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Hockey is one of the extreme sports. You have to be very rough and tough to survive in the game.
Hockey players need to be the best at their balance. Their movements should be in control of them. To be in control of every action, they try to do a set of things common across the globe.
We see ice hockey players tape their sticks. If you are a new player, this curiosity might be eating you inside.
In this article, we will be discussing “Why do hockey players tape their sticks?“. If you are new to the hockey world, you will learn some tips and tricks by the end of this article.
Why do hockey players put tape on their sticks?
There are plenty of reasons behind it. We will take five out of many.
6 Reasons Hockey Players Tape Their Sticks
- Saving the Surface: Hockey stick makes repeated contact with the puck. As a result, the upper part of the body gets terrible day by day. You will notice small fragments of the surface are splintered away. The lifetime of the stick gets smaller due to this. Players tape to increase the lifetime of their sticks.
- Saving the shape: Ice hockey sticks have to deal with ice sprinkles a lot. As the sticks are made out of wood, the ice sprinkles cause moisture absorption. If the rink is not sealed, that would also cause moisture absorption to the bat. Thus, the stick may warp in some cases. Players tape their sticks to prevent this moisture issue.
- Puck Control: The wood made stick gets slippery often. The fiberglass surface is not helpful with the puck. Most of the players find it challenging to direct the puck with a naked stick. They tape the stick to decrease the rate of bounce offs. The tape helps to grip in the puck, and shots get accurate.
- Strengthens the stick: When a player tape a stick with layers of tape, the stick gets heavier. It gives the player a solid feel with the hockey bat. Naturally, the stick gets an additional weight, which allows the player to make harder short with lesser effort.
- Protection: Except for the expensive hockey sticks, most of these are made of wood. The blade takes hit after hit with the puck. The edges of the blades can break into small pieces, lower the life of the stick blade. Players tape around the blade to decrease the aftermath. The hockey tapes hold the structure of the stick well enough to survive a long time playing. It also prevents breakage.
- Grip: Players must have a better grip with the bat. Grip tapes are widely available in the market. Players make a knob on the for holding the stick with one hand. The size of the knob or the grip depends on the players. They pursue and customize the grip with tapes like grip tape, hockey tape, etc.
How to tape a hockey stick?
Hockey stick deal with all the hard hits and rough shots. Taping helps the structure to be intact.
You don’t need to learn astrophysics to tape your stick. All you need is a couple of hockey tapes, a hockey stick, and a scissor or knife.
To tape the stick, first, you have to know your need. There is no specific rule to tape your blade. If you need a grippy handle, buy a roll of grip tape for soft feeling at the handle. If you find trouble receiving puck at your blade, do not hesitate to lap a thick layer of tape on your blade.
How many tapes should be used?
There is no fixed boundary for the tape to be used. It is dependable on the individual players. Many players want more laps than just a few, and many want soft.
In general, it is ideal to tape 7″-9″ at the handle. For taping the blade, experts suggest to tape from heel to toe.
The amount of the tape is dependable on the player; extra laps will need extra tape. You will need more tapes in the handle and at the blade portion. If your stick does not hold well in your hand, you should use grip tape more on the handle. A full roll of white leather tape should do the job for you.
On the blade, you should try hitting the puck and absorb the idea of the depth of the tape layer. It would help if you remembered that the blade would be dealing with the puck. The tape will break or loosen often. Buy an extra roll of black leather tape for the blade only. You might need to tape at random times while the tape is torn after several matches.
How to tape a hockey stick handle or butt end?
The stock grip may get slippery after a few matches. Professional players tape their stick handle to generate grip to hold the stick tighter.
It takes 10-15 mins to tape the butt end of a stick.
Steps to tape the hockey handle:
- Naturally, you have to tape 6-7 inches of the shaft.
- Take a roll of hockey tape.
- Take about two feet long tape out without cutting it off the roll.
- Twist the unrolled tape.
- Do a lap with the twisted tape at the top of the but end.
- Do not cut the tape but lap and make revolutions.
- It should take three to four laps at a forty-five-degree angle to cover 6-7 inches of the shaft.
- Cut the tape loose at this point.
- Unroll a pair plain tape of 8″.
- Place it firmly on the two sides of the shaft. It will hold the twisted tape intended for grip.
- Take the tape now. Unroll and make revolutions. The density of the laps depends on you. Keep doing laps till the whole 7-8 inches area is covered.
- Cut the tape. You have finished taping the stick handle.
How to tape a hockey stick blade?
Taping the hockey stick blade is easier than the butt end. Just remember, the color of the puck is black. If you tape the blade with black hockey tape, you will be able to deceive the opponent defender.
Steps to tape a hockey stick blade:
- Unroll about 8 inches of the tape and place it under the blade. It should be placed from heel to toe keeping the blade in the middle.
- Cut the tape. Start unrolling and lapping around the blade. You can start from heel or toe, it doesn’t matter.
- If you start from the toe leave around ½” from the from.
- Keep and lapping and focus on the density of the revolutions. Do not leave space so that the blade can be seen.
- Tape around 6-7 inches in the length, overlap twice, or thrice as per your preferences.
Taping is very necessary to extend the life expectancy of the stick as well as the comfort in handling the stick. A question may arise that why don’t the manufacturers don’t attach the tape. The answer would, it varies from player to player. That’s why the manufacturers don’t tape on their own. Additionally. players love to tape their sticks on their own