Hockey stick tapes are tape that many hockey players use on their sticks for a number of reasons. Tape was used as far back as the early 1900s, but only to protect the entirely wooden sticks that were more susceptible to damage. Today hockey stick tape can be bought at Dick's Sporting Goods and several websites, such as Hockey Monkey and Pure Hockey.
Hockey tape is often made of a poly/cotton cloth that sticks to the hockey stick through the use of a durable adhesive, but there are a number of other tapes that may be used on hockey sticks for different reasons. These include grip tape, polyurethane tape, friction tape, and Pre-Wrap.
Depending on where the tape is applied on the stick, its purpose will be different. Using tape on the butt end, also referred to as the stick handle or knob, provides players with better grip in that area, and therefore, more control. The same can be said for tape applied to the shaft of the stick.
Tape can also be adhered to the blade of the hockey stick, which provides players with a number of benefits. Not only does tape prevent damage caused by skates, other players' sticks, and hitting the ice, but it also protects against moisture buildup, which causes the stick to become much more slippery. Again, this allows the player more control over the puck.
Additionally, the color of the tape can make a difference. Where black tape allows a player to, in a sense, hide the puck from goalies, white tape helps a player see the puck while controlling it him/herself.
Similarly, tape on the blade is a matter of preference. However, some players may only feel taping certain parts of the blade is necessary if they tend to take specific types of shots, such as snap shots. Different players, on the other hand, might prefer "the sock" tape job, a covering of the entire blade. Regardless of the style, players should make sure the tape job is even and smooth.