5 Tips for Caring for Your Hockey Skates
Regardless of your age or skill level, properly maintaining your hockey skates is important for a number of reasons. It not only helps you perform better on the ice, but it also helps preserve the condition of your skates so they can perform effectively for a longer period of time.
Skates are expensive and can take some time to break in, so the less often you need to replace them, the better. Skating on dull, rusted, or worn out skates is also one of the most surefire ways to lose a step on the opposition, and can also increase the potential for injury to yourself or others.
There are a number of steps you can take to preserve the longevity of your skates, keeping them looking great and performing at a high level throughout the entire season and beyond. Let’s take a look.
Tip 1: Keep Your Skates Sharpened
Any experienced skater knows how quickly skates can dull. Keeping them sharpened makes their performance much more predictable and will give you much more control over your movements on the ice. This also helps translate to a decreased risk of injury while skating or stopping.
Regularly sharpening your skates is one of the easiest ways to prolong their usable life while providing yourself with a competitive edge on the ice.
Tip 2: Use Skate Guards
One of the best ways to keep your skates sharp over time is to use skate guards any time your skates are transported or worn off the ice.
During transportation, skate covers prevent the blades from damaging one another or tearing your bag or other equipment. When wearing your skates off the ice (i.e., walking from the ice to the warming house or from the car to the arena), skate covers prevent non-ice surfaces from dulling the blades.
SKABoots from Sniper’s Edge are the world’s first walkable skate guards, with increased width and size combined with a boot-like sole to provide walking stability and traction on any surface. The Velcro strap design allows players of all ages to take them on and off with ease, and they can even serve as a great way to help break in skates before taking to the ice.
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Tip 3: Dry Your Skates After Each Use
Every time you leave the ice and take off your skates, you should dry them thoroughly – especially the blades. This helps keep them in good condition and prevents rust and corrosion from becoming an issue that can lead to safety concerns on the ice.
Be sure to dry your skates entirely after use and to let them sit out in the open for a while afterward. Then, dry them again to remove any additional moisture. It’s also a good idea to remove the soles from the boots so they can dry separately. This can help keep stink to a minimum over the course of a long season.
Tip 4: Check Your Blade Holders
The blade holders connect the blades to the soles of the boots, making them an incredibly important component of the hockey skate overall. And since they can often be damaged by impacts from the puck, boards, or another skater, it’s important to check on their quality from time to time.
Blade holder damage most often comes in the form of cracking, although the rivets that connect the holders to the boots from the inside can also rust over time. It’s important to check on this easily forgotten but critical component of your skates to ensure safety and consistent performance.
Tip 5: Check Your Laces
Your skate’s laces are constantly experiencing a high amount of friction, which can cause them to wear and fray over time. This means they’re at a heightened risk of unexpectedly breaking if you don’t keep an eye on their condition. Especially given how tightly hockey skates are usually tied, you’ll want to make sure your laces aren’t wearing thin in any particular spots.
It’s a good idea to keep a spare pair of laces in your hockey bag just in case, to ensure that even if an expected break does happen, you can quickly make a change and get right back out on the ice.
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