Taping a hockey stick is an essential skill for any hockey player. Good tape jobs can improve puck control, shot accuracy, and prevent the stick from breaking. Moreover, the tape makes the stick easier to grip, making it easier to handle the stick. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to tape your hockey stick and improve its performance on the ice.
Before we begin, you’ll need to have a few things on hand. These include a roll of hockey stick tape and a pair of scissors. Here are the steps to tape your hockey stick properly:
Choose the right type of tape
There are two main types of hockey stick tape: cloth tape and grip tape. Cloth tape is traditional and is designed to offer a moderate level of grip while also protecting the blade from wear and tear. In comparison, grip tape provides a much stickier grip, enabling players to hold the stick even more effectively.
Prepare the stick
First, remove any old tape from the stick. Start at the top of the blade and peel the tape back slowly. Avoid pulling too hard, as this can damage the blade. Once you’ve removed all of the old tape, clean the stick with a damp cloth to ensure it’s free of dirt or debris.
Starting the tape job
Begin taping at the heel of the blade and wrap the tape around the bottom edge of the stick. Overlap the tape slightly, ensuring there are no gaps in the coverage. Once you’ve made it all the way around the edge of the blade, move up the stick, wrapping the hockey stick tape in a spiral motion.
Securing the tape
Once you’ve wrapped the tape up to the top of the stick, use a small strip of tape to secure the loose end, avoiding wrinkles or bubbles. You can also add extra reinforcement by adding another layer of tape to the bottom of the blade, covering the heel of the stick.
The final step is to add a knob at the top of the stick that players grip onto when holding the stick. This is typically 6-8 inches long and provides additional grip and control. Once you have added the knob, your tape job is complete.
Here are a few tips to get the best results when taping your hockey stick:
- Don’t add too much tape, as this can cause the stick to become too heavy for proper handling
- Overlap the tape slightly to ensure complete coverage of the blade
- Bend the blade slightly as you’re taping to ensure an even wrap
- Avoid wrinkles or bubbles in the tape, as this can affect your grip on the stick
For a visual guide on how to tape a hockey stick, check out our step-by-step video tutorial.
There are several different taping methods used by professional hockey players, and each has its pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular methods:
This method starts from the knob and goes all the way down to the blade. It’s easy to apply, and you can easily change how much grip you want by adjusting the tension of the tape. However, you’ll need to re-tape the blade more often because the tape can wear out faster.
The blade-first method is the most common way to tape a hockey stick. By starting at the heel of the blade, it provides the best protection and also helps with control. However, it can be challenging to get it right, and it’s difficult to change the grip once the tape is on.
This method is a modification of the knob-first technique. After applying the tape to the knob, you create a unique shape that looks like a butterfly. The butterfly creates a wider grip, making it easier to hold onto the stick. This style provides an excellent balance of grip and control, but it can take a few tries to get the shape right.
There are many different types of hockey stick tape to choose from, and it can be challenging to know which one to buy. Here’s a list of the best hockey stick tapes on the market today:
This brand is the most popular option and is widely used by many professional players. It’s available in both cloth and grip tapes, and the material is of excellent quality, helping to protect the blade from wear and tear.
Renfrew Pro is another extremely popular brand known for its excellent grip tape. The grip is so good that some players can play without gloves, so if you’re looking for maximum grip, this is the brand for you.
Howie’s Hockey Tape
Howie’s Hockey Tape offers a wide range of tape types, from standard cloth tape to high-quality pro tapes. They are famous for their custom colours, so players can add their personal style to their sticks.
History of hockey stick taping
Taping hockey sticks started in the 1950s. At that time, hockey players used black electrical tape to attach their blades to their sticks. However, as the sport became more professional in the 1960s, players began to use white tape to signify the blade’s face. Today, tape is used both on the blade and handle of the hockey stick.
As hockey stick technology has evolved, so has the tape. Modern tapes are created from more durable materials than those of the past, making them last longer and withstand the constant wear and tear on the ice.
Frequently asked questions
How often should I re-tape my hockey stick?
The frequency of re-taping depends on how much you use your stick during games and practices. If you use it frequently, every two or three games would be recommended.
Can I use regular tape instead of hockey stick tape?
No, regular tape is not recommended for hockey sticks. Hockey stick tape provides a level of grip and stickiness designed to hold up in the cold, wet, and fast-paced conditions of hockey games.
How do I clean my stick if the tape gets dirty?
Wipe the blade carefully with a wet cloth before attempting to remove dirt or any debris. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the tape.
Taping a hockey stick is crucial for any hockey player looking to improve their performance on the ice. By following our comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to create a tape job that provides the perfect balance of grip, control, and durability. Remember, when you’re out on the ice, your hockey stick is one of the most important tools you have, and proper taping is essential to make sure it performs at its best.