Ever wonder why hockey players tape their sticks with Hockey Tape? We get the top part as sports grip tape will add, well additional grip. Try picking up a hockey stick with no tape with your gloves on. It ain't easy. So that makes sense. But why do they tape the blade?
1. Grip and Control:
First and foremost, it does add grip as you'd expect. That puck can come flying fast and furious to your stick and you need every advantage you can get in controling that little sucker. The blade of a hockey stick can be quite slippery, especially when it's made of composite materials or wood. By applying tape to the blade, players create a textured surface that provides better friction and grip on the puck, allowing for more accurate shots and passes.
2. Puck Handling:
The ability to stickhandle effectively is essential for any hockey player, whether you're a forward maneuvering through defenders or a defenseman trying to break out of your own zone. Taping the stick's blade helps players feel the puck better on their sticks, making it easier to perform quick dekes, fakes, and precise maneuvers.
3. Shot Accuracy:
Shooting accuracy is paramount in hockey, especially for players who need to pick corners or hit specific spots in the net. Taping the blade can provide players with more control over their shots, allowing them to release the puck with precision and accuracy.
There's a cost aspect to this taping the blade as well. Maybe not for the professionals, but have you noticed how expensive sticks are these days?? Sticks take a beating on the ice so protecting it from breaking and having to buy a new one is key. Taping the blade helps protect the stick's delicate blade from chips, cracks, and excessive wear and tear. It acts as a barrier, extending the lifespan of the stick. Maybe the most important reason on this list!
5. Puck Feel:
You'll notice some will tape the entire blade, while others will chose a specific area to mask. That's because some prefer the feel of the puck directly on the blade for certain situations and on the tape for others. This is an exclusively personal choice but a very good reason to tape the blade.
It's not just skaters who tape their sticks. Goaltenders also tape their goalie sticks for similar reasons. They enhance grip on the stick to control rebounds, improve paddle handling, and protect the stick from wear and tear.
7. Tradition and Superstition:
Hockey players are known for their superstitions and rituals. For many, taping their stick in a particular way or using a specific color of tape is part of their pre-game routine. These rituals can be a source of comfort and confidence, helping players mentally prepare for the game. Watch a player tape their blade and you will see focus, precision and the utmost attention to detail.
In conclusion, taping a hockey stick is far more than just an aesthetic choice or a tradition. It's a practical necessity that impacts a player's grip, control, accuracy, and overall performance on the ice. So, the next time you watch a hockey game and see players meticulously taping their sticks, you'll know that they're preparing to wield their most essential tool in pursuit of victory on the frozen battlefield.