Many players opt to tape their hockey stick before a game. They do this in order to protect the blade from wear and tear and to give you a better grip along the shaft of the stick. While many players develop their own methods of taping, you may still need help to ensure that it is done well and correctly.
If you have been asking yourself how to tape a hockey stick, we can help. Here’s what you need to know.
Taping The Blade
Taping your hockey stick’s blade used to be completely necessary with wooden hockey sticks that could be easily damaged. While best hockey sticks have become more durable as they have changed to composite, taping the blade is still a ritual held by many players. While the tape can help improve the longevity of the blade, it can also give you a better feel, resulting in more control over the puck.
Remember, there is no “wrong” way to tape a blade, but there are ways that are more effective than others.
1. Make Sure You Have What You Need
Before learning how to tape a hockey stick or the blade, make sure that you have cloth tape, sharp scissors, and wax. The cloth tape can be a distinguishable color to make it more identifiable, but ideally, you should go with black tape to make the puck harder to see when you have it. White tape will make it easier for you to see and keep track of the puck so that is another good option.
2. Start With A Thin Strip Of Tape
You will need a thin strip of tape to apply to the bottom of the blade before you proceed with wrapping. The tape needs to be smooth and centered on the edge of the blade.
3. Begin Wrapping
Start wrapping your blade at the heel or the toe. The heel is the end that is connected to your shaft. Traditionally, the blade is wrapped heel-to-toe, but you can do it the other way as well. The benefit to heel-to-toe used to be the recommended means of taping because it creates more spin, but it has been shown to actually slow the puck down as well. If you are after a faster release, wrap your blade toe-to-heel instead.
4. Once You Know How You Want To Wrap, Pick A Starting Point
You will want to wrap the tape vertically around the width of your blade, moving down the blade with a diagonal wrap. The previous lap should be overlapped slightly, no more than an eighth to a quarter inch.
5. Smooth Out Any Tape Bubbles
Using a puck, begin to work out any bubbles that might have surfaced. Begin at the heel and press forward toward the toe of the blade. Bubbles, if left, can tear during play and make your blade rough on the ice. The puck will create a type of friction that will make the tape bond better with the blade
6. Wax It Up
Using a stick wax, surf wax, or even candle wax, rub over the taped areas of your blade. This will decrease the friction along the ice and make the tape job last better. Not every rink allows wax, however, so check first.
Taping The Shaft
Now let’s take a look at how to tape a hockey stick grip. Some players prefer to tape a knob at the end of the stick in order to give their hands a feel for where the edge is at.
1. Tape A Knob
If you are keen on the idea of taping a knob to the shaft of your stick, it is recommended that you use a piece of paper, like a napkin, to fold over the end of the stick. You will need to tape around the paper several times to keep it in place.
2. Tape The Shaft
You will need to start out by measuring a forearm-length strip of tape. Begin wrapping down the stick, away from the knob. You will want to overlap each wrap slightly, going down as far as you need to for your ideal grip.
3. Do Not Overdo It On The Tape
You will wrap the stick down and then back up to the knob, but do not use any more tape than is necessary. You do not want to weigh your stick down with extra tape.
4. Smooth It Out
Using a puck, remove any extra air bubbles from the tape, giving you a nice grip that won’t catch on your gloves.
It will take a few tries before you know the way that you like to wrap your hockey stick, so take notes. If you do it well once, you will know how to repeat it.