by ‘CrossFitters for CrossFitters’, and made specifically to prevent hand tears during workouts.
Like many functional fitness athletes, I have used standard athletic tape on numerous occasions to protect my hands during pull-ups, muscle-ups, Olympic Lifting and other CrossFit excercises. While it has worked to a degree, the biggest criticism I have is that it just won’t stick to my hands when my palms and wrists start getting sweaty.
I remember the first time I did the workout ‘Murph’ (1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run) with athletic tape. I was around 20 pull-ups into the workout when the tape began to break. By rep 50 the tape was completely off my hands.
From that point I decided to give up on tape and just deal with the pain. That was until I heard about Goat Tape.
Goat Tape claims to be one of the stickiest products on the market, and is crafted using a unique extra-strength Malaysian-grade adhesive, which is specially formulated to withstand extremely sweaty environments.
After finding out more about the product, I decided to put Goat Tape to the test to find out just how good it really is.
It Really is Sticky! - I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about just how sticky this product was before I tested it, but to my surprise it stuck like glue. In fact, ‘scary sticky’ as the brand claims. I used Goat Tape for the first time while doing ‘Murph’, to get an idea just how much better it was compared to standard tape. By the end of the workout, the tape was still on my hands, showing no real signs of being close to breaking. I also used Goat Tape in all of the workouts in this year’s CrossFit Open and not once did the tape break or come loose from my hands.
Effective in all Exercises - I used Goat Tape in a number of different WODs and found to be effective in all kinds of exercises. It may have been a placebo effect, but I felt I had improved grip in pull-ups, muscle-ups, kettle bell swings, snatches, jerks and deadlifts while using the tape. Not only was it effective for reducing hand tears during pull-ups, but it also helped prevent the amount of rips on my fingers during Olympic Lifting.
Thickness - Goat Tape is slightly thicker than most types of standard athletic tape, meaning it is stronger and harder to break. The thickness also means you don’t have to use as much tape when applying it.
Endorsed by Professionals - A number of top level CrossFit athletes are now using Goat Tape, including Games competitors Talayna Fortunato, Becky Conzelman, Christy Phillips and six-time Games competitor Chris Spealler.
Stylish - Goat Tape comes in a variety of styles and colours including pink, blue and maroon. And just like Just like Rocktape and KT Tape, the product is starting to become a bit of a fashion statement among CrossFitters.
Easy to Use - Goat Tape’s website has a number of detailed videos on how to use and apply goat tape (scroll down to view tone of them). The videos are easy to follow, making it simple to apply the tape. In addition, the tape is easy to rip, meaning you don’t need to use scissors to make cuts all the time.
Too Sticky - While I loved how sticky the Goat Tape was during the workout, I hated how sticky it was while taking it off! The company advises athletes to remove the tape in hot water, or while taking a shower, to avoid ripping skin. When using standard tape, I don’t even think twice about ripping it off, but with Goat Tape I always remove it slowly, centimetre by centimetre, whining like a baby while I did so. While it’s not a major criticism, it is still annoying to go through the process after a tough workout. And not only does it hurt while removing, it also rips off a fair amount of hair on your body (see picture below)!
Price - Selling for around US$5 a roll, Goat Tape is far from the most expensive tape on the market, but by no means is it the cheapest. While the product is effective, a standard roll usually only lasts for a few weeks if you’re training regularly, making it a costly product to use all year round.
Skin Must be Dry - There were a few times I tried applying Goat Tape to my hands when they were already sweaty. Every time I did, it would start to fall off my hands during my warm up! When applying this tape, you need to make sure your hands are dry and clean so you can achieve the highest level of stickiness.
After using Goat Tape for the past few months, in a number of different WODs and exercises, I have no hesitation in recommending it to others.
Compared to standard athletic tape the product is stronger, stickier and more effective during CrossFit training. There is no doubt my hands noticed a huge difference while using Goat Tape and I definitely experienced fewer hand tears.
But, while the product is effective, the price could be a factor for those on a budget. However, for those who can afford it, Goat Tape is a great addition to any training bag and is a product that delivers what is promises.
Apart from the price, the only other real dowsnside is the fact you might lose some hair and endure some pain while taking it off.
But really, if you’re scared of pain you probably shouldn’t be doing CrossFit.
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