Most hockey players roll hockey tape on their sticks, but have you ever thought about why? You may be surprised to learn that professional and amateur athletes dedicate a decent amount of time to applying hockey stick tape during their tournaments, practice sessions, and training.
Most players are familiar with how to tape a hockey stick and have their own personal preferences.
Some hockey players apply hockey tape to the blade as it provides them extra protection and offers a better feel, especially when moving the puck. You will also find players applying tape on their stick’s nob. Doing so gives them an improved grip and allows them to grip their hockey immediately if it falls on ice.
Why Did Hockey Players Start Applying Hockey Tape?
Initially, the hockey sticks used in professional and amateur competitions were made of wood. While you can still purchase wooden hockey sticks,most players don't use them anymore. Since wood doesn't mix well with water and snow, players used to apply tape to protect it. Prolonged exposure to moisture would damage hockey sticks, rendering them useless for competition.
If you come across a wooden item sitting in a garage or any place with moisture, consider checking it thoroughly, and you will learn that it is cracked and splintered. Hockey players would apply hockey stick tape to ensure their sticks do not splinter. It helped prolong their equipment's life and ensured they had no problem controlling the puck.
Despite being an effective solution to protect hockey sticks from ice and water exposure, the tape usually wore off because of the ice, which is why players re-taped it. In most cases, players applied black tape to their hockey sticks. Doing so made it difficult for goalies to spot the puck.
Why Do Players Still Apply Hockey Stick Tape?
The sticks that professional and recreational players use today aren't made of wood. Instead, they are made from carbon, Kevlar, and graphite. Hockey sticks made from these materials aren't splintered due to water exposure. However, they have other problems that require players to tape them.
You may be surprised to learn that composite sticks are fragile and can break easily. If you watch the NHL or any other major hockey league, you will know that sticks often break mid-game. It usually happens because the hockey stick contains cracks and the shot's force causes it to break. Hitting the puck hard or slashing the stick can create cracks in composite sticks. Because of this, players often apply hockey tape to their sticks to prevent them from crumbling and to extend their life.
Applying Hockey Tape Improves the Feel
Applying hockey tape to your stick can provide extra cushion, especially when receiving a pass. It can also help you move the puck more effectively when shooting or passing. The composite stick’s blade is quite slippery compared to the wood stick and can become an obstacle, especially in critical moments of a game.
Applying hockey tape to that area can offer a decent cushion, helping players receive the puck easily.
If you are a hockey enthusiast and like to play recreationally or even professionally, you must learn how to tape a hockey stick. Most players apply cloth tape to their sticks because it is relatively straightforward to wrap.
The most effective way to apply hockey tape is to wrap the tape around your stick's blade. However, if this technique causes difficulty handling the stick, consider applying a single tape strip across the blade's length. Doing so will provide extra puck control without causing friction between your stick and the ice.