Bearded male ice hockey player wraps tape around hook hockey sticks to protect it.

Is Hockey Tape The Same As Athletic Tape?

Is hockey tape the same as athletic tape? In this article, we shall attempt to answer the question by listing 5 key differences between these applications.

In general, athletic tape is used for treating or managing joint of soft tissue injuries. Hockey tape, on the other hand, is generally used to enhance player performance or to keep his/her apparel (such as shin pads or socks) in position during play. We elaborate on these alternative uses below.

5 Differences Between Hockey Tape & Athletic Tape

As mentioned above, hockey tape and athletic tape are both commonly used in sports, but they serve different purposes and possess distinct characteristics. Here are the differences between hockey tape and athletic tape:

Close up of a hockey player taping his stick.
A hockey player taping his stick.


  • Hockey Tape: Hockey tape is primarily used in ice hockey and other similar sports to wrap around hockey sticks. It provides players with a better grip on the stick and helps enhance puck control.
  • Athletic Tape: Athletic tape is a versatile tape used in various sports and fitness activities. It is typically used for injury prevention, support, and stabilization of joints, muscles, and ligaments. Athletic tape is commonly applied to ankles, wrists, knees, and other body parts to provide compression, reduce motion, and offer support during physical activities.

Composition & Texture

  • Hockey Tape: Hockey tape is typically made of cloth, fabric, or a combination of materials. It has a textured surface with a tacky adhesive that provides grip and control. The tape is designed to be durable, withstand friction, and resist moisture, as it comes into contact with the ice during gameplay.
  • Athletic Tape: Athletic tape is usually made of a rigid or semi-rigid material such as cotton or synthetic fabric. It has a smooth texture and a latex-based adhesive. The tape is often non-elastic and provides support and stability to joints and muscles.

Application Technique

  • Hockey Tape: Hockey tape is applied by wrapping it around the handle or blade of the hockey stick. It is commonly wrapped in a specific pattern to provide players with a comfortable grip and better stick control. The texture and adhesive properties of hockey tape allow players to maintain a secure hold on their sticks even during intense gameplay.
  • Athletic Tape: Athletic tape is applied in various techniques depending on the specific injury or support required. It can be used to wrap joints, such as ankles or wrists, in a figure-eight pattern for stability. It can also be used to support muscles, ligaments, or to secure dressings or padding. Athletic tape is known for its versatility in providing support and reducing motion in the targeted area.


  • Hockey Tape: Hockey tape is typically used for a single game or practice session and is often replaced afterward. Due to the wear and tear it experiences during gameplay, hockey tape loses its effectiveness and grip over time.
  • Athletic Tape: Athletic tape is generally not reusable. Once applied and removed, it loses its adhesive properties and is discarded. Repeated use of athletic tape may compromise its functionality and effectiveness in providing support and stability.


  • Hockey Tape: Hockey tape is commonly found in sporting goods stores and specialized hockey equipment retailers. It is specifically marketed for hockey players and enthusiasts.
  • Athletic Tape: Athletic tape is widely available in sporting goods stores, pharmacies, and medical supply outlets. It caters to a broader range of sports and fitness activities, making it more accessible to athletes, trainers, and individuals involved in various sports and physical activities.

Conclusion – Is Hockey Tape The Same As Athletic Tape?

In this article, we have explained the 5 fundamental differences between hockey tape and athletic tape.

In summary, hockey tape is primarily used for enhancing grip and control of hockey sticks, while athletic tape serves a broader range of applications in sports for injury prevention, support, and stabilization. The composition, texture, application techniques, reusability, and availability of the two tapes differ, reflecting their distinct purposes and functions in sports.

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