Before a season starts, there are a few rituals players like to do. Especially if you just purchased a new shaft for the up-and-coming fall or spring season, you could consider taping your lacrosse stick to add extra grip and handling.
If you happen to live in a place where it rains a lot, an unwrapped shaft could become very slippery on a rainy day, so depending on your preference and past experience, taping your lacrosse stick is likely a good idea.
In this post, I will answer all your questions and concerns about how to tape your lacrosse stick. Before we get into it, personally back when I used to tape my shaft a lot before games, I would also use the time to focus on relaxing my body and mind as if it was a meditation. Hence, outside of just improving your stick handling, I would say doing the ritual of taping your lacrosse stick can also improve your mental game.
Read also: Lacrosse eye black design
Should I tape my lacrosse stick?
Before we proceed, let’s address the question first, should you tape your lacrosse stick. The answer is it depends. I get it; it’s frustrating when I don’t give you the most straightforward answer but the reality is that as you start to find out most things in lacrosse have to do with your preference.
That said, here’s how you are able to answer the question yourself: if you ever find your stick to be slippery and tend to slide around while you pass, shoot and face-off, it’s a clear sign that you need to tape your stick. However, if you found your stick to be just fine without needing any extra grip, leaving it as is also works. In fact, many players don’t use tape on their sticks.
Basic Lacrosse Taping Rules
If you do faceoffs then your tap color must be contrasting with the color of the shaft. Simply put, if the shaft is white, you aren’t allowed to use white tape and vice versa. In addition, the tape must be comprised of a single layer, the reason being thicker tape could give faceoff players an unfair advantage.
How to tape a lacrosse stick
Choose what type to use
From my own experience, I recommend players use hockey tape for its durability, consistency and quality and don’t recommend players use generic athletic grip tape or baseball tape. The problem with athletic tape is that the grip isn’t strong and peels off pretty fast.
Howies hockey tape and StringKing lacrosse tape are the two most popular and common options for players.
Clean your shaft
I like to be very meticulous when taping my shaft as dirt or particles left on the shaft make the tape easier to be peeled off and lose its cohesiveness. Hence, make sure to wipe down your shaft so that it’s clean and dry.
Determine what type of lacrosse tape styles you prefer
- Standard Quarter
This is a very popular method used by beginners and elite players alike as it gets the job done without needing much skill and time. Flip your shaft upside down and start wrapping the tape from the butt end. Be slow and careful so that you wrap the tape tightly around the shaft, overlapping the previous turn by a quarter width to leave no gaps and bumps between turns.
You will stop after you wrapped about one-quarter of the shaft.
- Half Box
Very similar to Standard Quarter, Half Box is also a pretty simple taping job that just needs some patience and attention to make sure the tape is wrapping around the shaft nicely without any bumps or gaps.
And instead of overlapping a quarter width, you will cover half of the tape’s width on each turn. You will stop after you reach the middle of the shaft.
- Candy Cane
Unlike the two methods discussed above, this one and the next taping style are a little different. And they also require some practice and repetitions to get good at. Again start from the butt end of the stick, spiral the tape upward at between a 30 and 45 degrees angle while turning the stick in your hands.
Depending on the angle, the shaft will come away with more or less closely spaced stripes. You will stop once you reach the middle of the shaft.
- Criss Cross
Criss Cross takes inspiration from Candy Cane taping style by simply adding two candy cane from two different directions to form the criss-cross design. This one is also more challenging than Candy Cane as you need to keep the angle consistent to ensure the crosses line up straight.
Criss Cross definitely adds some flair to your game and it’s perfect for players who prefer a bit less taping over a sandblasted finish shaft.
How do you keep lacrosse tape from peeling?
But how do we make sure the tape doesn’t peel off? The reality is wearing and tearing with tapes is very common and likely you will have to tape and re-tape often, especially with the Candy Cane and Criss Cross styles.
Interestingly, I came across this Youtube video that has a very interesting method to keep the tape secure and down through the game. Check it out below and it’s at your discretion whether you want to try this out.
Another great benefit for beginners to tape their shafts is to develop and learn the correct hand positioning. You can wrap the tape around different spots of your shaft- dominant hand for shooting, catching and non-dominant hand for holding. This could help fasten the learning process.
To summarize, I hope you now see why taping your shaft is subjective depending on your preference and style. My goal is to educate you on the most popular and common styles of taping, then it’s up to you to experiment with them.
You might not get it perfect the first few times, but practice will sharpen and improve your skill. Don’t wait till the season starts to test out different styles; set up your backyard training to find your perfect grip without waiting.
In case you are looking for the best lacrosse shafts in 2022, check them out here.