Lacrosse grip tape is also useful for beginners to the game, to mark out the correct positions for their hands on the stick, providing a useful reminder while they are still learning the correct form.
And even seasoned players find the ritual of taping a lacrosse stick to be relaxing and even meditative, helping them avoid distractions and focus on the upcoming game.
How to tape a lacrosse stick
There are a few basic rules to follow in lacrosse stick taping, and once you've mastered them, you can try out alternative styles, or even invent your own.
- First of all, select your tape. There are many lacrosse stick wraps and grip tapes available, but if you don't have access to these, any athletic tape will do.
- Next, prepare your lacrosse stick. You need to ensure the tape will stick firmly to the surface of the stick, so wash it down with warm water and dry thoroughly.
- Now, starting from the bottom end of the stick, unroll a few inches of your tape and start to wrap it tightly around the shaft, working upwards.
- Keep turning your stick as you go to ensure you have as tight a fit as possible. You don't want any air gaps or wrinkles.
- When you've finished the shaft, tape over the butt end of your stick. This makes sure that it won't become loose and fall off during the game.
- If you do find that there are some wrinkles or irregularities, rather than starting again, you could try gently heating the tape with a blow dryer and smoothing it out carefully with your hands.
That's the basic method, but depending on your personal preference, you may want to try out some different styles to see which works best for you.
Lacrosse tape styles:
As we mentioned above, when you're first learning to play lacrosse. Tapping is a great way to remind you about correct hand positioning. A typical taping style for this is to wrap a single band of tape around each of the three main positions - the non-dominant hand (holding), dominant hand (shooting) and dominant hand (catching). You can even write the relevant terms on the tape itself as an added reminder.
As the name suggests, this is a very common taping style used by players from beginner to advanced level. Starting from the butt end, you wrap the tape tightly around the shaft, overlapping on each turn by between a quarter and a half of the tape's width. When you have reached a point about one quarter of the way up the shaft, finish by wrapping a few straight turns.
This is similar in style to the standard quarter, but extending further up the shaft. It, therefore, gives a little more control for different hand positions. As before, start from the bottom of the stick and wrap tightly, overlapping the tape as you go, until you have reached the middle of the shaft. Double or triple wrap on the last turn to complete.
Can you guess where this style of taping got its name? If you like the look of this, you'll need to start with a few repeats, turns at the bottom of the shaft to give stability, and then turning your stick in your hands, wrap the tape at between a 30 and 45 degrees angle to the shaft. Different angles will give you more or less closely spaced "stripes". Continue to the middle of the shaft and wrap a few times to complete.
If you'd like to stand out on the lacrosse field, the "criss-cross" might be the one for you, it's certainly distinctive. This style is pretty much a development of the candy cane, starting in exactly the same way, but once you've finished, flip the stick and do another candy cane pattern the opposite way. The trick is keeping your angle consistent to ensure the crosses match up in a straight line.
At the end of the day, there's no right or wrong style - how you tape your stick is entirely up to you. You may want to adapt one of the styles shown on this page for your own use or come up with something new. Test out your preferred style in your next training game, or on your own using a lacrosse rebounder to make sure your grip and form are correct and your shots are on target.