We present a model for calculating the friction at the head/tape interface as a function of wrap angle, tape speed, tension and head dimensions. The model is based on the Euler–Bernoulli beam equation and the Reynolds equation. Several refinements relative to previous implementations are introduced: specifically a multi-coefficient slip-flow correction is implemented to deal with the reduction of spacing, the skiving-edge profile is modeled using interferometer microscope measurements to account for edge rounding, and the tension asymmetry due to friction is accounted for. Results from the model are compared with experimental measurements of friction versus wrap angle and tape velocity. The model and the experiment show excellent agreement under the range of conditions studied.