My post on Burning Rattan got me thinking...I used to burn my sticks over an open flame (well, actually Mr. Hartman did it for me, I think), mostly because it looked cool, then I'd wrap them barbershop-pole style with electrical tape--a candy cane effect that helped preserve the live of the sticks, but could be annoying when the tape gave out at some point and started to come off and you had to re-wrap it. Over the years I've lost the habit of wrapping them with tape (and of burning them). Of course they fray and need to be replaced eventually, but then, so do the wrapped sticks, and with the candy-cane wrapping I didn't see a huge difference in lifespan of the sticks. I see many people whose sticks are wrapped so thickly with electrical tape that they're essentially padded--you can only tell it's rattan on the inside by looking at the ends. I don't like the feel of these sticks. The padding creates a bounciness that doesn't feel right. I know some people use tape to mark off where they should hold the stick to get the right amount of punyo, or to mark where they should be striking to be sure they're not hitting with the belly of the stick. I see the value in this as a training aid, but I don't do it. So, I just use plain rattan these days. What are people's thoughts on the value of wrapping sticks?