When Shane Hoskin’s son Trevor asked his dad if he could tape a hockey stick faster than Tiktoker joeysofo, who had issued the Tape Job challenge on Tiktok, he gave one simple answer, “Yup.”
Claiming to be the fastest stick taper on the app, what joeysofo didn’t know was that, growing up, Hoskin worked at a sporting goods store called Four Seasons Sports in Belleville, Ont., for five years.
Their specialty … taping hockey sticks.
Hoskin grew up playing minor hockey in Belleville, where he was successful enough to be drafted into the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
However, after a brief stint with the London Knights he returned home to attend school and find work.
That’s how he wound up at Four Seasons Sports.
At the time, the store was run by brothers Ike and Taso Christopher. Their family still runs the store today.
When a stick was purchased, one of the unique things the Christopher brothers did to entice customers was cut and then tape the stick in front of them at a fast pace.
“When Ike and Taso did this, I kind of thought that was cool because the look on the kids’ faces were phenomenal. So, I always took old used tape they had in the back and I would practice,” said Hoskin, “I got to a point where I could do it.”
It turned out to be a good marketing technique for the store.
“As soon as you would tape a stick for a kid from say Oshawa, or Kitchener they would go back to their teammates and say ‘You should’ve seen these guys tape these hockey sticks,’ well the next thing you know we were sold out of hockey sticks,” said Hoskin.
After a day of taping sticks at the shop he would often leave with bandages on his fingers.
The “trick” he says, is keeping pressure between your finger and the inside of the tape roll, instead of letting the roll spin around your fingers.
Other than that, Hoskin recommends having good stability at the base of the stick, so it doesn’t move around, good tape (he uses Howies), and practice.
However, a good tape job is not always about speed.
“I grew up with guys that would take twenty minutes to tape their stick just to make sure it’s perfect,” he added, “guys in the NHL all have their quirks and stuff like that so there’s a lot of personality in how you adopt it.”
Over 20 million people have now gotten a glimpse of Hoskin’s personality since the Tiktok of him destroying the Tape Job challenge went viral.
Sporting a Red Deer sweater in the video, which has led to some people dubbing him Rick from Red Deer, though he is not sure why, Hoskin completed the tape job in under five seconds.
“I hadn’t taped a stick in over two years before he (Trevor) asked me, and that was my first try,” said Hoskin.
Sorry joeysofo, but it looks like the fastest hands in the north go to Rick from Red Deer, or rather Shane Hoskin.
Although his hockey playing career ended with the London Knights, Hoskin has since gone on to coach the Belleville Bearcats, where his daughter played, and the Napanee Raiders, who are a Junior hockey team in the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL).
Now a Zamboni driver, Hoskin was surprised by his overnight Tiktok notoriety.
“I taped it and my son posted it and then the next day we woke up and it’s at like 12 million views,” said Hoskin.
Radio stations in Belleville began calling him and one asked if he knew how big it was to have a video rack up as many views as his did, “I said I have no clue, I don’t follow Tiktok,” said Hoskin.
Admittedly Hoskin, 51, is still learning about the relatively new media platform.
The video-sharing social networking app exploded in popularity in 2020 with its main users being people aged 10-19.
Hoskin’s son Trevor has since posted two more videos of his dad, one of him attempting the Tape Job challenge while blindfolded, and the other is titled Knob Edition, where Hoskin tapes the knob end of the hockey stick instead of the blade.
It currently has over one million views.