Why do hockey players tape their sticks?
You might see the hockey players tapping their poles before starting the match. Taping a hockey pole is among the favorite pre-game practices of hockey players. Throughout the year, many hockey skaters will spend endless hours doing this. Why do hockey players tape their sticks?
To have the best possible grip on the ball, hockey players wrap their poles with tape. It is because the pole is much slicker on the pole blades without tape. For a good grip with the top hand, the tape is applied to the butt side of the stick. Additionally, tape shields the pole from ice dampness and harm. Thus, the quantity and hue of tape are selected by the individuals.
The original reason for taping: To protect the wood stick
Initially, hockey poles were constructed of wood. But NHL players no longer use wooden poles. Until the 1990s, this was the only option available for all hockey players, but now there are other options available.
You can still purchase wooden poles as they are available in the market. But the ice and water dampness from the snow would not blend well with wood poles. The water’s humidity would seep into the wood and this will split the bottom of the pole.
You must always look at the bottom of a wood pole before leaving it in another person’s house or garage. Also, frequent use of the pole has caused it to become fractured and broken. So, players wrap their sticks to stop the wood from fracturing and to increase the stick’s lifespan.
The tape would stop the water from getting inside the pole. This way, it would stop the bottom of the pole from fracturing easily. The pole will have to be re-taped after several matches as the snow would begin to nibble away at the tape.
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New sticks new problems
The poles that are used by NHL players and the majority of casual players are no longer composed of wood. Modern players utilize synthetic poles, which are constructed of different elements like graphite, kevlar, and carbon. The price of wood sticks is roughly $20, while the cost of composite wood will reach $300.
The issue of water humidity going inside the pole is no longer a concern with composite poles. But new issues arise with the new poles.
Let’s explore the purpose of tape in a hybrid stick.
1. Prevent Damage to the Stick
The prevention of stick breakage is among the main reasons for wrapping the pole blade with tape. Stick tips face a lot of wear and tear when they shoot, throw, and catch the solid ball moving at fast speeds.
Stick blades will be at risk of breaking due to the fast speeds of the ball. If they break, their efficiency will be reduced and you will have to buy a new one. The blade can be taped to prevent the pole from receiving many harmful effects.
This increases the pole’s longevity and prevents you from needing to purchase a new one after a few matches. Additionally, tape on a pole can resist dampness. Some stick compounds can deform and become rigid if humidity touches them.
2. Improving both passes and directing the Ball
The grip of hybrid sticks is the main reason why professional players choose them. The tape will provide padding when getting throws and assist in greater ball direction while passing or hitting.
Compared to a wood pole, the hybrid stick’s blade is slick. But in comparison to a wooden stick, the ball is unable to come on and off easily.
When the ball is thrown, the tape also offers wonderful padding for the player. The ball will be received much more easily as a result.
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Taping the top of the stick
Players do not tape the blades of the pole only but also; wrap the top of the stick with the tape. It will also enhance the grip of the pole to hit and lift from the ice easily.
If the skaters wrap the top of the pole, they can get better control and grip of the pole. It will enhance the safety and control of the stick while playing the match.
Thus, you won’t have to tape the bottom of the stick. It is because your bottom hand will have to move while pole-holding and shooting.
2) Pick up off the ice
Sometimes, players have thrown out the poles of their hands during gameplay. It will become difficult if the pole is straight on the ground. So, the players can add a thicker piece of tape to the end of their stick. It will help to assist them in picking it up off the ice more quickly.
Conclusion: Why do hockey players tape their sticks?
Why hockey players tape their sticks is explained above in detail. Thus, using tape when holding and transferring the ball makes it much easier to handle. It enhances the players’ stick-handling sense and makes it possible to deliver the ball to a partner more effectively.