One important skill for those new to playing hockey is learning how to use hockey stick tape. By properly taping a hockey stick, both on the handle and the blade, will increase the durability of the stick and improve its performance on the ice. Everyone has their own particular way to use hockey stick tape, but the general mechanics of taping a stick are uniform throughout. Similarly, there are many different sizes and colors of hockey stick tape, with standard black one-inch tape the most commonly used.
- Stand the stick up on the ground. Place the end with the blade touching the ground and butt end or handle in the air.
- Create a knob on the butt end. Wrap the hockey stick tape around the butt end of the stick, perpendicular to the length of the stick. Continue to wrap the tape over itself flush with the butt end until a knob of the size of your choice is created. This knob will decrease the chances of the stick slipping out of your hands during play.
- Add texture to the handle. Without ripping the tape after creating the knob, grasp the tape connected to the handle and pull a length from the roll, about as long as your forearm. Leave the tape connected to the roll and twist the roll, sticky side out, creating a very tight string. Wrap this string around the handle in a diagonal wrap.
- Complete the handle. Again without tearing the tape from the roll, wrap the string with layers of tape, working up towards the butt end in a diagonal wrap manner. Overlap the tape by one-half inch and continue working your way up to completely encase the string. Rip the tape and press the end flush with the stick. Squeeze the tape on the handle to ensure a firm hold.
- Prepare to wrap the blade. Stand the stick on the butt end, with the blade sticking up in the air. Remove any existing tape on the blade area.
- Line the blade. Tear a length of hockey stick tape just a bit shorter than the flat bottom edge of the stick blade. Center it on the bottom of the blade, parallel to the blade, and press it in place.
- Wrap the blade. Starting at the shaft end, near where the stick begins to curve, begin to wrap the blade. Wrap the tape around one full time to start, then work your way up towards the tip of the blade in a diagonal wrap manner. Continue to wrap until you reach about one inch from the tip, at which time you can tear the tape and squeeze the tape to smooth the blade. If desired, wax the tape on the blade to make it water resistant.