Ice hockey is such a rough but exciting sport. It’s expensive too. Whether you’re an amateur or a pro ice hockey player, a pair of quality ice hockey skates is your biggest investment. It’s the most important piece of equipment and it alone could burn a hole through your pocket. That’s why you need to take care of your skates so they can serve you longer and help you be at the top of your game. Follow these tips to preserve the tiptop quality of your skates.
- Wipe your skates after every use. The best way to dry skates is to do it manually. After a game or practice, wipe your ice hockey skates with a terry cloth. Terry cloths are great for absorbing moisture. Wipe the boots, metal plates, and blades. Focus particularly on drying the metal parts to prevent them from rusting. It’s important to do this right away and not to put it off even for a few minutes or an hour. If you don’t wipe your skates, the remaining moisture from the melted ice shavings will cause your blades to rust in no time. Always have a terry cloth handy in your equipment bag to develop the habit of cleaning and wiping your skates.
- Allow your skates to breathe. Ice hockey, just like any other intense competition sport, can make you sweat like a pig. Don’t deny it. It’s natural, but a stinky odor also develops naturally if you don’t let your skates breathe after every use. Aside from the stinky odor of sweat, your skates are also a potential breeding ground for bacteria buildup. The best way to kill bacteria and prevent the stinky odor is to take them out of equipment bag as soon as you get home and leave them out in the open to dry off, preferably in a spot that exposes them to a light and heat source. Make sure to loosen the laces, put the boot tongue forward, and lay them upright.
- Cover up the blades when not in use. These are what skate guards are for. They protect the blades of your skates when you have to wait or walk in them off the ice. You can buy them at any sports equipment store. They usually come in plastic or rubber. Invest in a good quality skate guard.
- Have your blades sharpened regularly. Even blades of your top quality ice hockey skates can dull over time and frequent use. They need a checkup and some expert sharpening. Professional hockey players have their blades sharpened before every game to ensure their best performance. But amateur and recreational hockey players need not do this. You can settle for at least having your blades sharpened twice per season.
- Use skates on the right surfaces only. Ice hockey skates are only meant to be used on ice of course. Don’t risk damaging them by using them on carpets, concrete and tiled surfaces or other surfaces that can harm the blades. If you can’t avoid walking in them, put on the skate guards first.
Protect your best and most expensive investment in hockey—your skates! If you know how to take care of them and do so faithfully, almost obsessively, you can save money by prolonging the life of your skates. Maintaining skates in tiptop condition can certainly help you perform well and be at the top of your game.
You can also spray some anti-bacterial solution like Lysol on your skates to kill off remaining bacteria.
It’s important to remove the skate guards when drying your skates and putting them away for storage. Skate guards also accumulate moisture from the transfer of ice shavings from the blades.