The Art of the Tape Job

By Tyler Hinds; uses hockey tape instead of Band-Aids (@THinds3

A player’s stick is their greatest weapon for offensive success. If the stick isn’t just right, the player might be thrown off completely. This is the reason why hockey players spend so much time preparing their goal scoring tool. Here are some things to consider about your tape job (TJ). 

Heel to Toe

Always start taping your stick at the heel of your blade and finish towards the toe. It is the reverse grain of the tape that gives a player addition control of the puck as it spins off the blade. Avoid taping toe to heel because there won’t be any grain for grip.

White or Black?

The age old question that has been hotly debated for decades: should I use white or black tape? Purest will go down swinging for their preference but here are some pros and cons for each:


White Tape

Black Tape


  • Easier for a player to decipher where the puck is on their stick
  • Softer on glove palms; great for the butt end of the stick
  • Black-on-black contrast hides the puck from defenders
  • More durable; scuffs and marks appear less frequently


  • Less durable; rips, tears, & marks up quicker
  • Tough on glove palms; not ideal for the butt end of the stick

Wax On, Wax Off

Finding it difficult to control the puck towards the end of your ice time? You’re not the only one. Snow and ice accumulate on the tape of your stick as the ice becomes more worn. Applying a thin layer of wax overtop of your tape does two things:

  1. Prevents the initial build up of snow and ice from happening on your tape
  2. Prolongs the lifetime of your TJ by matting it down so it is less prone to rips and tears

Five Different TJs

1. The Standard

  • Heel to toe, 90% of the blade is covered
  • Benefit: lots of grip on puck with a fully taped blade
  • Drawback: tape wears fast on the heel of the blade due to constant contact with the ice
  • Notable Players: Patrick Kane & Claude Giroux

 2. Three-Quarter Toe

  • 75% of blade is covered along with the toe. The heel area remains untaped.
  • Benefit: 15% increase in successful toe drags (made up stat, sounds cool though)
  • Drawback: much higher level of effort to tape stick
  • Notable Players: Jonathan Toews & Kris Letang

 3. Reverse Three-Quarter

  • 75% of blade is covered starting from heel. The quarter near toe remains untaped.
  • Benefit: great for players that shoot with full wristers
  • Drawback: negative style points
  • Notable Players: Henrik Sedin & Ryan Johansen 

4. The Budget

  • 25% (or less) of blade is covered directly in the centre of the blade
  • Benefit: spend less money on tape
  • Drawback: next to no grip on puck
  • Notable Players: Bobby Orr & Eric Lindros 

5. The Toque

  • 100% of blade is covered along with the neck of the shaft
  • Benefit: receiving passes off the shaft? Scientists are still collecting data
  • Drawback: lots of wasted tape
  • Notable Players: Patrick Sharp & Marian Hossa


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