Pro Tips & Tricks

The truth about
hockey tape.


At North American Tapes we are hockey fans, hockey players and above all experts on all things tape from our many, many years of experience in this business. We know hockey tape better than anyone in the world. Putting those experiences together is how we made Comp-o-stik the best performing hockey tape in the world. Here are some myths and misconceptions about tape and our take on them.

Highlights of hockey tape rules around the world.


NHL  – link

A player may apply tape anywhere on his stick for reinforcement or to enhance control of the puck. He may use any color tape that he prefers.

Goalies must use a knob of white tape or some other protective material approved by the league on the top of the stick that is a minimum of ½” thick.

Any player wearing tape or any other material on his hands (below the wrist) who cuts or injures an opponent during an altercation will receive a match penalty in addition to any other penalties imposed including for fighting under this rule.

IIHF – link

Adhesive tape of any non-fluorescent color may be wrapped around the stick at any place.

Only tape that is rolled onto a stick is allowed for covering the blade. Any adhesive peel-and-stick tape is illegal.

USA Hockey – link

Adhesive tape of any color may be wrapped around the stick at any place for the purpose of reinforcement or to improve control of the puck.

Any player wearing tape or any other material on his hands who cuts or injures an opponent during an altercation shall receive a match penalty under Rule 602.

Hockey Canada
(Hockey Canada Rules app for Apple/Android)

The stick may be wound with any colour tape. This means that any colour or combination of colours may be used.

Where a player is using a stick that has a large knob taped down from the end of the shaft so that, while she is playing with this stick, there is a considerable part of the butt-end sticking out beyond her upper glove, this should be classified as dangerous equipment, even though the player is in no way using this part of the stick.

Any player wearing a ring or rings, tape or any other material on her hands, who becomes involved in a fight and who uses such to gain an advantage or to inflict punishment and/or injury, shall be assessed a Match penalty in addition to any other penalties she may incur.

Tape Myths and Misconceptions

False. Black hockey tape has all the same components as the white tape other than additions to make the cloth and adhesive both black. There is nothing in the black tape that would cause gloves to wear prematurely.

We think the source of this myth goes back to the days when people used Friction Tape as black hockey tape. Friction tape does have adhesive on both sides of the cloth and it would certainly be more likely to wear out hockey glove palms quicker.

We often see people who swear there is only one “right” way to tape a hockey stick blade. Some of the reasons we have seen are

  • a. If you tape toe to heel the exposed edges of the tape on the bottom will roll up
    i. Sorry but if that happens you just aren’t buying a good quality tape!
    ii. What about defensemen who skate backwards a lot?
  • b. You want the ridges to be this way to help your shot
    i. The difference in puck contact
  • c. Taping your stick is a very personal thing. You should tape your stick in a way that makes you comfortable and gives you the results and performance you need.
  • d. If the tape is applied smoothly and without wrinkles and you are happy with it then don’t let anyone tell you “you’re doing it wrong!”

a. Speaking as a goalie for many years this is just not true. Goalies can still see the puck on your stick even if you have black tape on the blade.

b. You should use any color tape on your stick that you like and are comfortable with.

a. Also not true. Ask a guy named Ovechkin if goalies can read his shot better. He’s used white tape his whole career.
b. Tip for parents. As a kid I used white tape on my stick because I could see how many puck “touches” I had in a game or practice. Every kid wants to have the puck!

a. White and black cloth tape are made from the same base cloth but the black cloth is ofn course dyed black. The dyeing process does cause the black cloth to be a tiny bit thinner than white cloth and when wound in a roll after many layers build up the diameter of a roll of black will be slightly less than the diameter of a roll of white that is the same length.
b. The same thing is true for other solid colors of tape like red, blue and the many other colors we make.
c. The opposite is true for printed pattern cloth tapes. The printing actually slightly increases the thickness of the cloth slightly

a. The cloth for hockey tape comes in huge rolls before we put adhesive on it. Weaving equipment cannot make a continuous roll the length we need to suit our production line so they sew several long pieces together to make a very large roll.
b. Throwing out the rolls of tape that have seams would be very wasteful and make your hockey tape cost more.
c. Instead we leave the seams in the finished rolls of tape and as compensation add a few extra feet to the rolls that have seams.

a. Cloth hockey tape in a roll is actually somewhat fragile and can be damaged easily.
b. The process we use to cut the edges of the tape in our plant is designed to “seal” the edges of the cloth but damage can happen after the fact that causes this.
c. If you throw your tape in the bag it is getting banged around by your equipment. Impacts to the side of the roll causes the adhesive from two layers to be squeezed together and when you hit that spot in the roll when you use the tape it can cause a thread to break near the edge.
d. We suggest storing your cloth hockey tape carefully in your bag. Place it in your helmet or inside your skate boot so it isn’t getting beat up.
e. This is exactly why we created the Rolreserv Tape Storage container. It holds three rolls of tape and protects them from damage and dirt in your hockey bag.

Ask your dealer to carry all our Comp-o-stikTM hockey tape products

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