Taping Your Hockey Stick
Our second or third week at the rink I was feeling pretty good about how I had set up my son with his equipment and where we were headed – developing skills, getting comfortable with the schedule and the ice. Then one day after practice, a veteran hockey dad casually comes over and delivers a quick comment bringing me back to reality – that I’m still a newbie.
Veteran Dad: “You gotta tape that stick.”
Newbie: “Hmmm. What do you mean?”
Veteran: “Wrap the blade and wrap the shaft with a knob to get a better grip.”
Newbie: “Ahhhh….OK – thanks!”
A pretty innocent conversation that left me wondering what he was talking about and why was it necessary? After doing some digging around and asking a few more people and a pro at our rink, I discovered that taping your stick is a pretty common practice and the technique is modified by personal preference.
Here’s the basic idea. You wrap the blade and shaft of the stick to provide better grip and control of the puck. When your young hockey star wants to be a puck cowboy, he’ll need to control the puck and have a commanding grip and control of his stick. That’s where the tape comes in. Taping the blade helps grip the puck and allows the player to flick, flip and dance the puck around the opponent or goalie.
The good news is that it takes about 20 minutes to do the whole project. It took me a little less time, but my 9-year-old daughter gave me a hand. You can choose either white or black athletic, fabric tape. Black tape can “hide” the puck and give a little advantage so your opponent can’t see exactly where the puck is heading off the blade.
Below is a video explaining the wrapping process for both the blade and shaft (including knob). I found it’s best to watch these for examples of the process.
My son found a distinct difference in control and handling of the stick after the first session with a taped stick. So, best advice, don’t delay this little equipment modification. It will be well worth it!