Taping a Hockey Stick – Tips to look like a Pro
A taped hockey stick is a must-have for all hockey players.
Hockey players first started taping their sticks because they wanted to protect the wood from the moisture of the ice.
Now, hockey stick are usually made from composite material that is not damaged by the wet ice.
Despite the fact that sticks are now made of fiberglass and other carbon fiber materials, hockey players are still taping their sticks. And, there is a serious art involved in the way that players tape their sticks.
Why do hockey players tape their sticks?
Many hockey players will purposefully tape their composite hockey sticks with a goal of better puck control. Hockey players have found that composite hockey sticks can get slipper thus making it more difficult to get consistent contact and control of the puck.
They find that using hockey tape lets the player have more control to direct the puck where they want it to go.
The tape also helps players control the puck from the moment it is passed to them. The tape provides a cushioning effect that prevents the puck from caroming off of the blade.
Choosing tape color for your stick
To get the best performance from your hockey stick, there are clear steps that you should follow when taping your stick. But, first, you need the right tools.
So, you should get two rolls of hockey tape – one for the handle and the other for the blade. Choose one to compliment the color of your hockey stick and use it for the handle.
Most hockey players will choose black hockey tape for their blade so opponents have a more difficult time seeing the puck when it is in your control.
Some will choose a tape color for the handle that matches their gloves because hockey tape colors have been known to rub off. You will also want a pair of scissors on hand.
Start by taping the handle
The first steps involve taping the handle.
Prior to unrolling any tape, you should decide exactly how long you want the handle of your stick to be. It is also helpful to decide how much of your blade you want covered in tape, too.
Most hockey players like to have at least six inches of the handle covered in tape. They also like to tape the blade from the heel to the toe. The heel of the blade is where the blade and shaft meet at the gentle curve. The toe is the end of the blade.
There are a few steps involved in taping the handle.
This taping method adds a grip that is useful, especially with bulky hockey gloves.
First, measure out about 24 inches of tape, but prior to cutting the tape, spin the tape roll to get a good twist all the way through. After the 24 inches are all twisted up, you will have the layer of grip. Beginning at the top of the stick, wrap the tape at least three times, so you have about an inch between the revolutions.
Once you are finished, do not cut the tape, use the flat tape off of the roll to hold the grip piece in place, taping the flat tape over the end of the stick. Then, cut the tape. Continue to tape over the end of the handle and over the grip until you cannot see the stick anymore. Cut the tape.
Get that grip looking good
The next step is to tape over the grip in an angled way.
You should begin by unrolling the tape from the top of the handle. Cover the grips and continue to angle the tape as you use the single roll of tape without cutting it.
Try to make the handle look as neat as possible as you wrap the tape around it. When you reach the end of the grip, roll the tape around the handle, but keep this roll parallel to the floor. Finally, cut the tape.
Taping the blade
Taping the blade is much easier than taping the handle.
There is no need for a special grip, so you will not make any unusual designs with the tape. However, it is important to prep the handle with tape before you being to wrap the blade.
Most hockey players will cut a piece of tape that is about six inches. That piece is then put on the knife edge of the blade down the middle of the piece of tape. The piece is placed at the beginning of the heel and it ends at the toe. The sides of the tape are pressed down on both sides of the blade. This tape reduces the sharpness of the knife-edge of the blade.
The next step involves actually wrapping the tape around the blade.
Starting at the heel of the blade, unroll the tape making a full vertical rotation around the blade. Then you can continue to tape around the blade (without cutting the tape) as you move toward the toe. T
he tape should overlap at each rotation, this will create a tight seal that covers the design of the blade. When there is about one inch left at the toe-end, make a final rotation to make the tape look good. Then, cut the tape and attach it to the blade.
Practice makes perfect
The first few times that you tape the handle and the blade, you will need about 30 minutes to make sure that the tape looks good.
You might not like the way your hockey stick looks the first time, but you will get better and your final product will look better the more you practice. If you find that your tape wears out, all you need to do is take off the old tape and start the process over at the beginning.
Eventually, you might even find yourself using two colors for the grip and your might even find a grip pattern that works well for your style of play.
Want to learn more advanced tips? Check out our Ice Hockey 101 series for more articles.