When I was growing up, hockey was the most popular sport in my area and everyone began to play at the age of 5. Learning how to skate was the first thing everyone learned, but as I got older, playing with my hockey stick was my favourite part of the game. When I became old enough I started to tape my own hockey stick and learned the easy ways of doing so, which I will be sharing with you here.
This page is for those new to the game of hockey. Your stick is one of the most important tools you can use within the game, and knowing how to do so is key. The way in which you tape your hockey sticks blade and butt-end (the top handle of your stick) can determine how well you control the puck, the way that you shoot, and can give you your own special style that is different from your teammates and opponents. On this page I will be explaining how to tape a hockey stick in 5 simple steps:
Step 1: Choosing Your Tools
The first thing you are going to want to do is gather the right tools for your stick. If you are a beginner you are going to want to purchase these at a local hockey store or online, as these are the only places will you will be able to do so. What you are going to want to buy to tape your stick are: a roll of regular black hockey tape (1″ in width), a roll of regular white hockey tape (1″ in width), and hockey stick wax.
Black And White Hockey Tape
The debate on whether to use black or white hockey tape is something that is argued among hockey players on a daily basis. When it comes to which to use on your blade and butt-end of your stick I will discuss later, but they both have their own advantages.
Black tape is said to be the preferred colour of choice due to the fact that hockey pucks are also black, and therefore when you have the puck on your stick it will make it harder for goalies to see when you are shooting making it easier to score goals. This claim has been denied by goalies all around the world, including those in the NHL, but it is up to you to decide…
White tape gives your stick a different look, as most sticks are coloured black and the white stands out against the stick. In my opinion, white tape looks more cool than black tape on a stick, but as you tape your stick for the first few times try them both out to get a feel for which one you prefer.
Hockey Stick Wax
Using wax on your hockey stick is a very important decision to make as a beginner, and even for those that have been playing hockey for years. The advantages to using wax on the blade of your stick once you have TAPED IT: creates a water barrier, protects blade from snow building up, make your stick tape last longer, gives you better control of the puck, and creates more spin on the puck when shooting. But again, test out using wax on your blade and not using wax to see which you prefer.
Step 2: Planning
The second step in taping your hockey stick is planning out the length to which you tape your butt-end and blade, and with which colour tape to use for each.
For the butt-end of your stick, it should be around 6 inches in length running from the top of your stick down to the bottom. I suggest using white tape for this as it will not rub off on your gloves or hand while holding the stick.
For the blade of your stick, I recommend taping starting from the heel (where the shaft meets the blade) to the toe at the length that you like. I also recommend using black tape as it hides the puck better and is usually more durable than white tape.
Step 3: Taping Your Butt-End
The simplest way to tape the butt-end is the one that I will describe here. There are many different techniques that players will use, but as this is for beginners I will stick with the most basic type. The first step in this basic technique is using your white tape at the top of the stick and taping the stick about 6 inches down so that there is no part of the stick left uncovered. You do this by making one full revolution at the top of the stick and continuing to do this going down the stick. How close you make these revolutions to each other will determine the thickness of the butt-end.
Next, you will want to cut the tape in half about an inch and use one of those halves to tape the very top of the stick only. This will create a point at the top of your butt-end that stops your hand from slipping off of the stick when holding it. Tape this part to your desired thickness. After you have completed this part your butt-end will be completed.
Step 4: Taping Your Blade
The last step in getting your stick ready to use is taping your blade. When doing this use the black tape that you bought, and start at the heel. From the heel, attach the starting end of the tape and make one full revolution around the blade. Continue doing so until you are about a half an inch away from the toe of the blade. Now cut the tape off and press the end piece down tight so that it is flush on the blade making sure that it won’t come up while you play.
As mentioned in Step 2, you can now apply wax to your blade if you would prefer. The advantages to doing so are great, but there are still some hockey players out there that would prefer not to. If you decide to apply wax, start at the toe of the blade and apply the wax with brush motions leading down towards the heel. This will make sure that you are not going against the tape and raising it up.
Step 5: Finished Product
Now that you have read and followed these 5 simple steps you have taped your first hockey stick! As the years go on you will begin to notice other tape jobs and find the best suit for you, but for now go and tear up the ice and have fun!