Planning to hit the ice soon? If so, there’s nothing more important than having a stick with a proper tape job. Many new players haven’t yet learned the nuances of how to tape, and that can be a problem when it comes time to lace up your skates and slap a puck.
Learning how to tape a hockey stick like a pro player isn’t rocket science, but it’s nearly as important. So let’s take a look at good tape techniques that will keep you from looking like a chump.
Hockey 101: A Complete Guide on How to Tape a Hockey Stick
Don’t be a bender, hit the ice with a stick that’s ready for action. Not sure how to do it right? Check out our complete guide on how to tape a hockey stick.
Stuff You’ll Need
The first thing you’ll need to do is gather some supplies. Here’s a list:
- Cloth tape – 1″ to 1.5″ wide
- Friction tape, with adhesive on both sides for added grip on the puck
- Stick Wax
- Grip tape
Keep in mind that unless you want to look like lame, don’t use duct, postal, packing, or any other kind of tape on your stick. You’ll just embarrass yourself and might well be banned from the sport for multiple lifetimes. For the same reason, resist the impulse to cover the entire shaft of your stick with tape. Because seriously…don’t be a total duster, bro.
Now that you’ve gathered the necessary supplies, we’ll start at the butt end. This part of the stick typically requires the least amount of re-taping.
The vast majority of players would agree that your top hand is responsible for most of your puck control and stickhandling. This is why the butt end of the stick needs such a good tape job.
To tape the butt end you’ll apply numerous layers of cloth tape down the shaft, creating a “knob” at the top. The length of the grip on the shift can vary and really is a matter of personal preference.
For players who prefer grip tape, make the knob with cloth tape first, then you can cover the knob with grip tape and run it down the shaft to the desired length.
Most modern hockey sticks are available in both grip and non-grip versions. Therefore it’s not always necessary to add some form of grip to the shaft, but again it’s a matter of preference.
You can customize your stick with cloth tape or add tackiness with sticky-stick. Many players create a candy cane spiral of cloth tape to improve grip by tearing their 1″ tape down the middle and applying the 1/2″ cloth strip down the shaft.
Another option is to create gaps in the candy cane pattern and apply sticky-stick between the gaps. Sticky-stick is nothing more than an old piece of stick wrapped in hockey tape with the adhesive side facing out. It’s then rubbed on a non-stick shaft to transfer tackiness.
On to the Blade
When it comes to the blade, you’ll want to maintain consistent spacing, use only friction or cloth tape, and don’t continue the tape job from the blade to your shaft or vice-versa.
The four main styles for tape jobs on the blade are classic heel-to-toe, toe-covered, roller-to-ice, and two-strand.
Choosing between heel-to-toe or toe-to-heel is again mostly up to preference, though many will argue that direction directly impacts puck control. Regardless of what you like, pick a starting point and begin working the tape toward the other end of the blade. Just be consistent with spacing.
For a toe-covered blade, tape your stick as usual, then once you reach the toe, wrap it as if it’s square to create a squared-off flap, then use scissors to trim around the toe.
For a two-strand, pick a spot on the blade and wrap it twice with cloth or friction tape. Simple as that.
For the roller-to-ice, cut two strips of tape the length of your blade, applying one to the forehand side and the other to the backhand side, roughly a half-inch from the bottom. This is probably the least popular blade taping technique, but it’s still an option.
Applying Wax to the Tape
The final step in the process is to apply wax to your finished tape job. Adding wax is a good way to increase puck grip while adding to the durability of your tape job.
Keep in mind that as you spend time on the ice, ice and water will accumulate on the exterior of your blade. Wax on the tape helps to minimize this accumulation of moisture and keep the surface of the blade as tacky as possible.
A bonus tip is to rub a puck hard against the finished tape job. This is a great way of creating a smooth finish and adding some durability. The vulcanized rubber of the puck helps to repel water and flatten up any lines or air bubbles in your tape job.
Once you’re done taping, you’re ready to play. Your stick might require re-taping from time to time, but there’s really no rule of thumb. Some players prefer the feel of a worn tape job, while others think nothing feels better than the grip and texture of fresh tape.
Preparing Your Stick for the Ice
There’s nothing better than time on the ice. Most players live for it. And whether you’re a veteran or a newbie lacing up your skates for the first time, you’d better know how to tape a hockey stick if you don’t want to get schooled.
Vukgripz hockey grip tape is made for your hands and not the blade. It works by using thousands of small gripping fingers that wick away moisture to provide a slip-resistant grip at all times. If you want to perform your best then use the best and most advanced hockey stick tape on the market.
Taping a hockey stick is an important part of the game. Because without grip tape, you won’t be able to hold onto your stick and that will cause serious problems when the action heats up.
This article teaches the basic techniques to get your stick ready. Have some fun with it, discover what taping style works best for you, and get out there and carve up some ice!
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