What tape to use for BJJ? – Top 3 Best Finger Tapes

What tape should you use for BJJ? In this article I will be discussing what tape is the best for taping your fingers and other joints in BJJ and why. I will also discuss which tapes you shouldn’t use for BJJ and why.

Contents of this article

best tape for BJJ comparison

What is BJJ finger tape and why do I need it?

Tape is a material that is adhesive on one side and non-adhesive on the other. It comes in rolls and that can be cut and applied to the body. It has a variety of uses, especially in sports such as BJJ.

The main reason why people use tape in BJJ is to support their joints, especially their fingers. They use specific wrapping techniques to make sure their fingers are protected during rolling.

Tape can serve to reinforce the fingers and wrists (in jiu-jitsu the fingers are very important) and to relieve areas of pain. This helps with performance as it makes athletes more confident in their gripping.

The final reason to use tape in BJJ is for longevity. As good as BJJ is for general health, it’s actually very heavy on the joints and BJJ can contribute to arthritis if you constantly injure your fingers. To prevent this long term damage on your joints, you can use finger tape.

What to look for in finger tape for BJJ?

Stickiness

You need a tape that’s very sticky for BJJ, because you’ll get sweaty and expose the tape to a lot of friction during your rolls.

This is why normal athletic tape that you can buy at your local pharmacy generally won’t cut it. It’s not adhesive enough and it will come off halfway through your rolls.

Stretch

You need your tape to be at least a little bit stretchy for BJJ so that you can continue to move your fingers and the tape won’t come off as easily.

But on the other hand the tape can’t be too stretchy because it still needs to offer support. So there’s a balance here.

I favour kinesiology tape over athletic tape because it’s more stretchy, but still supportive enough for my fingers. The only time that I use athletic tape nowadays is when I have a serious injury that I want to secure fully.

Size

The size of the tape you want to get depends on which joint you want to tape up.

If you want to tape up your fingers you need a very thin kind of type.

But if you want to tape up your ankle you actually need a fairly thick kind of tape; about the width of your heel.

Make sure that you first know what to tape and how to tape it before deciding on which tape to get. 

Or make sure that you always bring a few rolls of tape of different sizes with you when you train BJJ. 

What kind of tape should I use for BJJ?

There are a few types of tape that are commonly used in BJJ:

Athletic tape

Athletic tape is the type of tape that most people use in BJJ. This tape is thinner and tends to be more flexible than “regular” tape, but it also doesn’t adhere to skin as well as kinesiology tape or monkey tape.

I don’t use normal athletic tape for BJJ because I find it too rigid, it comes off too easily, and it leaves white residue on my hands after I take it off.

Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape is a variety of tape that has a higher elasticity than athletic tape. It is made of a stretchy material that is tightly woven into a precise pattern. Kinesiology tape is typically used in BJJ for joint support, and it is known for reducing pain and inflammation.

I like to use Kinesiology tape because it’s the most stretchy and most adhesive tape. It’s a little bit less sturdy but unless I have a serious injury I actually prefer that. The brand I use is KT Tape. 

You can buy KT tape on Amazon.

Monkey tape

Monkey tape is an athletic tape that’s specifically made for BJJ. It’s more adhesive and stronger than normal athletic tape, and a bit more water resistant.

I like to use monkey tape when I seriously tweak a finger and I want to give it maximal support. But in all other cases I prefer the more flexible kinesiology tape.

The best BJJ finger tape

Here I’ll share what I think is the best BJJ finger tape and why.

KT tape – the best Kinesiology tape for BJJ

I think the best kinesiology tape for BJJ is KT tape.

Why?

It is very sticky. It sticks to the skin very well. It also sticks to itself.  This means that it holds in place for longer than other tape.

Pros

It is very easy to apply because it’s not too rigid.

It is the most sticky of all tapes.

It is waterproof.

It can be used on any part of the body.

It doesn’t leave a residue.

Cons

It’s not the most sturdy so less supportive than Monkey tape

Monkey tape – the best athletic tape for BJJ

Monkey tape – the best athletic tape for BJJ

The best athletic tape for BJJ is the monkey tape. It’s more adhesive and sturdier than normal athletic tape.

Pros

More adhesive than normal athletic tape

Sturdier

Cons

More expensive than normal athletic tape

It’s a little more difficult to find

Gold BJJ tape

This is another good option. It’s a bit more expensive than the others in this list, but it’s tape that’s made by BJJ athletes for BJJ athletes.

Pros

More adhesive than normal athletic tape

Can be ripped to different sizes easily

Money back guarantee

Cons

More expensive than the others in this list

Johnson & Johnson – best cheap athletic tape for BJJ

This is a decent option for you if you are looking at a cheap tape for your BJJ training. It is useful for all sports, and it’s not too thick. 

Pros

It is very affordable.

It is made by Johnson & Johnson, a trusted company.

It is great for all sports, not only BJJ.

Cons

It’s not very adhesive.

It comes off quickly during sparring, especially when you start sweating.

It leaves white residue on your fingers when you take it off.

The best finger tape alternatives for BJJ

Instead of buying tape to protect your fingers from BJJ you can also buy some finger sleeves or braces.

Braces and slaves are way quicker to put on then tape and usually they are also sturdier.

They are also quite inexpensive and in many cases actually cheaper than taping your finger before every class, as the cost of tape also adds up over time.

If you have a long term injury to one of your fingers, I would definitely recommend looking into a finger sleeve.

Final thoughts on the best tape for BJJ

KT tape is my favorite tape for BJJ because it’s super sticky, not too rigid, breathable, and affordable.

If you need something more sturdy, I recommend Monkey Tape. It’s specifically made for grapplers and much stronger than normal athletic tape or kinesiology tape.

Johnson & Johnson tape is the cheapest option in this list, but I generally don’t recommend it because it’s not sticky enough for BJJ.

GoldBJJ tape is another good option, albeit a bit more expensive.

Did I miss your favorite tape for BJJ? Let me know which tape you use for BJJ, so I can add it to this list and help other people find the best tape for BJJ even better in the future.

FAQ

Athletic tape vs Kinesiology tape – Which is better for BJJ?

In my opinion, kinesiology tape is better than athletic tape for daily use in BJJ. I would only recommend athletic tape if you have a serious injury and need maximal support.

Kinesiology tape is more sticky, more stretchy and more porous than athletic tape. Therefore it sticks on your fingers much better, especially when you get sweaty.

Kinesiology tape is also much more versatile because it’s less thick. I find it much easier to wrap it around my joints, and you can use it in places where you can’t use athletic tape. For example, you can use kinesiology tape to lightly support your knee, which you can’t do with athletic tape because it’s not stretchy enough.

The only advantage of athletic tape is that it’s much sturdier and thicker, which I prefer then I seriously banged up my finger. 

My prediction is that 5 years from now, most people in BJJ will be using kinesiology tape instead of athletic tape. 

Monkey tape vs Athletic tape

Monkey tape is a kind of athletic tape, and in my opinion it’s the best one at its price range. It’s definitely sturdier and more sticky than cheap athletic tapes that you can buy at your local pharmacy.

Athletic Tape vs Monkey Tape for BJJ Training (How to Tape Fingers)