With winter sport season in full swing, and two boys in hockey, we’re always looking for ways to help keep costs down. We turned to the experts for some advice on prolonging the life of our kids’ hockey equipment so we can easily pass it down or even resell to recoup some costs. Kim McWaters is owner and operator of Lightning Blade Sports and with 3 kids of her own in hockey / ringette, she certainly knows a thing or two about equipment care!
Let’s face it, equipment is expensive! But there are a few things you can do to maximize the life of it. The most important tip would be to air out your equipment after each use. Such a simple thing, however you’d be surprised at how many people leave it closed up until the next use. This allows bacteria to grow, eat away at the materials, and let’s face it..when it smells..you want to replace it (especially when everyone in the dressing room starts complaining)! You don’t need a fancy drying system, just some basic hooks on the wall that the kids can easily figure out themselves, or maybe tape some reminders of what goes where so they can quickly figure it out. If you want to go for the full effect though, check out this cool drying system…airs out your equipment, and makes your house look great all at the same time .. www.prolocker.ca. And don’t forget the skates, those need to be dried out as well. One thing we highly recommend is a once a year Hockey Wash. This is a fantastic commercial way to really clean that equipment. We Hockey Wash our kids equipment once a year at the end of the season and you’d be surprised how well it works in prolonging the life of your equipment (and how fresh it smells)! (click read more below for the complete article).
More tips to prolong your equipment:
- Skate guards are effective at keeping your blades sharp & away from other equipment, however should only be placed on after they are completely dry. Some guards will trap moisture in, causing rust to form.
- Skates should be kept seperately then the rest of your equipment. It helps if you have a bag with seperate pockets for skates, but if not, make sure the guards are on if in your bag. Nicks, cuts, scratches all happen on other pieces of equipment from uncovered skate blades.
- Jerseys should never be thrown in a bag. Carry them on hangers, preferably in a garment bag. This keeps them away from velcro, skate blades, sharp pieces on helmets and keeps the material new longer.
- If washing under armour, socks, jerseys, always remember to wash them seperate from other materials that could pull…like velcro (always ensure the velcro is completely covered), buttons, zippers, snaps, all things that can pull, tear, rip your expensive under armour.
Keeping your equipment in top form allows you to use it longer, or if outgrown, pass it down…or sell and recoup some money.
Hope these tips help prolong your equipment and enjoy your time on the ice!
Kim & Dave