Hannu Taipale made his international début at the 1966 World Championships, where he won silver in the relay, was fifth at 50 km and seventh iover 15 km. Next Taipale competed internationally at the 1968 Winter Olympics, where he won bronze in the relay and was 14th in the 50 km. Taipale also competed at the 1970 World Championships and the 1972 Olympic Winter Games, but with little success, his best place being eighth at 50 km in 1970. In 1972 Taipale won the 50 km at Lahti, in 1969 he was second in the 30 km at the Swedish Ski Games at Falun, and in 1970 he was second in the 15 km at Holmenkollen. Domestically Taipale won three Finnish titles, two at 30 km (1967, 1970) and one at 50 km (1971). By profession Taipale was a farmer. His son Kuisma was also a cross-country skier, who competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics.