With the holidays just around the corner, new hockey equipment is on a lot of players’ gift lists. Although it is great to get brand new hockey gear, you’d like to keep it “new” as long as possible. So, we’ve pulled together some tips and tricks to keep your hockey gear in top shape…
Dry that Funky Gear
Hockey players (and hockey parents) know that, after a game or practice, hockey equipment is sweaty, damp and smelly. Leaving moist gear in a hockey bag in the trunk or garage means that it never really airs out or dries properly. This can result in bacteria growth which can damage equipment and expose players to skin infections and rashes.
So, get in the habit of drying your gear every time. It can be as simple as laying out the gear or, you can invest in a hockey equipment drying rack which can cost $30 - $100. You can even build your own with some PVC pipe and a little ingenuity. Check out How to Make a Hockey Gear Stand on Snapguide. If you want to speed up the drying process, invest in a fan or dehumidifier.
Cleaning and Deodorizing Your Hockey Equipment
Pro Hockey Life locations have Sani Sport cleaning systems that really do a good job of reducing bacteria and hockey odour. If you are on the ice a few times a week, it would be worth the investment of a cleaning treatment every 2-3 months. If you don’t play as often, then doing a deep clean twice a season would work for you.
In between cleaning treatments, you can use a deodorizing spray keep the bacteria and stench at bay.
Don’t Let Your Hockey Skates Lose Their Edge
Hockey skates are one of the most expensive pieces of equipment so it’s important to protect your investment with proper skate maintenance and educate yourself on your options.
Blades require careful maintenance to ensure they provide optimum performance. A skate sharpening facility like Tydan Performance Blades will ensure you get the right cut.
Here are some skate blade maintenance tips:
- Sharpening is crucial for players to be able to start, stop and maneuver well on the ice.
- Skate guards will help protect your blades and keep them sharp longer. They are a must-have when walking with skates when you are not on the ice.
- Keep ‘em dry! Your skates’ biggest enemy is rust and it’s easy to prevent. Just have a towel handy to wipe your blades clean and dry. Slipping on blade soakers before packing your blades away is a great way to absorb any excess moisture and protect the blades from chipping when your hockey bag is dropped.
Love Your Hockey Gloves
Your hockey gloves work hard for you, so you should work hard for them. Hockey gloves need a little maintenance love.
One of the biggest problems with hockey gloves is the smell. This is usually from the build-up of adhesive tape, sweat and dirt. Again, drying them out properly every time will really help. There are also great deodorizing products on the market like Glove Stix, which absorbs moisture, inhibits bacteria growth and eliminates odors.
Another great option to avoid some the hockey tape adhesive smell altogether is to switch from hockey tape to Sniper Skin hockey grips which doesn’t leave adhesive behind to attract stink and grime. Instead of hockey tape stink, you can have a personalized hockey stick grip with your name and jersey number.
And remember, that if there are holes in your hockey gloves, you need to replace them. Your gloves are there to protect you, so don’t keep worn-out or hole-y gloves because you are really at risk of injury.
Caring for the Rest of Your Hockey Gear
Of course, there are more than just gloves and skates to maintain. Hockey sticks are another big investment and need to be well taken care of to last as long as possible – so important, in fact, that our next blog in the series is dedicated to caring for your hockey stick. So, stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter and you’ll receive it in your inbox later this month.
What about the rest of your hockey gear? Here are some quick pointers:
- Helmets – Did you know that hockey helmets expire? Yup, just like car seats. So, especially with hockey-hand-me-downs, check the date.
- Fitting your gear – Hockey gear is all about the fit. Ensuring a good fit will prolong the life of your equipment.
- Shoulder and elbow pads – As with all the rest of the gear, airing them out prevents damage and bacteria growth. Clean and deodorize often.
- Mouth guard – This is definitely a piece of hockey gear you want to keep clean! Make sure you have a custom fit mouth guard – it’ll last longer and protect you better. Keep your mouth guard clean by brushing it with toothpaste and store it properly in a protective case with air holes to provide ventilation to prevent bacteria growth. Colgate (the toothpaste guys) has a great blog: Cleaning a Mouth Guard.
- Hockey socks – Those hockey socks are protective gear, too! Take it from a parent whose son got 10 staples in the leg from a skate cut – it is crucial that they are in good shape. If they have holes or are worn-looking, it’s time for new hockey socks.
Extend the Life of Your Hockey Gear by Taking Good Care of It
So, if you want to keep your hockey gear newer, for longer, take good care of it. Clean it. Dry it. Deodorize it. Maintain it. You will have gear that lasts longer, smells better and works better. And, you’ll spend less time and money shopping for new hockey gear!