How to Wrap a Hockey Stick

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Taping a hockey blade is required in order to properly play ice hockey. Taping a hockey blade is a precise skill and often a ritual practiced by ice hockey players. Though each individual may have their own method, this covers the generic best practice to "tape a hockey stick."

Steps

  1. Gather Materials:You will need a hockey stick & attached blade (left, right, or goalie stick), cloth tape, scissors or a knife, wax or an old candle.
  2. Tape the Blade: Tape the bottom of the blade: Start towards the toe of blade and slowly work your way toward the heel (the part where the blade meets the shaft). Conventional wisdom says to tape from heel-to-toe because it creates more spin on the puck, but recent analysis of the fastest shooters has shown that spin actually slows the puck down. You want the fastest release off your blade possible and this is not achieved with spin.
  3. Smooth Tape with Hockey Puck: Start from heel and press towards end (toe). Rub the puck along the new tape job. The friction makes the tape bond better with the blade. This makes the tape much smoother on the blade.
  4. Apply Wax: Take some wax (for best results, use stick wax, not generic wax, but even candle wax will do in a pinch) and apply it to all taped areas of the blade. This keeps the tape from getting waterlogged, thereby both increasing the longevity of the tape job and decreasing friction as the bottom of the blade moves along the ice (especially in taking shots).
  5. Wrap down the handle: Your own style will depend upon personal preference. Experiment with different tapers, knobs, and tapes to see what feels best. There is no right way to tape the handle. All youre looking for here is grip and feel, so do what works best for you.

Tips

  • Make sure your ice rink allows the use of wax.
  • The color of the tape often depends upon the individual.
    • Black cloth tape sometimes hides the puck when stick-handling.
    • White cloth tape will not leave black streaks on your gloves.
      • If you want to use black tape on the handle (butt ending), be sure it is plain cloth tape ("athletic tape" - it comes in all colors now, and even patterns like like little flags) and NOT friction tape (the sticky black tape traditionally used on stick blades). Friction tape will both stain and wear out the palms of your gloves.

Things You Will Need

  • Hockey Stick - This should come up to your nose if you are in shoes, or your chin if you are wearing skates.
  • Tape - Many people will use black for the blade and white for the handle.
  • Scissors - To cut any extra tape on the blade or if the tape does not rip easily.
  • Wax - To keep the tape lasting longer, keeps moisture off of the tape and gives you better puck control.

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