The Best Tape Company Around? Howies Hockey Tape Review

We’ve all had it happen before, you pull a roll of tape out of your bag to tape your stick up – suddenly, it starts tearing right down the side leaving you with a frayed line of tape.  Or worse, the tape starts to separate from the glue, and you’re back to square one.  Howies Hockey Tape set out to make a premium hockey tape to put an end to bad tape jobs (or TJ’s as some call them).  The company from Grand Rapids Michigan set out on a journey in 2002 to make better tape and now are one of the most well known names in the tape game!

The Best Tape For Your Stick

Focusing on making the best tape possible, Howies keeps your stick protected game in and game out with their awesome quality stick tape!

 

As we eluded to above, Howies was founded in 2002 when they were tired of sub par tape on the market.  They have since expanded multiple times, currently on their 5th Headquarters!!!  In their own words it was a few guys loading pallets by hand, to now having a full team in sales, operations, logistics, warehousing and marketing.  

They serve almost every major league, including the NHL, AHL, NCAA and Major Junior.  They have an awesome Instagram account that regularly runs fun polls, giveaways, and has a great overall sense of humor, and boasting over 281,000 followers!  If you follow them now you can enter their weekly ‘Free Tape Friday’ giving anyone a chance to win some tape and other random goodies chosen each week!

One of our favorite parts of Howies company and mission is that the majority of their goods, and their core lines are all made in the USA / Canada.  Since the pandemic hit I’ve made an effort to shop for local North American companies to try to help support and employ people around us, and every roll of Howies does that!  Now, they admit not every single product is made in North America, and have a handy badge showing what products are.  I love the transparency and it shows they really are working to bring and keep jobs in our two great hockey countries.

Read on below for some details on some fantastic Howies products that we are able to get our hands on courtesy of the company.  You’ll find Howies products near the top of our tape, wax, and lace articles and that was in place long before our two companies worked together as we always appreciated the quality!

So what was the first thing I did when we got our shipment of tape?  Well of course i laid down a newTJ on my stick the best I know how.  I mean, if it’s good enough for David Pastrnak to score 48 goals in a season it’s good enough for me right?

I promise I re-taped my stick in a more logical fashion below – I admit I can’t score with a tape job like this, and I am ok with that!

Disclaimer: I don't actually tape my stick this way

The Standard Tapes

Made from a tightly woven poly-cloth cotton, and made in North America, this is the product that put Howies on the map!

When you want more than regular old cloth tape up top, Howies makes a great stretch grip tape to make sure your top hand stays secure!

Buying Options

A super cool product I have only seen from Howies, perfect for Dmen who want a real greasy knob up top!

Our Research

Howies was kind enough to send the gang at GoingBarDown a pack full of their stick tape, knob tape, wax, laces and more!  

I promptly retaped both my twigs, and got some nice new laces in my skates.  I personally prefer non waxed, but if you are a new player or really want a super tight lacing, their waxed laces are a great option!

Howies Hockey Stick Tape Review

Howies tape feels premium the second you pick it up, nice and soft, and the sides are super sticky.  I didn’t want to put it down on my table for fear of some glue getting on it!  While that is bad news for my table, it is great news for your stick.  The tape peels off nice and easy, no tears or frays on the side, and easily on my stick for a fantastic fresh tape job.  Howies boasts an industry leading thread count of 68 threads per square inch, the tape is super solid.  I’ve noticed it definitely lasts longer than regular stick tape.  

I hope everyone likes my final tape job better than my Pastrnak impression up top!

Fresh TJ On The Beat Up Jetspeed
Aaaaand... Freshly Waxed!!

You can’t get some fresh tape on the bottom and not spruce the top up!  I typically use regular old white tape up top, but using the Howies Pro Grip Tape feels way better.  Coming in every color under the rainbow, you can get your knob taped up in anything from white to black, pink to blue, or anywhere in between!  I’m a traditionalist so white is the perfect fit for me.

I play forward, so my knob is pretty simple.  Nice and thin, no knob.. however if you want a knob, Howies has specific knob tape just for that which is super cool, instead of tearing your full roll in half!

Knob Tape In Black And White
Freshly Tape With Howies Pro Grip Tape

Howies knob tape comes in black and white, and works super well if you like to twirl your tape into a cord to wrap up and down your stick too!

How can I forget about Howies wax?  It goes on easy and keeps my stick fresh for at least 2 periods.  No wax I’ve ever used kept my stick fresh all game – but that’s life for those of us without intermissions, floods between periods, and 5 backup sticks at the ready!  The scent is awesome, if I had one suggestion for Howies on this – Why not make a few extra scents?  Strawberry Kiwi is a great starting point but I’d love to see them have fun with more various colors and scents of wax!

Goes On Smooth And Gets The Job Done!

Howies - More Than Just Tape! - Laces and Skate Guard Review

Go on Howies website and you’ll see that although tape is in their name, they do much more than just tape.  They didn’t send us a a sample of every product they made, I’m assuming because they knew my garage just simply doesn’t have room for that much stuff!  Apparel of all types and sizes, pucks and balls, water bottles, skate sharpening supplies, even shooting pads!

They were however kind enough to send some gear for my skates.  Some new laces and some fresh skate guards.  The laces are high quality as expected – I prefer non waxed, but the skate guards really blew me away

The quality on the skate guards is something else, a super soft dense terry cloth on the inside, my skates are now treated to softer towels than I am getting out of the shower.  The rubber bottom portion is super nice too, as it is stitched on so it will last a few seasons or more!

The Old Supreme 1S LE's all freshened up!

Comparing the Howies skate guard to my old ones, you can see some differences immedietely.  Obviously my exisitng ones are a few years old so we can’t rip on it for the wear and tear.  One big different that I think will give Howies the edge in durability is the rubber guard on the bottom

The Howies unit has it’s rubber guard stitched on all the way from the front to the back.  My old skate guard, the bottom portion was glued on and is coming loose on the back and the front.  I don’t see this being an issue with the Howies guard.  On top of that the terry towel liner on Howies is just miles ahead of the polyester inner of my old ones.  My skates are now treated to a luxury rest after every skate!  Howies offers these in all sorts of colors similar to tape, so you can rock whatever color suits you best!

On top of these great guards, Howies also has some sick apparel options, over 30 items in tons of colors.  Toques, Hats, Tshirts, even baby Onesies!

The Tape Box - A Great Bulk Option

Howies offers a great option for bulk orders, where you can build your own box.  Choosing from the following items – 

  • Cloth Tape
  • Shin Pad Tape
  • Pro Grip Tape
  • Stretch Grip Tape
  • Patterned Tape

You can get nearly 30% better prices than ordering individually by building your box.  Here is what I put in my 30 pack box, representing the stars and stripes and the maple leaf!  If I left out some of the fancy flag tapes, this box would be even cheaper.  It’s forsure the best choice for getting premium stick tape at a bargain price. They also offer a Build A Lace box if you are looking to outfit an entire team!

Bottom Line:

We’ve been a big fan of Howies for a long time, and were super happy to review some of their products.  Get a roll of cheap tape and compare it to Howies and we know you can tell the difference.  The best part?  If you don’t think Howies has lived up to their billing they will take care of you, it’s right in their ‘Quality’ page.  Trying out Howies is basically a no risk proposal – If you aren’t happy neither are they!

We hope you liked our review – let us know your thoughts on Howies and if you think we should review more of their gear!

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