× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Is that pipe wrap tape I see on some photos of skis?

1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #36912 by Arcturus
Photos show what looks like strips of tape, some of which are reflective (retroreflective?) and others black with white lettering. The latter reminds me of the pipe wrap tape I once used to hold some foam around rack “stacker” bars. Is that what it is? I got rid of it because hot weather made the adhesive backing seep out.

I assume any tape in that part of the ski is to protect against paddle whacks and think I’ll put some on my ski. I noticed a few such marks appeared after a longish outing, noticeable on the right side where I remember thinking, ”I must have gotten a little tired and sloppy.” Next time out I took extra care to stop once in a while and recheck technique. Figured out why it happens and how to prevent it but I still want to protect against any time when it might happen again.

NOT going to use the pipe wrap tape due to its goopiness in hot sun. I have a tiny bit of leftover 3M automotive ClearBra or whatever it is called—had to ask a detailing shop to sell me a scrap from their gigantic rolls. I also have a leftover piece of retroreflective marine tape that holds up well in watery use.

What do you folks use, if anything?

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1 month 4 days ago - 1 month 4 days ago #36913 by Atlas
Many of us use automotive anti chip tape. That sounds like what you are describing. There are various brands out there. 3M would be one of the better ones.
I use a hair dryer to heat the tape and the surface of the ski while I'm applying it. Not only does this make it stick like sh!t to a blanket; it also reduces air bubbles caught under the tape and softens the tape so you can cover 3 dimensional shapes quite well (within reason).

Current skis:
Epic V10L, Think Zen, Fenn Bluefin, Fenn XT double

Previous skis
Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Swordfish S, Fenn XT, Spirit PRS

Most with DK rudders.

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1 month 4 days ago #36915 by zachhandler
Using pipe tape is very common. I use 20 mil. I have had zero issues with sun, though i do store my skis in a garage (that gets very hot in the summer).  The stuff I use leaves no residue with short term use. Long term (months to years) some times a tiny bit of residue but nothing like duct tape or a lot of other tapes. I find it an incredibly useful product as I tape some padding in the bucket of most of my skis. I have also slapped it on a hull where there was a small non-structural crack that I could blow air through. It holds and lasts forever and can pretty much act as a permanent repair in that situation if you are lazy. There are other products out there that work too. But pipe tape is good stuff and I wouldn’t be afraid of it. There is a reason so many people use it. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/2-in-x-50-ft-20-Mil-Pipe-Wrap-Tape-53550/100179778

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2 weeks 4 days ago #37017 by mrcharly
another option is what is commonly called 'Helicopter tape'. So-called because it was originally developed to protect helicopter blades from wear. Urban legend or not, this is a very tough thin clear film.

Won't look ugly on your ski. Google 'helicopter tape'. 

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2 weeks 4 days ago #37018 by MCImes
I recommend this stuff
www.amazon.com/ISC-Racers-Tape-HT2128-Tr...arent/dp/B000TPC7HU/

Not cheap, but so far 25' has lasted me 2 years and shows no signs of wearing out. Also, it does not leave ANY residue, it sticks to the ski very well, but at the same time the adhesive is not overly sticky so its easy to remove and reapply (assuming everything is clean). I also use it to attach my wave deflector and it works great.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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2 weeks 4 days ago #37019 by Arcturus
Thanks—the helicopter tape or Racer’s Tape looks ideal. I had enough leftover 3M ClearGuard that I applied some on my ski. If the heli tape is easier to remove, though, that’s a plus. The large piece of 3M stuff I put on the back “deck” to minimize strap chafe ended up with wrinkles in it; much harder to apply well than the small pieces I had done before. Ugh.

I remember having to ask for a strip of the 3M stuff off a huge roll they had at a detailing shop. A roll about 6” wide and I think 6’ long cost $30 years ago.

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2 weeks 3 days ago #37039 by gstamer
I use helicopter tape, it's relatively easy to remove and apply.  A trick for application is that you apply it wet, using mixture of water and dish soap. This allows you to move it around and remove large bubbles ( a thin plastic card makes a good squeegee). The small bubbles will usually disappear when it dries.  There's various brands. I have had good luck with:
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TR6EW2/ref..._title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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