For hockey players, one of their most prized possessions is their hockey stick, especially when it’s new. One of the best ways to care for a hockey stick is to make sure you have effective hockey tape on both the blade and the hockey shaft. This is a tedious process for some, but a well-taped hockey stick blade can also be the deciding factor in whether or not you score that game-winning goal in overtime. In many locker rooms, perfectly sealed hockey sticks are considered a work of art.
within this article you can expect to learn:
Reading: How to tape hockey stick
- how to glue hockey sticks
- why players glue their hockey sticks
- images of standard hockey stick tape jobs
- how the pros glue their hockey sticks
- remove the hockey tape from the stick
how to hit a hockey stick
Much like tying skates, there is no “right” way to tape a hockey stick. Whether your tape work looks like patrick sharp, david pastrnak, or anything in between, it ultimately comes down to what style and method works best for you.
After you buy your hockey stick, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right length before sticking it on. while wearing skates, the sticks should be between your chin and your nose, depending on your preference. For more information on hockey stick selection, check out our hockey stick buying guide.
First things first, you will need a roll of 1.5-inch or 1-inch Renfrew Hockey Tape (white or black, depending on preference), stick wax, and a pair of scissors, if needed.
There are three main sections of a hockey stick that can be glued: the handle, the shaft, and the blade. With each section, it is important to remember the following tips. use cloth tape. never use sock tape or any tape that has a non-stick surface. the cloth strap will allow you to control the stick and puck while you’re in action. Another tip is to try to be as precise and consistent as possible. take your time and make sure you have an even gap between each wrapper and make sure there are no bulges or gaps.
How to Tape a Hockey Stick Handle or Butt End
It’s important to tape the top of the stick, as most of the stick control will be generated from there. it will have a direct effect on your shooting, passing, stick handling, etc. That said, there are many variations and it will take some time to figure out which method you like the best. some players like a big knob on top with lots of tape wrapped around it, some prefer little or no knob, some like the “candy cane” grip, some prefer a stick grip like the buttendz twirl 88 grip , and some prefer a completely different style grip. the most universal style is a simple, medium-sized goatee. you’ll want to start at the top of the stick and wrap the tape around the top until you reach the desired size. simply cut the tape when the knob reaches the desired size. most players stop when their little finger wraps snugly around the knob while holding the stick with a pair of gloves. From there, starting just below the knob, you’ll wrap the tape tightly around the stick, moving down diagonally, until you reach the desired length. Common lengths for tape handles are between 4 and 10 inches. once you get to the desired length, make one last loop at the bottom that is horizontal and overlapping a bit, and then cut it off. At this point, some players like to add grip tape around the handle, which adds a different texture and helps preserve the palms of the gloves.
How to Wrap a Hockey Stick or Taping the Shaft
Because some clubs have grip and some don’t, another option for added grip and control is to tape the shaft of the club. One name that comes to mind when talking about taping the shaft is Phil Kessel. the setup here is the traditional candy cane method. With 1-inch tape, start just below the top and wrap the stick 1.5 to 2 inches between each wrap. Go down the pole until you reach the desired length and then finish it off as you did with the grip on top. this method is not commonly used, as most players prefer to have the ability to remove and slide their bottom hand when needed on the ice.
How to Tape a Hockey Stick Blade
Finally, we come to the blade of the stick, arguably the most important part of a hockey player’s stick. Much like the club grip, there are many variations when it comes to taping the club blade. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether the tape work should be done from toe to toe or heel to toe. some say that the heel-to-toe method, while slightly slowing down your shots, adds spin to the puck that makes it harder for goalies to control. wrapping the racket heel-to-toe is said to slightly shorten the time it takes for the puck to leave the racket during shots.
To start, you need to decide what color of ribbon you want to use. the most common colors are black and white. While this may not seem like it plays a big role, there is more to the decision than you think. using black tape on the blade is said to make it more difficult for goalies to locate the puck during the shot. the downside is that it is a bit more difficult for players to track the puck during stick handling. a black disk against a black blade can be hard to see. the exact opposite of white belt is said. although it is slightly easier for goaltenders to track the puck when there is white tape on the blade, it is easier for the stick handler to track the puck using peripheral vision of it, due to the contrast of the black puck against a white blade.
After choosing the color of tape you want to use, you can start engraving the blade. Whichever end of the blade you choose to start with, proceed from there to the opposite side. As mentioned above, it’s important to make sure your spacing is consistent with each wrap. doing this will give you that consistency you are looking for in your passes and shots. After choosing a starting point, wrap the tape vertically across the sheet, overlapping each previous wrap by a little less than half. once you reach the desired length, cut off the end and overlap the previous wrap, as shown in the photo below. Generally speaking, you don’t want to extend the tape work up the spindle, although that is a preference. when finished, rub your hand along the area of the tape in the direction you are facing the tape to make sure the tape is fully secured and smooth.
You can add stick wax to your newly taped blade as well. There are multiple brands of stick wax, but you will want to make sure that it specifically states it is stick wax and not just general wax. Stick wax gives you added control of the puck on your blade, helps wick away ice and water, and helps increase the longevity of your tape job. Simply take the wax and make 4-6 passes horizontally across the front of the blade. Repeat this process 2-4 times to the backside of the blade, as well. Another alternative to wax is to use friction tape, which has an adhesive finish on both sides of the tape.
After following these three main steps, you’re now ready to test out your new tape work and score some epic shots!
Tapping a hockey stick for roller hockey is slightly different. players typically lay pre-cut strips of tape horizontally from toe to heel. if you were to use traditional duct tape, the tape will create resistance when making contact with tile or concrete.
why do hockey players hit their sticks?
Nearly all hockey players use some form of duct tape on their sticks, and for good reason. taping the handle and blade has multiple benefits. As briefly mentioned above, the biggest benefit of taping your stick is control. Composite sticks in today’s game have some tactile grip on the blade, but the surfaces don’t offer the control and feel that tape provides. taping the blade also provides a little cushion when receiving passes, allowing you to catch and release the puck from your stick much quicker. this will also give the blade a stronger and more durable feel.
Another benefit of taping the blade, specifically, is that it helps with surface protection. during games, your stick is susceptible to bumps, skids, the ice itself, etc. taping your blade can help protect against these types of problems. it can also help prolong the structure of the blade against small cracks.
Taping the handle of the stick gives you full control with your upper hand during stick handling, passing and shooting. it’s especially crucial for defenders, who control their stick with their upper hand for most of the game, allowing them to poke check and defend against opposing players.
after engraving your stick for the first time, you will quickly realize that there are many different options and possibilities. starting with the handle, in addition to the classic handle discussed above, the “candy cane” handle is another popular choice, especially with younger players. Thanks to the ridges this method provides, it adds an extra layer of grip, giving you a more controlled feel.
Regarding the blade, other popular options include taping the toe and ending at the halfway point of the blade. This style is considered to be more advanced and caters towards players who take powerful, quick snapshots with the puck launching predominantly from the toe of the blade. While this option is great for players taking quick snapshots and utilizing toe drags, it leaves the back half of the blade unprotected, making it susceptible to damage.
Another popular option for taping the blade is taping the part of the blade where it makes initial contact with the ice. This is known as the mid-blade wrap and caters towards players taking mainly wrist shots. Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and Phil Kessel are both known for variants of this tape job. While it does work for them, it is important to note that not only does it leave the heel of the blade exposed, but it leaves the toe exposed as well.
Pictures of Hockey Stick Tape Jobs
the classic work with the hockey stick tape
Description: This standard tape job has been around forever. It consists of a heel-to-toe style that leaves just a sliver of the heel and toe exposed. This tape job excels in protecting the entirety of the blade and gives players full control of the puck during stickhandling and shooting. The downside would be that it does use more hockey tape in comparison to some of the other methods. If you are ever looking for a quick and easy tape job to help get your scoring touch back, this style might be your best bet!
the toe tape job
Description: Starting at the center of the blade, continue up to the toe of the blade, and completely wrap it. Some pros of this tape job are that it uses significantly less tape than other options. On top of that, it can greatly benefit players who take mostly quick wrist shots from the toe of their blade. A downside would be that while it does use less tape, it can take some time to perfect this method. Additionally, this tape job leaves the back half of the blade unprotected, leaving it susceptible to potential damage.
the five-wire tape work
Description: Starting just past the midpoint of the blade and complete five wraps around the blade, moving forward towards the toe. This should mean that the middle point of your tape job will be at the center of the blade. Of the styles mentioned, the Five Strand is the quickest and easiest to complete and does not require a lot of tape. The downside to that is that it leaves the most of the blade unprotected as well, both on the toe and heel.
the sock tape job
Description: This style is another hockey classic. Much like the ‘The Classic”, The Sock starts at the heel, and proceeds heel-to-toe all the way to the toe, covering it completely. The good thing about ‘The Sock’ is that your blade will stay fully protected from heel to toe. Additionally, you will have consistent control of the puck anywhere on your blade. A downside to this method is that is uses the most tape out of any on this list and can potentially take the longest to complete as well.
how the pros stick their hockey sticks
sidney crosby tape work
Throughout his career, Sidney Crosby has been known for his unparalleled stick handling and puck control in tight areas. helping him with this is his ‘classic’ tape job, as he has been seen wearing for most of his nhl career. Furthermore, he is almost always seen wearing black hockey tape on the blade.
Since it was written, it quickly became clear that Sidney Crosby had the potential to become one of the greatest hockey players of all time with his unmatched hockey sense, deadly precision work, and deceptively fast hands. Since the days of junior hockey, he has followed his own style of recording him. Crosby utilizes the aforementioned “candy cane” handle, giving him additional control of his stick in tight spaces when he wields it. Crosby usually uses white tape for his grip, but lately it has been seen that he takes advantage of grip tape, which helps preserve the palms of the gloves.
As for the blade, Crosby tapes most of his blade, leaving just a sliver of the heel and toe exposed, predominantly in black tape.
alex overchkin tape work
A year before that, one of the best scorers of all time entered the league. his name is alex ovechkin. Not only does he have one of the deadliest, one-shot snaps the league has ever seen, but he can also pack a decent punch. So what does a guy with almost 650 career goals and climbing attribute his success to? part of that must be the way he hits his stick, right? Ovechkin is known for the wicked curve of the tip of his cane, and he knows how to use it to his advantage. he tapes his cane around the tip just past the middle of the sheet, using 1.5-inch white cloth tape. Since Ovechkin mainly takes quick one shots and heavy quick shots, it’s important for him to have that extra grip and protection right on the tip of his sword. ovechkin almost always goes with the same handle: white tape with red grip tape at the top, about 8 inches down.
Connor McDavid Tape Job
You’ve probably also heard of the name Connor McDavid. during his junior hockey days, it was apparent that this kid was a player of the generational type. Since he placed first overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid is already approaching 350 points. It seems like every week we see him in a featured video making an unthinkable play. For his cane handle, McDavid’s prefers it to be much shorter than what is considered “standard”. Starting from the top of the stick, the tape on it only goes down about two or three inches, with a medium-sized knob at the top. mcdavid opts to go with the full tape job on the sheet. he covers the tip of his blade and then continues the taping process all the way to the end of the blade, right at the end of the flat part of the blade. this gives mcdavid maximum grip and control of the puck.
How to Remove Hockey Stick Tape
At some point, it will be necessary to go through the entire recording process again. again, how often you do this depends on your personal preferences. some players will re-glue their sheets before every game, but some will do so only every few months. The general rule of thumb is that if there is a significant portion of the blade showing due to the tape being cut by a skate, you will want to re-glue it. Another indication that you need to re-glue is if the tape on the bottom of the sheet is worn enough that you can start to see the sheet through it. removing the tape will inevitably leave some tape residue on the stick. If you run into this problem, there are two common ways to get rid of it. First, take a bucket and fill it with warm water. then pour some dish soap on it. let the bar area with the residue sit for about a minute, remove and rub the residue firmly but gently with a scouring pad and cloth. another popular method is to heat the residue with a hair dryer and then scrape it off. if you don’t want to scrape off the residue, you can also use the blow-dry method and wipe off the residue with a cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol or natural oil.
time to hit the ice…
After reading and following this guide, you are now ready to hit the ice and cut some corners with your new tape job! With all the different tape options for the handle, shaft, and blade, it’s just a matter of trying new methods and deciding which one works best for you! Shop the wide selection of composite hockey sticks, hockey sticks, replacement blades and hockey tapes at hockeymonkey today.
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