As one of the most essential tools in a hockey player’s arsenal, a well-wrapped stick can make all the difference on the ice. But if you’re new to the game or simply haven’t tried wrapping your own stick before, it can be intimidating trying to master the art.
Fortunately, learning how to wrap a hockey stick doesn’t have to be difficult. With just a few simple steps, you can achieve a tight and secure grip that not only looks great but also helps improve control and accuracy while playing.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about wrapping your hockey stick like a pro. We’ve broken down the process into five easy-to-follow steps so that you can feel confident in your skills and take your game to the next level.
“Practice makes perfect. After a while, you get used to the repetition – it becomes part of what you do.” -Sidney Crosby
Whether you’re looking to customize your stick with your favorite colors and patterns or just ensure a solid grip for better performance, read on to discover our step-by-step guide to wrapping a hockey stick in no time!
Choose The Right Tape
One of the most important elements of preparing a hockey stick for gameplay is wrapping it with tape. Proper taping provides grip, protection and enhances puck control. But choosing the right tape can be confusing with all the varieties available in the market. Here are some things to consider when choosing which tape to use:
Consider the Surface
The surface where you play affects how long your tape lasts. Rougher or abrasive skating surfaces like concrete tend to wear out tape quicker than smooth ice rinks. It’s also essential to check whether your league has any rules regarding the type of tape used on sticks.
Hockey players may prefer different tapes depending on their playing style. Some might desire extra grip while others preferring a bit more mobility from their fingers. For added durability and longevity, a thicker tape would be ideal.
Choose the Width
Players usually have preferences for width. A broad strip allows some extra cushioning around the edges, making it a good option if you’re trying to prevent chipping to your blade. Skilled players mostly want thinner strips that offer better grip without impeding their handling abilities. There isn’t necessarily a ‘right’ answer; many elite-level athletes go narrow since they’re comfortable enough holding onto smaller grips.
Decide on the Thickness
Tape thickness involves weighing the need for durability with its effect on performance. Thick tapes provide ruggedness and abrasion resistance but sometimes cause difficulty in fast movements due to friction between gloves and stick handles. Thin layers give sharp turns and quick stickhandling speed but break down more quickly over time.
“You’ll always see me using white 1-inch Howie’s Hockey Tape – one strip over-lapping.”- PK Subban
Select the tape size based on personal preferences which balance durability with stick handling abilities.
- 1-inch width – Offers good grip for anyone who needs that extra help gripping their stick.
- 1.5-inch width – Good balance of protection and artistry; enough space to wrap blade edges.
- 2-inch width – Ideal for forwards or defensemen who wish to cover a larger surface area.
Whatever your choice is, know how each option can affect your game before making any final judgments. Your selection should address problems you’re dealing with during gameplay, such as micro-issues affecting your play-like puck control, or grip issues arising due to sweaty palms.
“You might not realize it, but the way you tape your stick has a significant impact on your freedom in motion,” says Kyle Nelson, Founder and CEO of Howie’s Hockey Tape
The quality and performance of the hockey sticks also depend upon its appropriate maintenance. By wrapping tapes onto sticks, players adjust their grip level and absorb shock when hitting another player’s stick while playing. So always use high-quality tape with a suitable thickness, which provides excellent grip and comfort. With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to choose the right type of hockey tape for your specific needs!
Prepare The Hockey Stick
Clean the Stick
The first step in wrapping a hockey stick is to clean it. This is important because any dirt or residue on the stick can prevent the tape from sticking properly. To clean the stick, use a damp cloth to wipe away any debris or dust that may be on the blade and shaft. Be sure to remove any stickers or adhesive residue as well.
Sand the Blade
Next, you want to sand the blade of the stick to create a surface that will allow the tape to adhere better. Use fine-grit sandpaper to give the blade a light sanding, making sure to focus on the lower part where the puck comes into contact with the stick. This will help to create a bit of friction between the blade and the puck, allowing for improved control.
Apply Wax to the Blade
After sanding the blade, apply wax to the taped area of the blade. Many professional players use stick wax to make their sticks more tacky and improve puck control. Simply rub the wax over the taped portion of the blade until it develops a sticky texture. It’s worth noting that some people prefer not to use wax, so this step is optional. However, if you do decide to use it, be careful not to use too much as it can affect the way the tape adheres to the blade and also makes it difficult to change your tape before each game.
- Avoid using candles instead of stick wax, as they’re made of different compounds that may damage the stick.
- You can also heat up the wax by rubbing it briskly or running hot water over it before applying it to the tape. Or, simply leave the wax at room temperature for several minutes beforehand.
By cleaning, sanding, and applying wax to your hockey stick before taping it, you’ll create a surface that will allow the tape to adhere better, make puck control easier, and extend your stick’s overall lifespan. Now that we’ve prepared the hockey stick let’s move onto the next step.
Start Wrapping From The Blade
If you’re new to the sport, one thing to understand is that wrapping a hockey stick is important for grip and protection. When starting to wrap your stick, begin from the blade of the stick. Ensure that it’s clean and dry. This will enable the tape to adhere well. It’s also advisable to use a tape that’s not too sticky but able to stand multiple movements like the FRANKLIN SPORTS HOCKEY TAPE – BLACK.
Tape length varies according to preference. You may either opt for short or long taping depending on how much of your stick base you want to be exposed or covered. In any case, leave some extra length at both ends as this allows you to grab and ensure firmness when maneuvering with the stick on ice.
Overlap the Tape
Your aim when wrapping the blade should be to have an aligned strip attached throughout. To achieve this, start by placing the tape straightened out in the middle edge of the blade then rotate it around to overlap so that each layer covers half of the previous until the entire blade is taped up. Be keen to not leave spaces in between discs which can provide room for water to get inside and ruin the tape job.
When wrapping, ensure you stretch the tape enough to be tightly fixed on the surface but again not too tight to form bumpy patches where the pucks will hit harder against leading to lower performance. Balance is what matters here, take good time spiraling towards the top handle maintaining equal width all along. However, avoid over-taping whereby excess tape may lead to reduced speed due to drag created by friction.
Smooth Out Bumps and Air Bubbles
Avoid trapping in air inside the tape layers by squeezing out air pockets and flattening bumps. A butter knife or edge scraper can be used for this, but a simple run down with your hand through all sides should push it straight. Equally essential is to make sure both edges line up cleanly to give a tidy finish.
Finish at the Handle
The final step of the process is ending the wrapping at the upper section near the stick’s handle. Always overlap more tape on the last round ensuring a secure grip. You may also add a knob at tow inches above the top of the blade using smaller amounts of tape wrapped around several times until full thickness is attained. This style helps you keep an improved grip as well as giving facile mobility between hands when passing to another player.
“It’s hard not to get motivated when you see what we all saw today,” Jordan Staal said after his brother Eric hammered home the winner late in overtime Sunday to send Carolina back to Boston tied 2-2 in their Conference Finals series. “He’s showing us how much he wants it and obviously that’s contagious throughout our room.” -Jordan Staal
Wrap The Handle
Learning how to wrap a hockey stick is an essential skill for any player. It not only helps protect the blade from damage but also provides a comfortable grip during gameplay. Here, we’ll guide you step-by-step on how to wrap your hockey stick handle like a pro.
Start at the Bottom of the Handle
The first step in wrapping a hockey stick handle is to lay down a strip of tape near the base of the blade, ensuring it covers the entire width of the shaft. This ensures that the tape covers all the sharp edges and jagged areas that would otherwise rub against gloves or cause blisters.
Make sure to pull the tape tight as you go along, so that there are no wrinkles or slack spots that could interfere with your grip when handling the puck. Continue applying subsequent strips up the shaft, each time making sure that they overlap slightly over the previous one. You’ll want to continue tightly wrapping these layers until you reach halfway between the end of the stick and where you hold it.
Overlap the Tape
At this point, begin to directionalize the tape – instead of going straight around the diameter, start going diagonally across (in either direction). Ensure each pass goes over the bottom side and under the top side of the stick handle. As before, work slowly and pull the tape taut as you wrap. Overlap each layer around 1/4 inch onto the previous layer, creating a bit of a herringbone effect. Remember to keep the tape at a slight angle which will eventually give greater traction and allow the upper palm to “stick” slightly to the knob’s surface. Finally, finish off by placing a couple more wraps high up just below the knob’s top.
You might be tempted to use excessive tape; however, this can lead to an uncomfortable grip where the knob is too large and/or floppy. You don’t want it to feel like you’re holding a massive watermelon while playing. Conversely, if you use too little tape in the wrong places, you’ll run into durability issues quick. Therefore, the key here lies in achieving balance.
- Remember always to directly overlap the previous layer by about one-fourth of an inch per pass
- If you go straight besides diagonalizing at the top, your layers will bunch up between your bottom hand and the stick’s end, leading to a distracting lump that’ll cause discomfort or give you blisters.
- You should be able to fit two fingers (index and middle) underneath the final wrap with comfort but without tire slops similar to wearing shoes with a proper fit.
“A hockey player’s biggest critic doesn’t sit in the stands he glides on the ice.” – Doug Dorsey
Wrapping a hockey stick handle isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Be patient and take it slow, apply tension to each layer to keep away wrinkles, overlap them consistently over each other instead of being tempted to make something bulky. With practice, you will perfect the skill and enjoy comfortable gameplay experience every time!
Secure The Tape
If you’re a hockey player, wrapping your stick with tape is an essential part of preparing for games and practices. Not only does it improve grip and handling, but it also protects the blade and prolongs its lifespan. However, simply wrapping the tape around the stick isn’t enough. To ensure that the tape stays in place and provides maximum benefits, you need to secure it properly.
Use a Finishing Tape
After wrapping the blade and shaft with regular hockey tape, it’s recommended to use a finishing tape to lock the layers in place. A finishing tape can be made of cloth or polyethylene material and has a stronger adhesive than regular tape. Apply it over the top of your wrapped stick and press down firmly with your fingers to eliminate any air bubbles or gaps. This will help prevent the tape from peeling off during gameplay and provide extra durability.
“As a defenseman, taping my stick was always an important preparation step. Using a finishing tape ensured that the tape wouldn’t shift or unravel at crucial moments.” -Dan Girardi, retired NHL player
Trim the Ends
Another aspect of securing the tape that often gets overlooked is trimming the ends. After wrapping the blade and shaft, it’s common to have excess tape hanging off the edges. Leaving this extra tape untouched can lead to fraying or catching on other equipment during play. Therefore, it’s best to trim off the excess tape using scissors or a utility knife. Cut as close to the end of the stick as possible without cutting into the wood or fiberglass underneath. This creates a neat and uniform finish while also preventing any tape-related mishaps on the ice.
“Trimming the ends of the tape is a small detail that can make a big difference. It not only looks better but also reduces the risk of getting your tape caught on something.” -Sheldon Souray, retired NHL player
Securing the tape is a simple yet crucial step in wrapping a hockey stick. By using finishing tape and trimming the ends, you can ensure that your stick stays protected and improves your performance on the ice. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, these tips will help you get the most out of your taped stick.
Frequently Asked Questions
What materials are needed to wrap a hockey stick?
To wrap a hockey stick, you’ll need hockey tape, scissors, and a flat surface to work on. Make sure to choose a high-quality hockey tape that is sticky and durable. It should also be the right width for your stick. You can use either white or black tape, depending on your preference. If you want to add grip to your stick, you can also use grip-enhancing products like hockey wax or spray.
What is the best technique for wrapping a hockey stick?
The best technique for wrapping a hockey stick is to start at the bottom of the blade and work your way up towards the top. Make sure to overlap the tape as you go to create a smooth and even surface. Use your thumb to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles in the tape. For added grip, you can create a knob at the top of the stick by folding the tape back on itself and wrapping it tightly around the end.
How tight should the hockey stick tape be wrapped?
Hockey stick tape should be wrapped tightly around the blade and handle for maximum grip and control. However, be careful not to wrap it too tightly, as this can affect the flexibility of the stick and make it harder to handle. You should be able to slide a credit card or your finger between the tape and the stick without too much resistance. If the tape feels too loose or too tight, adjust it accordingly.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when wrapping a hockey stick?
Some common mistakes to avoid when wrapping a hockey stick include wrapping the tape too tightly, leaving gaps or wrinkles in the tape, and using low-quality tape that doesn’t stick well. Make sure to use a high-quality tape that is designed for hockey sticks and to wrap it evenly and smoothly. Don’t forget to create a knob at the top of the stick for added grip, and trim any excess tape with scissors for a clean finish.
How often should a hockey stick be re-wrapped?
How often you should re-wrap your hockey stick depends on how often you use it and how much wear and tear it experiences. As a general rule, you should re-wrap your stick after every few games or practices, or whenever the tape starts to wear down or lose its grip. If you notice any tears or holes in the tape, it’s time to replace it. Regular maintenance and re-wrapping can help prolong the life of your stick and improve your performance on the ice.