End of the Season Hockey Skate Tune-Up

Brandon

Brandon at IW Hockey
Staff member
#1
Great Ways To Tune-up Your Hockey Skates:
Right after the hockey stick, I'm going to guess that hockey skates are most likely everyone else's favorite piece of gear. Once you've found that pair of skates that fit like a glove and give you great performance every time on the ice/rink, it's a feeling like no other. After a hard fought season, our skates tend to take a beating and it's time to tune them up so that they are ready to go for the next one. Nobody wants an uncomfortable skate or see their prized possessions breakdown early, but there are a couple of ways to get in a couple extra seasons.

One great addition to gain that comfort back and feel like your stepping into a brand new pair of skates again is a new set of insoles. SuperFeet Comfort Insoles are a great option to bring back comfort and support to your foot without breaking the bank. The dark base consists of their AeroSpring comfort foam that reduces foot fatigue and provides unreal comfort. The insole does a great job of managing odor and has perforation to increase airflow, giving your boot some well needed refreshing.

Now you might be like me and use the exact same pair of socks every game and practice. We hockey players tend to have little quirks that we do every single game, and for some its game socks. I for one am extremely guilty of wearing the same pair of socks until they fall apart. What better way to pair your new insoles with a fresh set of socks for next season. I recommend a sock that excels in moisture-management and comfort like the DryMax Lite IW Hockey Socks. They have strategically placed vent zones in the arch of the foot and between the toes to help promote constant airflow. On top they have a thin padding to help protect the foot from lace-bite and overall have an incredible anatomically correct fit.

You're gonna want to take care of your fresh insoles and prevent them from smelling and having the bacteria break down the material. That's why sports deodorizers were invented! Take those bad boys out after your game and spray them down with something powerful like Captodor Odor Eliminating Spray. Using a deodorizer will attack the odor-causing bacteria before they develop into the foul smell we all hate. If you don't wash your lucky socks, at least spray them down too!

Probably time to re-lace your hockey skates too. I'm pointing at you, the player who has a couple knots holding them together and the ends are blown out. Fit your skates with new laces and get that proper secure fit first game back. Are you the waxed or unwaxed type? I've used both and have pro's and con's for each. I have used waxed laces for the majority of my skates because I really like the lock they have. As you tie up your skates they hold their place and don't loosen which I love. However, I don't hate but I dislike the wax on my fingertips after and they can sometimes be a pain to loosen after a skate on the ice. Recently I have been using unwaxed laces which are easy to tie up and leave my fingers clean. They don't lock as tight as waxed laces but I haven't had an issue with them loosening yet.

For ice hockey skates, one way to keep your runners game ready during the season and extend the time between sharpens is using a re-edger. It keeps your edges sharp and can give you an extra 3 or 4 games before you have to head back to the pro shop for a sharpening. Having a sharpening stone is another good option to have too. Now these aren't meant to re-sharpen your skates completely but instead remove a nick or burr that is giving you problems. There is a lot of different opinions regarding these and you might be one of the players out there who will never touch these. I can personally attest that if used properly it will not hinder your skating. These can seriously get you out of a pinch and get you through the game if used correctly. It is one or two gentle passes, keyword here being gentle, and that's it. Like I said, this may not be for every skater but it's something I like to have on hand in case I have a burr or nick I need to get rid of.

It's crucial to take care of your runners during and after the season. After each game it's important to wipe off the snow and water from your blades so they don't build rust. I used my sock for years but decided to get a shammy cloth that does a much better job of soaking up all the moisture than my already drenched sock. Then I keep them protected in a pair of blade covers which also soak up any leftover moisture I may have missed when wiping down my skates. Keeping them in blade covers prevents other equipment from nicking your runners and is a good way protect them when they are stored during the off-season.

Roller hockey has similar but also different end-of-the season tune-ups. After the season is completed, get them prepped and ready to go for the next one. A fresh set of wheels and bearings will make you game-ready for the next season. If you have shielded bearings, a more affordable option is to give your bearings a good clean with a bearing cleaner kit. It's important to lubricate them too, which will give you that smooth glide! You can also apply many of the options I mentioned earlier such as new laces, insoles, and hockey socks!

What else did I miss? What are some of the ways you tune-up your hockey skates?
 
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