- by the StickShack.com
How to Tape a Hockey Stick
Now that you have found a hockey stick that you really like, you will want to preserve its quality by taping it. Taping a hockey stick improves both your stick’s longevity and your playing ability, if taped correctly. It is important to remember, though, that there are many correct ways to tape.
If you are wondering how to tape a hockey stick, you may be a beginner, or you may be looking for new tips. Either way, it’s important for hockey players to try different methods in order to determine the best way to match their style of play.
A hockey stick needs tape around the blade and around the knob, or the grip, of the hockey stick shaft.
How to Tape a Hockey Stick Blade
When taping around the blade, start with a strip of tape at the bottom of the blade on the toe, and pull the tape down the length of the blade to the heel, keeping the tape centered on the blade edge. Neatly wrap the excess edges of the tape upward onto the edges of the blade.
Next, starting at the heel of the blade, wrap the tape vertically around the width of the blade. Begin to move the tape down toward the toe of the blade by diagonally wrapping the tape only slightly, overlapping the previous layer by 1/4 of an inch.
By wrapping the tape from heel to toe, small pockets of air are created which can help a player receive a pass, and can put spin on a shot, adding puck control. There are some arguments that taping from toe to heel will keep the tape neater, which is a matter of personal preference. Players may want to try using a hair dryer to securely seal the glue on the tape.
Black cloth tape is preferred by many players, especially on the blade, because the opponent cannot easily see when you have the puck. Also, ensure that the tape on the inside of the blade is perfectly flat to ensure proper puck control, and do your best to keep the back of the blade’s tape flat as well.
How to Tape a Hockey Stick Grip
The way that hockey players tape their hockey stick grips often depends on their style of play. A taped grip on the hockey stick improves stick control and diminishes wear on hockey gloves. It’s important to remember that the more the more tape on a handle, the heavier the stick weighs.
One popular way to tape the grip is to wrap a folded piece of paper around the very top edge of the hockey stick handle, and secure it with cloth tape by wrapping the cloth tape around the handle five or six times. This helps to build a knob on the end for a better grip.
Then, without tearing the tape, pull out a strip that measures from your wrist to your elbow, and twist it into a rope shape. Wrap the newly formed rope around and down the handle of the stick, forming a diagonal grip. Without tearing the tape, begin wrapping the flat part of the tape back up the handle and over the rope, overlapping it slightly, until you have reached the knob of the stick. Once here, wrap it a couple more times to secure the tape.
BREAKING IN HOCKEY SKATES
New hockey skates are intended to have a stiff boot, in order to provide your feet and ankles with proper support. Breaking in your new hockey skates is important, because they should support and conform to your foot like a glove. There are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that your hockey skates are broken in correctly.
When you first begin using your hockey skates, try using them for shorter periods of time, and work up to wearing them during a game. The best way to break in skates is just to skate in them, so this may take some time, depending on your comfort level.
Be sure to wear socks! Playing in your new hockey skates barefoot will damage your skate AND your foot. Wear a longer, thin athletic sock that fits tightly to your skin without any wrinkles, to reduce blisters. Excessive foot moisture will not only make your skate stink, but it will damage the boot by causing the leather to harden and crack.
Lacing hockey skates properly is especially important when they are new. Tighten the laces from the bottom up, and focus on the ankle area for secure support. Do not wrap excess lace around the top of the boot, as this will weaken the leather in that spot after a period of time. If the top of the boot is too loose, then you need a snugger fit, and if the laces are too long, find shorter ones.
Be prepared to treat blisters. New hockey skates can be too stiff for foot skin, so moleskin, tape, adhesive bandages, and antibiotics should be on stand by. Once a skate is broken in, blisters should not be a problem. If there are parts of the boot that continue to irritate your foot, take the hockey skates to a skate dealer to have the leather punched in those areas, to fit more comfortably.
Once your hockey skates are comfortable, don’t forget that you have worked hard to break them in! Take care of them, and don’t lend your skates to other players, because your hockey skates are the most important piece of equipment during your game.
Experiment with other ways to tape your stick by talking with friends, coaches, and other players. When you know how to tape a hockey stick, your game will improve dramatically.