Rainbow hockey stick tape

How to Tape a Hockey Stick-Get the Perfect Grip

Taping your hockey stick blade is not only a practical necessity but also a crucial step in achieving the perfect grip and control on the ice. Properly taping your stick blade enhances your puck handling, shooting accuracy, and overall performance during gameplay. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, learning how to tape a hockey stick properly is an essential skill.

In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of taping your stick, helping you achieve that ideal grip and giving you the confidence to dominate on the ice. Get ready to elevate your game with the perfect tape job!

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Why do hockey players tape their sticks?

How to Tape a Hockey Stick-Get the Perfect Grip- Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby -by Pens Through My Lens

Taping can improve the grip of your stick and make it easier to control the puck. It also helps protect the blade of your stick from wear and tear as well as scratches, chips, or other damage that could occur during play.

By using stick tape, you can also customize the shape and feel of your stick – giving you a more individualized experience.

Finally, wrapping your hockey stick adds some color and character to an otherwise plain-looking piece of equipment. You can get black hockey tape, white tape, or stick tape in a variety of colors and patterns to suit any style.

Taping your hockey stick can be intimidating for new, and younger players but it’s an essential step to getting the most out of the game.

How to tape a hockey stick blade

How to tape a hockey stick - D. Pastrnak
David Pastrnak by Gspeed0689

Taping a hockey stick, is a process that can be done in many ways. Whether your tape job models Alex Ovechkin, Wayne Gretzky, or David Pastrnak, it will be unique to you.

Most players find taping a hockey stick is easy once you know what you’re doing.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help get you started:

  1. First by cleaning off the blade of your stick –  if your blade has tape residue, you can rub the stick on the rubber locker room floor to remove the old residue from the bottom of the blade. 
  2. Some players take a single strip of tape and run it around the toe edge so that it’s completely enveloped. Make sure to flatten out any wrinkles before continuing.
  3. Proceed in wrapping the tape vertically around your blade with multiple strips until the desired coverage is achieved. You can start wrapping at the toe or heel of your stick. It’s all about individual taste, but when wrapping your stick with tape it is critical to ensure that the tape overlaps smoothly and is spaced uniformly. An unevenly taped stick can negatively impact performance due to an unpredictable grip on contact.
  4. Finally, use sharp scissors to trim off any excess tape at the toe of your blade.

How to Tape a Hockey Stick

Hockey stick tape patterns and methods

Experimentation is the best way to find out which hockey stick taping patterns and methods are most suited to your own individual needs.

If you’re only beginning to tape up your sticks, prepare yourself for a bit of trial and error until you get it right!

How to tape a hockey stick - Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin by All-Pro Reels

Here’s an overview of some popular ways that players tape their hockey sticks.

The Classic: 

This is a typical way hockey players tape a stick. Where the tape covers the main area of the blade, but with some parts of the heel and toe exposed.

The Sock:

Patrick Sharp by mark6mauno

This is another classic design that follows a heel-to-toe pattern. The Sock fully covers the blade from the heel to the toe, resembling a gym sock. This technique allows you to have consistent control of the puck across the entire blade.

However, it uses more tape than any other method on the list and may take longer to complete.

Toe Tape Job:

Artemi Panarin by Tlop2000

This pattern is ideal for players who prefer less blade coverage. This method will only cover the toe of the blade.

The 5 Strand: 

Jamie Benn by DalStars9

Begin around the middle of the blade and wrap the hockey tape five times towards the toe for a quick and easy tape job, like Jamie Benn.

The five-wraps tape job is the simplest and quickest of the bunch.

Finishing the tape job on the blade

Once the blade is taped, add a layer of hockey wax to your tape job. Only hockey stick wax should be used for this step as it’s specifically designed to repel ice and water from sticking onto the tape. Thus prolonging the life of your tape job.

Apply the wax by making 4-6 horizontal passes on the front of the blade. Repeat the same process on the backside of the blade 2-4 times.

If you need some help choosing a hockey wax, have a look at our article on the best hockey wax.

How to tape a hockey stick handle or butt end

Hockey players often tape the butt end of their sticks for several reasons, including providing a better grip, dampening vibrations, and protecting the stick’s shaft.

Gather the necessary materials: You’ll need hockey stick tape, which is a cloth-based, white tape specifically designed for hockey sticks.

Begin taping:

Start by removing any existing tape or residue from the butt end of the stick.

  1. Take the roll of hockey stick tape and start wrapping it around the butt end of the stick.
  2. Keep wrapping until you have the knob to your desired size, then press down firmly with your hand to compress it until it’s smooth.
  3. For extra grip near the top of the stick, wind a full wrap of tape around it for 10-12 inches in an overlapping pattern. This additional taping will provide increased stability when gripping onto the flat part of the stick.
  4. Pull the tape tightly as you wrap it around the stick to ensure a snug fit. This helps to prevent the tape from shifting or coming loose during play.
  5. Once you’ve reached the desired length, you can secure the end of the tape by pressing it firmly against the stick or tucking it underneath a previous wrap.

How to Tape a Hockey Stick -Taping the Shaft

How to Tape a Hockey Stick-Get the Perfect Grip- Phil Kessel
Phil Kessel’s “candy cane” hockey stick shaft.-by Pens Through My Lens

Not all hockey sticks possess grip, but you can always create some with stick tape. A well-taped shaft provides added grip, control, and protection during gameplay.

  1. To tape your hockey stick shaft effectively, start by ensuring a clean and dry surface.
  2. Begin at the top of the shaft right below the knob, and wrap the tape in a spiral pattern towards the bottom. Maintain a consistent tension as you wrap, overlapping each extra layer slightly.
  3. Once you reach the desired length, do one last wrap at the bottom to overlap the tape then simply rip off the end of the tape.

Customize the thickness and texture of the tape to your preference, as it can greatly impact your handling and feel of the stick.

With a properly taped shaft, you’ll have the confidence to excel in stickhandling, passing, and shooting on the ice.

Alternate shaft taping method

The method pictured above, shows you an extra ridge that’s created by applying a rope of tape on the hockey stick shaft. This will provide extra grip to the stick shaft.

To do this custom grip job, you’ll need about 18-24″ of tape twisted tightly into a rope.

Twirl it around in a candy cane style down to your desired length.

Finish off this method by applying a layer of hockey tape over the tape rope. As shown below.

Stick has an extra layer of grip underneath the tape.

Alternatives to cloth hockey stick tape

hockey stick with lizard skin tape on it
I used Lizard skin as an alternative to hockey stick tape.

New hockey stick accessories like the Buttendz, Lizard Skin, or Tacki Mac grip sleeves and tape offer a better grip. As well as eliminating the need to retape the shaft of your hockey stick.

Plus, they can replace the traditional taped knob at the top of the stick, causing less wear on your gloves and providing a non-slip performance.

How to tape a goalie stick

How to tape a hockey stick- Jake Oettinger (goalie)
Jake Oettinger- By All Pro Reels

Just like the other players, goalies also benefit from taping their sticks for improved performance.

Most goalies will tape the three main areas of the stick: knob, paddle grip, and blade – a larger knob helps them maintain a tight hold on the stick while poke checking.

The ideal pattern is to apply tape toe-to-heel so that any puck rolled off their blades will be in control during passing or shooting opportunities.

Also, some goalies choose to add tape along the paddle region to better manage rebounds more effectively too!

When to re-tape your stick

How to tape a hockey stick. My daughter's True hockey stick on the ice with a puck. Stick has white hockey tape on it

When to apply a new tape job will vary depending on individual preference, playing style, and the condition of the tape.

Here are some general guidelines to consider:

Pre-Game or practice:

Many players prefer to tape their sticks before each game or practice session.

Tape the blade before each session to ensure optimal puck control, and shot accuracy. Don’t forget to add hockey stick wax after the tape job.

After regular inspection:

Check the condition of the tape regularly. If it starts to wear out, fray, or lose its grip, it’s a good indication that it needs to be retaped.

Inspect the tape for signs of damage or moisture retention, which can affect puck control and stick handling.

Personal preference:

Some players may prefer to retape their twigs more frequently than others.

Factors such as the intensity of play, ice conditions, and personal preference can influence the frequency of redoing your tape job.

Backup stick:

Players who have a backup stick may choose to rotate between sticks during a game or practice.

This allows them to switch to a freshly taped stick if the tape on the primary stick becomes worn or less effective.

Ultimately, the decision of how often to tape a hockey stick blade is up to the individual player. It’s important to assess the condition of the tape regularly and retape as needed to ensure optimal puck control, and shooting performance.

If the knob, shaft, or blade of your stick shows through, you need to replace the tape.

Final thoughts on how to tape a hockey stick

Taping your hockey stick is an important step in the process of getting the most out of your equipment. It protects your stick, gives you better puck control, and can even add weight to your stick.

By following this simple guide, you’ll be able to get the perfect look and feel for your hockey stick that will help improve your game.

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