How to Choose: Protection Tapes

How to Choose: Protection Tapes

Protection tapes serve multiple functions and can be useful to almost any bowler. Whether you’re looking to increase the consistency in feel or protect against blisters, using a protection tape is a simple and effective method that we would recommend to almost anyone.

With all the options on the market today, finding the right choice for you can seem overwhelming. Use this guide to help narrow your focus and find exactly what your are looking for.


Protection Tape vs. Thumbhole Tape

First off, this article is going to focus on protections tapes only, so let’s clarify what separates a protection tape from thumbhole tape.

  • Protection Tape: Applied to the skin
  • Thumbhole Tape: Applied to the inside of the thumbhole

Protection tapes can be applied to the thumb or fingers. There are also various grip tapes and kinesiology tapes that can be applied to the hand, wrist and arm.


Protection tapes serve two main functions:

  • Grip: Increase the consistency of your release by using tape on your thumb or fingers. Our skin can feel different based on temperature and humidity resulting in a different feel in your ball. Find a tape that helps you hold on or let go, depending on what you need.
  • Protection: Protect against blisters and other skin abrasions on your thumb and fingers. This can be especially important when bowling a lot of games in a short time frame, such as a tournament weekend. You can use tape as a remedy in these situations, or all time as a preventative measure.

Pre-Cut vs. Roll

  • Pre-Cut: Pre-cut tape is, as the name implies, pre-cut into individual pieces ready to apply to the thumb. This eliminates the need for scissors and is more convenient. Check each product specifically as they may contain a different number of pieces.
  • Roll: Roll tape comes uncut and requires scissors or a knife before it can be applied. This results in more freedom regarding shape and size of the cut and allows you to custom tailor to your needs. You will usually see more value than the pre-cut packages as well.


Whether your buying pre-cut or roll tape, you’ll have a few options in the size, or width of the tape. This comes down to personal preference, hand/finger size, and what you’ll be using the tape for. Smaller sizes are good for fingers and small thumbs, while larger handed bowlers may prefer wider tape. In pre-cut tapes, the smaller sizes usually contain more pieces than the larger sizes.


Texture (Color)

Many protection tapes come in multiple textures that are differentiated by color. The texture type can dictate the speed of release with slower textures helping you grip the ball and faster textures helping you release the ball.




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