What you need to know about taping a hockey stick

June 29, 2022
What you need to know about taping a hockey stick
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You’ve found the perfect hockey stick. It fits you like a dream, and now you’re just imagining all the goals you’ll score with it. But wait, you might not want to just go out on the ice with it as is! What about the tape job? 

If you're unsure about which stick is best for you, we can help you choose!

The good news is that there are almost as many ways to tape a stick as there are sticks in general, so our first piece of advice is to be creative - identify what works for you, and then cater your tape job for that. 

Where to start 

There are 3 main areas where a hockey stick is usually taped: the knob, blade, and shaft. Players usually focus the most attention on the knob and blade, as many stick shafts nowadays are made with grippier materials that lessen the need for grip tape on the shaft itself. That being said, it’s important to arrive at a style that fits you best, no matter how much or how little tape you use. 

The knob

Also known as the handle, this is an extremely important area of the stick, as it allows you to control your shots, passes, and stickhandling. In short, a tape job that doesn’t work up here won’t allow you to unleash your full potential on the ice! The most utilized style is a simple midsized knob of tape, but many players either opt for a big knob or a very small one too. It really comes down to personal preference once again. It’s still important to note that finding a knob style that you can be comfortable with will help you both take your game to the next level and keep it there over a long period of time! 

The shaft

Given the rise of shafts that have more grip, shaft taping has become something of a lost art for hockey players. Many players are starting to value the ability to easily slide up and down the shaft, so having more grip with added tape is almost counterintuitive. That being said, if it benefits your play style, there are taping techniques like the "candy cane", which features tape all the way down the blade in a spiral pattern. Whether you want no tape, a semi "candy cane" with narrow strips of tape, or a full "candy cane" with full width strips, you will most likely know when you find your feel. Many hockey stick shafts also come in grippy and non grippy varieties, so this can also influence whether you decide to tape your shaft or not. 

The blade 

This is the area that probably springs to mind the most when it comes to taping a hockey stick. There are a ton of different ways to tape your stick, and you’ve probably seen a whole bunch of different styles in every game that you watch. Here are some of the most well known techniques: 

Toe tape: This style sees the tape applied from the center of the blade and wrapped around the toe of the blade. It’s a technique used by players who like to take a lot of wrist shots near the toe of their blade. It’s pretty ubiquitous with Alex Ovechkin and his all world release. That being said, this technique is difficult for newer players to master and does leave the heel side of your blade unprotected and more susceptible to wear and tear. Toe taping definitely isn't for everyone, as some players find the puck more difficult to control the puck with the middle of their stick with just tape on the toe of the blade.


Mid blade wrap: This involves taping the middle of your blade while leaving the heel and toe exposed. This tape style is for players who like to shoot from the middle of their blade. Jamie Benn has been a champion of this tape style for most of his career. While it’s a simpler style of taping than toe tape, it does leave both the heel and toe of your stick exposed and more susceptible to wear and tear throughout game action, but for many people the extra control it gives is well worth it! 


The classic: It’s probably the tape job you think of when you envision a taped hockey stick. This covers the entire blade with only a tiny bit of the heel and blade exposed and gives you the most control when you’re stickhandling and is ideal for players who want to improve their confidence with the puck on their stick. 


The sock: This is an extension of the classic tape job but extends to cover the entire toe of the stick as well. This method is great for players who like to use every part of their blade when they’re controlling the puck. However, you’ll have to have a lot of hockey tape at your disposal to use it consistently and a lot of time before each game to apply the tape, and your blade can become noticeably heavier depending on how much tape you use. 


Types of tape 

 Broadly speaking, there are two main types of tape that you'll use on your stick. 

Cloth tape: 

This tape, as the name implies, is made from cloth. It's used mostly on the blade of a stick, although it can be used on the shaft and knob as well. Its surface isn't adhesive so it won't stick to your gloves. 

Grip tape: 

Grip tape is generally used on either the knob or shaft of the stick, and provides a player more grip with its sticky exterior. It's ideal for building a stick knob grip because that's where the majority of your control comes from as a hockey player, so you want to make sure you won't be losing your grip!

Blade tape: 

Sold as a one piece solution, these blade shaped pads peel off and stick to the face and back of your blade while allowing the bottom of your blade to slide directly along the ice. This is a favourite in the inline and ball hockey communities. 



While not technically tape, these are still important pieces of equipment for those who might not know how to build a knob from scratch with tape. These mimic the traditional feel of a tape knob while providing a consistent feel every time you get a new stick!


No matter which technique you choose, it's important to reiterate that above anything else, it's important to find a taping style that works best for you as a player. Certain styles may come and go, but finding a style that works for you is super gratifying! 

If you're looking to pick up some tape, accessories, or a new stick altogether, feel free to shop with us both in store and online today!


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