Applying tape to a lacrosse stick can be an hour-long science or a pregame ritual, depending on how you look at it. Some players never even use tape at all. It’s all up to preference, but the meaning and design within the preference is what makes each player’s tape style so different and intentional.
Whether you’re a player who stays up the night before getting your stick ready or the one who throws his gear in the car and forgets about it, I think you’ll enjoy this breakdown on how to tape a lacrosse stick. If you’re new to our amazing lacrosse community, then maybe you’ll find a bit of new insight all about tape.
Tape a Lacrosse Stick: The Many Methods
The Criss-Cross was one of my favorites throughout middle and high school. It consists of thin pieces of tape being wound around the handle from two different directions to form the criss-cross design.
This is a great option for someone who maybe likes a little less tape or already has a sandblasted grip covered shaft. This has always been one for swag points as well, because it just downright looks cool. However, be prepared to tape and re-tape often with this style, because it’ll wear down quickly.
The Candy Cane
The Candy Cane is basically just half the process of the Criss-Cross discussed above. You take a thin section of tape and wind it around the shaft to the desired area of coverage.
I don’t see this style much anymore just because it doesn’t really offer that much grip. However, if it suits your taste, I say give it a go. This one may also be an option before the game when you only have one roll of tape between the team and need to conserve.
The Quarter Coverage
This is a popular one among many players as it requires little attention to detail and time. This tape job will cover around a quarter of the shaft, mainly focusing on the bottom half of the handle. After finding or making a good end cap, wind the tape around the bottom portion of the shaft enough to fit one hand on at least. It’s an old design but always a good one for those poles who love to one-hand cradle.
The Half Solid
Just like the Quarter Coverage, this tape job doesn’t really required all that much attention to detail aside from making sure the tape is laying flat against the shaft without any bumps. To accomplish this tape job, you will simply cover half the in a layer of tape. You can go a bit higher up if you’d like as well as it offers that much more grip.
This is a great one for your box players out there – it will last longer and hold up to checks much better.
All jokes aside, this one is simply covering your entire handle with a layer of tape. This is a bit of a rare one, however I have been seeing it more and more in the box game. It offers a ton of grip with little maintenance and can make any unwanted handle graphics disappear quickly.
Butt End / End Cap / Knob
If you’re like me, you probably can’t stand the standard rubber butt ends. They are awkward and annoying.
If you choose to tape your own knob or butt end on, I suggest several things. First, make sure the hole on the end of the handle is covered with something that will stay there. You can even cut down a rubber end cap before taping over it. This is a rule that many officials will check for. I would also suggest doing this slowly and with attention. Find your style and tape width and go for it.
What Type of Tape Should You Use for Your Lacrosse Stick?
I always suggest getting a roll of solid hockey tape whenever you get a chance. Many players get stuck trying to use generic athletic grip tape when in reality, yhat’s not what you need on lacrosse stick.
If you’re willing to pay the price and/or live near a hockey store, Howie’s makes some great hockey tape. Aside from that, I would suggest heading to your nearest sports store or even grabbing some good ol’ hockey tape online. I normally pick up a five-pack whenever I have the chance just to play it safe.
Always stay away from any type of rubber grip tape or anything that looks like it should go on a baseball bat. Many brands have tried to sell “lacrosse grip tape” that has simply been rebranded baseball bat grips. Just stick with hockey tape or even lacrosse-sized tape from StringKing.
Tips & Tricks
After taping your handle to the desired area of coverage, I highly suggest throwing a ring of electrical tape around the top of your tape to make sure the tape will stay in place and to eliminate any friction that could tear the tape away from the handle. This is a box trick I learned several years back and now use constantly.
I also suggest adding rings of normal tape around areas you want your hands to sit while cradling and shooting. These rings of tape will act as a mental reminder and also add a bit of extra grip in key moments.