Our tape jobs evolve as our games develop over time. As we refine our playing styles and skill sets we redesign our butt end and blade’s attire… and like any wardrobe, it speaks of it’s owner. Whether you prefer the classic heel-to-toe or the toe-covered look, your tape job says something about you.
It’s not uncommon for players to be ritualistic in their tape job, always manicuring their twig the same way and at the same point in their pregame regimen. Others just wing it, throwing on a fresh TJ moments before stepping on the ice. Then there are our superstitious teammates peeing on their sticks to end a scoring drought [seriously, I had a college teammate who did this!] or not letting anyone near their game stick — no one wanted to be near the pee covered one anyways!
Regardless, when it comes time to execute a quality, fresh tape job a little preparation goes a long way. Follow the essential steps below to ensure a “grade A” tape job. Your twig will thank you later.
Prepare your twig
If it’s new make sure your stick is cut to proper size — general rule of thumb is to your chin on skates but ultimately it’s your preference. Make sure to completely clean the blade of any price tag or tape job residue prior to taping. Assuming the locker room consists of the rubber mats we’re all too familiar with, simply rub the forehand and backhand edges of the bottom of your blade on the floor. Use your mitts to pick off any remaining adhesive on your blade.
Whether it’s your go-to tape job or a new look you’re trying, collect all the accessories you need. Most players use normal cloth tape while some prefer the wide cloth on their blade. Some favor grip tape on their butt ends, others classic cloth… and some like to cover their tape job with wax. Lastly, pending your preferred TJ style and hand strength, keep scissors handy.
A never ending debate rears its ugly head anytime someone suggests either heel-to-toe or toe-to-heel is the correct way to tape a hockey stick. From years of playing and researching we have yet to discover a clear cut winner. Therefore, do you. Regardless of where you like to start and end your TJ, maintain consistent spacing between wraps. Tear or cut the tape at your desired end point and if you’re Russian or think you’re a sniper, trim the excess tape around your toe covered TJ.
Apply finish [optional]
A lot of players opt for extra grip and durability by rubbing on a coat of wax, or even a puck onto their finished TJ. These extra layers reduce the amount of moisture our tape job’s absorb, often preserving longer than their “nude” counterparts.
All that’s left to do is show off your perfect tape job with some dangles, sauce, and snipes!