Stick Grip and Texture
Grip keeps players’ hands in place during face-offs and can improve shooting by improving energy transfer. It achieves this by ensuring no energy is lost by the hands moving along the shaft while releasing the puck. Similar to skate hollows and curves, grip is preferential, but its advantages can be experienced by players of all skill levels. Nearly half of the NHL chooses to play with one of the grip options.
The idea of placing grip on a hockey stick started as placing tape all the way along the shaft. Although rare, athletes in the NHL can still be seen placing a candy cane styled tape design along their sticks. This may add a little weight, but offers all advantages of having grip.
Technology has improved in recent years, and now there are a few types of grip that can be found on sticks today that may be more desirable than tape grip. Most of the composite sticks from Easton, Bauer, and Reebok use a sticky coating on their stick shafts that feels similar to rubber. Players that enjoy this option typically don’t mind sacrificing a lighter stick for a better shooting experience. This grip system is the most popular amongst players today.
Warrior released a new grip that will feature small bumps all along the shaft, creating a grip that relies on texture. This is meant to allow players to freely move along the shaft but easily harness the grip in the intended situations. This is ideal for players that do not prefer the rubber feel of rival companies and would still like the advantages of having grip.