Every hockey player does it, but do you know why we tape our sticks? It's simple: tape makes it easier to handle the puck, and protects your blade from premature damage.
White tape vs black tape:
Some players prefer white tape, while others prefer black. I have never found a difference, but some claim that black tape “hides” the puck, making it harder for d-men to steal or for goalies to track. A less common view is that white tape allows your blade to blend into the ice – making it harder for the goalie to read the angle of your stick on shots.
Heel to toe vs toe to heel:
Most players tape from heel to toe, as this creates less resistance for the puck. You can also tape from toe to heel if you prefer. The process is the same either way: you simply start at the top of the blade and tape down the face and up the back, overlapping the tape approximately halfway on each time around.
Waxed vs unwaxed:
A key function of tape is to stop moisture from building up on your blade. Adding a thin layer of stick wax to your tape job stops water and ice from seeping into your new tape job, and preserves the life of the tape.
Our verdict: We highly recommend wax, especially when playing on hacked up ice.
We also spoke to Alexander Kerfoot - 29 points on 39 games in his rookie season with the Avalanche - about how he tapes his twig. Kerf keeps things simple: “I retape my stick before every game and practice during the season, and use regular width-white tape. I always tape from heel to toe but never tape the toe. Mainly because it is easier, and that way I don’t have to use scissors. I actually don’t use wax.”