Inline Skating

Inline Skating

Find the info to help you fit your Inline Skating Equipment!

Goalie Skate Sharpen

Goalie skates and the style’s of goalies have changed a lot over the last 20 years. The stand up style is no longer and we now have hybrid and butterfly styles. These all evolving and getting more and more ability in crease then ever before! This has also changed the way we look at goalie skates and how they are used and Sharpened…  The classic stand up style, used a 3/4 or greater sharpen, for easy moving around the crease without the need to push hard or move from side to side as much as a butterfly style.

But today with the Hybrid and Butterfly styles, we are using the edges more to move around the crease.

  • C-cut
  • Shuffle
  • T-push
  • Butterfly
  • Butterfly recovery
  • Butterfly slide
  • Backside recovery
  • Power push

These are all  some of the movements that goalies use. These all take a lot of effort to maneuver within the crease, as such skates are getting sharpened to suit!

Skates sharpened on average every 3-8 hours of skating.

Hollow ROH                       Explanation

7/8  –     For very lightweight skaters or beginners who need the edges to slide

3/4 – Most common for 10-12 year old goalies or most standup style

5/8  –  popular choice for variety of skaters and styles. Good combo of bite for quick push off and stops, while still sliding on the edge for shuffles

1/2  – For big strong goalies, who push hard and need lots of bite to stop quick.

3/8 – Very sharp, not used by goalies much or at all…

1/4 – Are you sure…. this is the sharpest hollow, need some crazy strength to use this

 

 

Hockey Equipment Buying Guide – For Parents / Kids

Hockey Equipment Buying Guide – For Parents / Kids

One of the first things you’re going to have to do when taking up hockey is get the proper hockey equipment. Due to minor hockey rules children require more equipment than adults, so in this guide I am making a section for hockey equipment for kids, and a section for hockey equipment for adults.

Hockey Equipment Guide for Kids

Hockey Equipment list for childrenAll Hockey Equipment Required to play in a League

  • Hockey Equipment bagChild in full hockey equipment
  • Jock (or jill for girls)
  • Shin pads
  • Hockey socks
  • Hockey Pants
  • Skates
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Neck Guard
  • Helmet with full cage
  • Mouth Guard
  • Jersey for practice
  • Hockey stick

Other recommended accessories

  • Skate guards
  • Water Bottlehockey-water-bottle-pucks
  • Stick tape
  • Shin pad tape
  • Pucks
  • Stickhandling Ball

Hockey Equipment Details

Hockey Equipment Bag

Most kids prefer a hockey bag with wheels. The Grit bags are very popular

The bag is used to carry all the items listed above. There are different sizes available and also wheeled hockey bags and non-wheeled hockey bags.

Wheeled or Non-Wheeled

From my experience most kids prefer wheeled hockey bags – more specifically the GRIT wheeled hockey bag towers. These tower bags have sections to organize the equipment.

Older kids tend to prefer the non-wheeled hockey bags. Non-wheeled hockey bags take up less room and are easier to pack. Also most older kids with wheels on their bag will get teased for not being strong enough to carry their equipment.

Jock (or Jill)

hockey-jockA jock protects the important parts (female hockey players use Jills). There are a number of different jock styles available, the old style garter belt jock, and the newer style velcro shorts. When it comes to a garter style jock vs a velcro compression short most players use the Velcro. I personally prefer the velcro short style jocks as well.

Shin Pads

Shin pads will protect the legs from the top of the knees down to where the skates start. It’s important to have proper fitting shin pads so there are no gaps between the skates and the shin pads.

Hockey Sockshockey socks

These go over the shin pads and then attach to the jock either via the new style velcro or the old style garter belt. Most players also use clear hockey tape to help keep the socks up, and hold the shin pads in place.

Hockey Pants

hockey-pantsYes they are called hockey pants, even though they look more like shorts. The Pants protect from the knees up to the belly. It’s important to get proper fitting hockey pants so they are not sagging or falling off, but also not too small that they leave a gap between the shin pads and bottom of the pants.

Hockey Skates 

These are one of the most important parts of hockey equipment. A comfortable pair of skates is very important. Also make sure that the skates are properly sharpened before going on the ice for the first time. hockey skates for kidsI recommend buying skates at a shop and getting them properly fitted. Make sure skates are

  • The right size (width and length) they usually fit a size or 2 smaller than shoes
  • Comfortable
  • Heat molded to fit the childs foot (most shops do this before you leave)
  • Sharpened

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads for hockeyShoulder pads protect the shoulders, biceps, chest, and upper part of the back. Some players prefer bulky shoulder pads while others prefer shoulder pads that barely protect anything (better mobility). For younger players I recommend shoulder pads that offer good protection, but make sure they are not too big that it restricts the child from moving.

Elbow padsElbow pads for hockey

Elbow pads protect the elbows, as well as a bit of the forearm and triceps. The elbow pads are mainly for protection when the child falls, and also from slashes and hooks from other players.

Neck Guard

neck-guard-hockeyThe neck guard protects the neck from the very rare chance that a hockey stick or skate blade comes in contact with the throat.

Helmet with full cage

kids-hockey-helmetA helmet is also very important. I recommend spending some extra money to get a helmet that offers good protection, and most of all make sure the helmet fits properly. A full cage is also required to protect the face

Mouth Guard

A mouth guard is required to protect from dental damage and concussions. Mouth guards vary from about $10 to a few hundred dollars if you get them from the dentist. If you buy your mouth guard at the store you will need to boil it and then bite it so that it will fit your teeth.

Jersey for practicehockey practice jersey

A team will supply the player with a jersey, however it’s nice for a child to have their own practice jersey. This is a jersey they can wear when they are invited to play for fun with other players, or during practice (if a practice jersey is not supplied)

Hockey Stick

hockey sticksA hockey stick is another very important piece of equipment. A stick should be properly fitted with the right length, flex, and handedness.

Typically the dominant hand should be put on the top of the stick, so if a child is right hand they will shoot left, and if they are left handed they will shoot right. The dominant hand goes on top because the top hand does most of the movements during stickhandling.

For the length of the stick I recommend cutting the stick just below the chin while the child is on skates. This allows good movement of the stick, and encourages the child to get a bit lower with their hockey stance.

One by One or Starter Kit?

Buying every piece of equipment individually can be expensive, if you go this route you are looking at spending $300-$700. The better the equipment you buy the more you are going to spend. The good news is you can get hockey equipment starter kits at good prices

There are some starter kits available that make getting a kid started in hockey very affordable. In factPure Hockey has a youth hockey starter kit that is currently only $179.99!

The kit comes with a helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, a stick, elbow pads, pants, shin pads, a hockey bag and a pair of skates. It’s almost everything you need to start a child in hockey.

Hockey Equipment for Kids Question and Answer

Should you buy new or used hockey equipment?

buying used hockey equipmentThe problem with kids is that they are always growing. If you buy new hockey equipment for them every year or two it will get pretty expensive. The is no problem buying used hockey equipment, in fact I encourage it.

Most hockey equipment for kids has only been used for one or two seasons and is perfectly fine. The trick is to find used hockey equipment that fits your child properly. Do not sacrifice protection or comfort to save a few dollars.

I recommend good skates and a good helmet and then build the rest of the equipment from there. Also getting a new jock is recommended.

Where to find used hockey equipment

  • Stores like recycled sports and play it again sports
  • Online on sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, Ebay, or a local classified website (you might be able to find a full set)
  • In your arena (look for fliers) or even check the lost and found
  • Ask parents of older hockey players

hockey equipment onlineShould you buy Hockey Equipment Online or in Stores?

There are good deals to be had online through stores like Hockey Monkey and Total Hockey, you can get brand new equipment at great prices, but remember you need to know if it will fit properly.

I recommended new hockey players go to a store and try things on first. That way you will have an idea of what fits you well and what doesn’t. You will get an idea of your sizes, and what brands you like. Then you can look around online and use the information from trying on in the store to possibly buy online.

I recommend buying your skates and helmet in the store so you get a proper fit.

How much will a full set of Hockey Equipment cost for a Child

A new set of hockey equipment can cost from $300 – $700+

hockey equipment kitA full set will vary in price, if you are buying new you will spend about $300-$500 to get your child on the ice. You can save by buying used equipment and looking for sales

A basic new starter kit of protective equipment for a youth hockey player will cost about $100, this kit will include a bag, shin pads, elbow pads, chest protector, gloves and pants. Then the major costs will be skates and a helmet.

Skates alone can cost up to $500 for kids, but there is no need to start with the most expensive pair of skates.

A used set of hockey equipment will cost from $50 – $200

If you are very frugal you could likely get everything for your child for about $50. At $50 you would need to get some freebies and hand me downs from other hockey families, or find a great deal on a used set online.

Do I need to buy all the Hockey Equipment at once?

If you just want your child to try hockey you don’t have to buy anything. Most minor hockey associations will have hockey equipment on hand that your child can wear for a few ice sessions to see if they like the sport. If your child likes it then you can work on buying equipment

If your child will not be playing in a league then all you need is skates, a helmet, a stick and whatever protective equipment you think is necessary. The bare minimum will allow your child to play outdoor hockey (if you live in an area where that is an option), attend public skating, and attend stick and puck sessions (known as pick up hockey or shinny in Canada).

Maintenance

One of the most common issues with the short lifespan of Ice Skates is Poor Maintenance. The maintenance is very similar for all Ice Skates, with only small variation; the boot material.

  • Keep your ice skate blades sharp but not too sharp. A sharp blade grabs the ice better than a dull one. Make sure you sharpen your ice skates appropriately for their type. As a general rule, skates should be sharpened after every 10 hours of use, depending on your style of skating or if you have encountered something to damage the blades. This time could be extended if you are only doing general skating.
  • Don’t walk on the ground or floor with your ice skate blades. Instead, always use a skate guard when you are off the ice. If you can’t wear guards and in figure skates, walk on the toe picks instead of the delicate edges. For Ice hockey skates, the use of skate guards are recommended. Otherwise careful placement when walking to avoid any screws or possible areas that could cause damage to the blades when walking from the change rooms out.
  • Always dry ice skate blades thoroughly after skating. One of the most common issues is Rust. It is the biggest killer of blades and the mounting area. Each time, before you slip on your skate guards, slide your fingers (carefully) along both sides of the blade to remove the “snow.” When you’re done for the day, take your skates off and dry them with a towel. Be sure to dry the blades and the mounting surfaces. If you have time, it is a good idea to let them sit for a couple minutes and then wipe them down again.
  • After drying skates thoroughly, cover and store the blades inside of towel-like soakers. These help draw off any remaining moisture and provide a cushion for your blades inside your bag. Do not leave or store blades inside of plastic or rubber skate guards. They hold moisture and almost guarantee rust. Hard Plastic Blade guards are great for walking around the Rink in, not for storing your skates. These hard guards don’t dry or remove moisture from the blades, this will promote Rust.
  • Keep your skate guards clean. Wipe out the insides of your guards so no grit or grime builds up over time. If your guards or soakers wear out (get thin spots or holes in the bottom) replace them immediately. They won’t help you protect your blades if they are run down or broken.

Skate specific maintenance

Figure skates:

  • The leather of your ice skate boots is just as susceptible to water damage as your blades. Polish figure skating boots on a regular basis to keep them water-resistant, we recommend the use of a silicon protestant.
  • Open up the boots a bit so they can air out after each skating session. Loosen the laces as far down as you can and pull up the tongue to let the boot breathe. Removing the insole to allow for drying of the sole & insole will help reduce smell. Replace the insole if your skate starts to smell. After all you don’t want to smell like a hockey player!
  • It’s also important to maintain the proper tightness of the screws that secure your blade to the boot. They loosen over time, which can be dangerous for skating. Have an experienced figure skate technician mount blades and replace screws when necessary. Careful not to over tighten, as this will cause “stripping” in the mount.
  • It’s important to use the right length of lace. Laces that are too long can become a hazard if they drag on the ice. If they are too short, you won’t be able to properly tie up your skate. Replace broken figure skate laces on a regular basis. It’s always a good idea to keep a few spare pairs in your skate bag.

Ice Hockey Skates:

  • Use a Toe Protector. This is a black, viscous liquid that you apply with a brush to the toe box of your skates. It dries on hard with a tough, matte finish that prevents your skates from getting cut by other players’ blades.
  • The odor of Hockey equipment can be bad and anyone who’s played hockey knows that it’s one of the smelliest sports out there. This odor results from the amount of equipment required to play, coupled with the fact that it’s extremely difficult to clean the equipment. Not to mention the wetness and bacteria that is promoted to grow. Because you can’t throw your skates in the washing machine, these are the easiest and best way to keep the smell to a minimum.
    • Insoles: These should be taken out after each skate session to allow the skate and insole to dry. For the most part, insoles are the only internal part of hockey skates that can be replaced. In addition to providing comfort, they also absorb some of the sweat that accumulates in you skate. Replace them every few months (depending on how often you play). Scented, or “odor eating,” insoles are also available, and keep your skates even fresher.
    • Odor-neutralizing Sprays: These work wonders to remove some of stink from your skates. Just remember to only use sprays that don’t bleach! Only apply odor-neutralizing sprays to fully dried skates. Make sure the spray have an anti-bacterial agent within them for maximum smell reduction!
    • Socks: Not surprisingly, one of the easiest ways to keep your skates smelling their best is to always wear fresh, clean socks. Buy a few pairs of athletic socks and keep them in your hockey bag so you always have a good pair. When they get old and stiff (even when clean), throw them out and get new ones. The Sani Socks are a great sock for any kind of ice skating, as they wick away the moisture from your feet and have a very quick dry time. Making them some of the most hygienic socks to wear. They are also extremely thin like wearing nothing at all.

Replacement Parts

On all Ice skate there are many parts that can be replaced, many of these are difficult to change without the correct equipment. Blades and blade holders are the most commonly replaced parts. However, specialty sports repair shops can sometimes replace skate eyelets and tongues as well. In our case within AUS, these can also be done at selected shoe repair or leather repair company. We here at Ice Park; are always expanding our repair and maintenance equipment to help with any of your repair needs.

  • Eyelets: Eyelets are the metal rings that skate laces thread through. These rings rarely get damaged, but they are difficult to mend if they do. If your skate’s eyelets bend or break, they need to be fixed immediately or your laces will likely tear your skate boots. Only specialty hockey shops and selected shoe repairmen can fix eyelets.
  • Tongue: Tongues sometimes wear through and break off, rendering the skate unusable. Tongues are often made of leather, cotton, and felt. Because they are made of a tough, durable material, they are very difficult to repair. As with eyelets, they can usually only be replaced by specialty hockey shops or shoe repairmen.

Ice Hockey

  • Blade Holders: Blade holders are the plastic pieces that connect the blades of your skates to the boots. Over time (and use), these weaken and can crack. Blade holders attach to the skate boot with rivets. Unless you have plenty of experience using a rivet gun, do not attempt to change out your blade holders. All hockey pro-shops are equipped to replace blade holders. The rivets that hold these in if not not cared for can rust and fall out over time. Replacement of these should be done at your local pro shop.
  • Blades: Until recently, players had to remove blade holders to access the steel blades. In general, this process hasn’t changed, it’s always wise to bring your blades to a pro-shop. However, an increasing number of skate companies are introducing blades that can be removed with external screws. Blades should be replaced when they are either covered in rust or too short to sharpen. Replacing a blade before it becomes critical will likely prevent damage to the blade holders.

Figure Skate

  • Blades: Unlike Hockey skates, the blades & holders are only known as the blades. These blades do wear out over time as the skate gets sharpened, the blade becomes thinner. The blades are normally held on by screws and can require new holes to be drilled if the same brand replacement blade is not used. A local Skate Shop or Pro Shop should be able to fit your new skates with the correct fitting blades for the size of the.

 

Final Thoughts

As per any expensive tool, The more care and maintenance you perform on them, the more they will look after you in the long run. Last longer and work better!

 

The finish!

The finish on the skate blade refers to how smooth the blade and clean the bottom of the blade is after it has been sharped. This  directly affects the glide and speed ability of the skate. A Blade with a poor finish (chatter marks, ripples, lines, etc.) is causing more friction with the ice surface during gliding then required, this affect slows the skater down and causes more effort to get the same effect as a well finished blade. (Image below left)

Having a completely smooth and clean blade maximizes glide and reduces friction on the ice surface. (image below right) The finish on your blades should always look like they have been polished not just “ground”.

IMG_0057_1 IMG_0033_1

 

As mentioned in “Are your edges even” there as some other issues that can be cause a bad finish.

cross-grinding-skate-sharpening

  • Unnecessary cross-grinding
    • Cross-grinding is an excellent way to prep brand new skates for sharpening, or to remove rust or other imperfections (eg. uneven edges) left over from a previous sharpening. Unlike the finishing wheel, the cross-grind wheel runs vertically (perpendicular to the skate blade), so it doesn’t impart its shape onto the blade. It’s also much coarser, making it able to chew through the blade much faster. Effectively, it “resets” the blade to be completely flat on the bottom, ensuring the it can be perfectly aligned with the finishing wheel, even if it was previously crooked or uneven.
    • However, it also removes much more steel from the blade than the finishing wheel. If your hockey shop is doing a full cross-grind every time they sharpen, then your blades will have a lifespan of about ⅓ of what they’d have without cross-grinding. As a compromise between precision and blade life, some shops will do an extremely light cross-grind to take off only the edges, without removing the entire hollow.
  • Over-sharpening the tip & tail
    • A hockey skate is designed to be relatively (but not entirely) flat in the middle two-thirds of the blade, and rockered at the ends for agility. Maintaining this profile requires a very light touch. Not only that, but the wheel should be spending nearly all its time within the middle two-thirds of the blade. Trying to pass the wheel along the entire length of the blade will cause it to gradually become more and more rockered over time.
  • Too hard & too fast
    • To give the blade a nice, smooth edge, your sharpener should be passing it over the wheel slowly but lightly. Going too fast (especially on the final few passes) can create burrs and rough spots along the edges, while pressing too hard can cause the blade to “chatter” on the wheel, making it discolored and slightly uneven.

Original post on

Are your edges even?

Have you ever felt like it was easier to go in a circle one way easier than the other, after getting your skates sharpened?

Did they not feel like they had the cut you asked for? or did they simply fail when you tried anything?…..

Have you had difficulty stopping?

Did you notice a “Chattering” or “chopping” sensation when stopping?

Feeling like your skates are “slipping out” from under you?

Feeling like you’re “missing an edge”?

These are all the most common symptoms we find of uneven edges. 

When reading though the radius section you would notice an image like this one below.

about-radius-C

The small points on the blade after they have been sharpened, are what we used to go around corners and also to stop. The deeper the hollow the more pronounced these are. (as per the image above)

Screen_Shot_2016-02-11_at_11.51.57_AM

 

 

If the skate is not sharpened evenly, they can be off set and will make things more difficult to perform. As a hockey player you will wear your skate uneven with the use as you will always be using your inside edges more than the outside. The inside edge is used most to take off, get to maximum speed and also used on the outside foot through a turn.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0090

When the skates are sharpen, there is a few things that can be done to prevent uneven edges from happening. As above the skates use one edge more than the other, making sure they have been sharpened past this uneven point is essential to making even edges. A lot of shops will use a cross grinder to do this, which is great if you are changing the hollow on your skate. But if you are keeping the same hollow, by using a cross grinder on every sharpen they are removing more of the blade than is required and prematurely wearing the blade away. The cross grinder is best used on new blades to make sure the edge will be even go start with, they are also used to remove badly damaged blades or rust. They can also be used to change or redo the profile of the blade.

An off-center skate sharpening will result in one edge being higher than the other. This is a common fault of many skate sharpenings. Most skate sharpening  machines require the operator to center the grinding wheel on the skate blade by eye. Therefore, the training, judgement, and conscientiousness of the operator can greatly affect the quality of the skate sharpening. Inexperienced skate sharpeners, or casual skate sharpeners, often don’t take the time necessary to center the blade properly.

 

How to check

Here at Ice Park, we use a very simple tool called an Edge Checker. Below are pictures of an edge checker in use. The Edge Checker is a very simple tool, that is made up of 2 pieces, The First piece is locked onto the blade of the skate and has the white markings as below. The second part of the tool consists of the right angle bar with a magnet in the middle. When the magnet is attached to the blade it will show the results as per below.

The left images is how we like to see ever set of skates leave our shop.                                                                                                                                On the right is a set of skates that has been miss aligned.

This is only off by 3 thousands of an inch or less the 0.075 of a milometer.

IMG_0043_1__1

IMG_0058

129515

 

How can you check this at home?

This is a bit harder to check out home without spending a heap of money on an edge checker yourself. But not impossible!

The way to determine if your skate has its two edges square to the side of the blade; is to turn the skate upside down, hold it up to where you can look across the length of the blade. Place a quarter or similar sized coin (a 20cent or 50cent works well) over the two edges. If the side of the coin and the side of your blade comprise a “T”, then your skates are correctly in square. But if one side of the coins sits higher than the other, you have a high edge, and your skates are out of square. See illustration to the right.

What’s your sharpen? And why?

If you answered no to both of these, don’t worry it’s common.
There is a few very important factors we need to look at when sharpening skates.

sharpen table

Weight: As a general rule, the more weight, the larger the Hollow needed. An extremely light
skater can tolerate a very small Hollow with lots of edge, beause they do not have much weight to
bear on the ice.
Player positioning: For hockey: 1/2” seems to be the most common hallow for kids up to and
sometimes through high school. Forwards generally prefer a smaller Hollow than defensemen of
the same weight. Goalies generally prefer a very large hallow so that they can “kick out” without
catching an edge. Figure: Kids (under 30kgs) can skate on a 1/2” radius. A 5/8” radius will take care of most recreational
skaters.
Ice Temperature: Most rink managers shoot for an ice temperature of approximately 25F. A temperature
of 17 – 23 degrees is considered “hard hockey ice,” 25 to 26 degrees is considered good
figure skate ice. Slightly smaller hallow may be used on colder/harder ice and vice versa.
Skill Level: Beginner level skaters can learn most skills (particularly the hockey stop) easier by
grinding their skates with a very large hallow. As they progress they radii is decreased back to a
normal level.
Choosing a Hollow that’s right for you comes down to personal preference. A smaller radius will
give you more bite into the ice for tighter turns, but less glide, so choose which advantages are
more important for you and your skating style.
Note: *Also a more pronounced hallow will be more fragile and less durable*

 

Radius / Hallow / Cut / Sharpen

Screen_Shot_2016-02-09_at_3.43.38_PMNo matter what you call it Radius, Hallow, Cut or Sharpen, this are the common terms for what happens when you get your skates sharpened. But what is really happening to your skates when you get a Sharpen?

What happens when you get a Sharpen

When you look at the bottom of the blade on your skate, weather this be Ice Hockey or Figure skates. You will see a small hallow in the middle with a point on either side. This is what is transferred on to the blade when passing it over the Finishing wheel on the skate sharpening machine often called a grinding wheel. When looking at the wheel on a side view you will notice that the wheel has had a Radius shaped into it.

sideviewafterdrs IMG_0090From the above image you will notice the before and after dressing image. Dressing the wheel is where the technician uses a diamond tipped dresser to remove a very small amount of the wheel and add the radius. Once the wheel is dressed the technician can process to add the hollow to your skates.

 

 

 

 

Screen_Shot_2016-02-22_at_10.28.01_AMThe Technician will pass each skate about 10 times on each skate over the wheel once dressed, on the Finishing pass or final pass they will add a wax to keep the steel of the blades cooler as they do a slower pass to polish the blades and finish off the sharpening.

 

 

Screen_Shot_2016-02-09_at_4.17.08_PM

Understanding Radius

The Radius is the distance from the center of a circle to the perimeter. In sharpening we use an imperial measurement for this to

give us from 1/4 inch to 1  1/4 inch Radius.  A 1 inch circle will have a Radius of 1/2 inch as per diagram.

 

 

 

about-radius-CThe Smaller the Radius that is applied to the wheel the deeper the cut will be.

The deeper and more pronounced tips are, the sharper the skate will feel on the ice and the easier it will be to do a sharper turn. This type of sharpen has greater surface area and will create more drag, this resulting in a slower skate.

This type of sharpening are from 1/4 to 1/2″ normally. These are suited to Beginner and younger skaters.

Ice Hockey Position – Forward

 

about-radius-D

 

The larger radius that is applied to the wheel the shallower the cut will be.

The shallower and less pronounced tips, the less sharp the skate feels on the ice and harder it will be to make tight turns. The less surface area of this type of cut will allow for greater speed on the ice.

This type of sharpening is from 5/8 -1 1/4″. these are suited to more advanced skaters.

Ice Hockey Position – Forward

 

 

 

 

Screen_Shot_2016-02-09_at_3.41.34_PM

Beginners guide to Hockey Sticks

Beginners guide to Hockey Sticks

Credit to:

When you’re a hockey player, your stick is like your best friend! In this hockey stick guide we will get you better acquainted with your soon to be best friend!

beginners guide hockey stick

 

 

Hockey sticks, like skates, are considered to be one of the most important and personal pieces of equipment for players. Although the average player may have possession of the puck for as little as two minutes a game (with mens league hockey, probably even less), it’s essential they use the right stick for accurate passing, shooting, stick-handling, and checking (you need to make every second with the puck count!). The sizing process is crucial when trying to decide the right height, weight, and hockey stick lie for your body. Sticks that are a little too long can easily be shortened and you can also extend the length of a stick’s shaft if needed. The flex of the stick and the style of curve also need to be considered.

Types of Hockey Sticks

types-of-hockey-sticks
There are several types of sticks to choose from since they’re made out of a variety of materials. These include aluminum, graphite, Kevlar, titanium, and good old wood. There are also custom-made models as well as one and two-piece sticks on the market. The two-piece sticks enable you to change the blades.

Wood

wood-hockey-sticks
Wooden hockey sticks are typically the least expensive and allow you to easily modify them by sanding the blade and/or cutting the shaft to size. This means you can customize the stick for comfortability. On the down side, they tend to splinter or break easier. They’re also stiffer and heavier than other types of sticks and the wood can warp or bend with extended use.

Composite
composite-hockey-sticks-informtation
Almost every serious hockey player uses a composite stick these days. You can find them in one and two-piece models. This allows players to use wooden or composite bladed with lighter shafts. Composite sticks are also more flexible than their wooden counterparts. Most players prefer one-piece sticks, but they can be expensive and they can also break once in awhile. They’re basically used to shoot the puck harder rather than for longevity, but many newer models are extremely strong and could last recreational players for two or three years.

Types of Composite Sticks:

Fiberglass
These are typically wooden sticks that are reinforced for strength by a fiberglass coating or wrapping. You can modify them like a wooden stick, but they’re the heaviest and weakest of composite hockey sticks.

Aluminum

Aluminum sticks were the first non-wood hockey sticks to become popular. The shafts are constructed with aluminum while replaceable composite or wood blades are inserted into the shaft. The sticks are less expensive, lighter and stronger than fiberglass and wood, but not as light as Kevlar and graphite. (Aluminum sticks are hard to find)

Graphite
Graphite sticks are quite popular as the material can be used to coat or reinforce wooden sticks and can be combined with Kevlar to create a shaft. Also, an entire one-piece stick can be made of graphite. These sticks are nice and light, but cost more than aluminum, wood, and fiberglass models. However, they’re not as expensive as titanium and Kevlar. Typically most composite sticks are made of Graphite, or Graphite blend.

Kevlar
This material can also be combined with another material such as carbon to create a stick or used on its own. They’re relatively expensive, but one of the lightest and strongest available.

Titanium
Titanium sticks are a lot like Kevlar models, but the material usually isn’t combined with anything else.

Reinforced

colt-gen-2-stick-coupon-code

Colt Hockey has taken a Graphite stick, and dipped it in nano steel to reinforce the bottom half of the stick. Interested? Check out their site, and use coupon code HOWTOHOCKEY to save $20.

Hockey stick Length, Lie, Weight, Curve and Flex

Stick Height
The length and weight of your stick is a personal decision. Some players prefer shorter and lighter shafts so they can stickhandle in cramped quarters and release their shots quicker while defensemen typically prefer longer and heavier sticks to check the opposition from a greater distance and clear out the front of the net. Your position and skating style may affect your preference. If you skate with a hunched-over style then a shorter stick may suit you better while upright skaters will be better off with a longer stick.

hockey stick length

Note from coach Jeremy – A stick just below the chin is a good starting point for beginners, after you get comfortable play with the length of your stick and find something you like. NHL players use a variety of lengths from stick length, all the way up to the eyes!

According to some experts, the top of the stick should touch your chin when you’re on skates. But in reality, you need to find a stick that is comfortable, suits your style of play, and is productive for you regardless of the length, weight, type of curve, flex, and the hockey stick lie.

Hockey Stick sizes
It’s hard to handle the puck if your stick’s too short or long. Most manufacturers make sticks in two specific sizes, which are junior, and senior. Junior sticks are usually between 46 and 54 inches while senior models are from 56 to 63 inches. Shaft diameters range from Junior, Intermediate, and Senior.  Most defensemen use longer sticks as they give them a longer reach for poke checks and intercepting passes and will help add a bit more power to the slapshot.

hockey stick shaft size junior-senior

Hockey Stick Weight
Most forwards prefer lighter sticks for maneuverability as they enable you to pass and shoot quicker. Defensemen generally prefer heavier sticks for checking with, but still prefer composite models over wood since they’re more durable. Anything under 450 grams is pretty light!

Hockey Stick Curves
hockey-stick-curves
Hockey sticks are curved for right or left-handed players with very few blades being straight these days. The blade is either curved at the toe, middle, or heel of the blade and players feel they can raise the puck faster and higher. However, backhand passes and shots are a little more difficult to achieve. For more information about picking the right curve we have an extensive article all about hockey stick curves

Hockey Stick Flex
The flex is the stiffness of a hockey stick’s shaft and higher numbers represent stiffer shafts. Defensemen and big, strong players typically use stiffer shafts while most forwards prefer more flexible models. Since you need considerable strength to shoot effectively with a stiffer shaft, they’re not really ideal for young children. Learn more in this hockey stick flex guide

When shopping for hockey sticks for kids it can be hard to find a flex that matches their weight. Most stick flexes start at 40 and then the stick needs to be cut, which can alter the flex. If you’re looking for a flex that is properly matched to your kids weight check out Raven Hockey

Hockey Stick Flex/Length Chart

Age Group

Height

Weight

Recommended Shaft Flex

Stick Length

Youth (3-5) 3’0″-3’10” 30-65 lbs 35 Flex 38-44″
Youth (6-8) 3’10”-4’8″ 50-80 lbs 40/45 Flex 45-49″
Junior (7-13) 4’4″-5’1″ 70-110 lbs 50/55 Flex 50-54″
Intermediate (11-14) 4’11”-5’4″ 95-125 lbs 60 Flex 55-58″
Intermediate (12-14) 5’2″-5’8″ 100-140 lbs 65/70 (Light Flex) 55-58″
Senior (14+) 5’5″-5’10” 125-175 lbs 75/80 (Mid Flex) 57-61″
Senior (14+) 5’7″-6’1″ 150-200 lbs 85/90 (Regular Flex) 58-62″
Senior (14+) 5’10”-6’4″ 180-235 lbs 100/105 (Stiff Flex) 60-63″
Senior (14+) 6’1+ 210+ 110/115 (X-Stiff Flex) 60-63″

Hockey Stick Lie
hockey-stick-lie-angle
The lie of the hockey stick is the angle between the blade of the stick and the shaft. Most sticks will have a lie between 4 and 7 and each lie is a two-degree difference in the angle. For example, a 4 lie is 137 degree while a 5 lie is 135 degrees and so forth.

Lower lies are usually better for players who carry the puck out in front of them and skate lower to the ice. Higher stick lies are often used by those who carry the puck closer to their skates and skate upright. Basically, when standing on the rink you want the entire blade to be flat on the ice, not just the heel or toe.
what is stick lie

 

Credit to:

Skateboard Guide

So you want to buy a Skateboard?

A Guide to Skateboards

The first thing you’ll notice when browsing our website is that there are tons of different sized skateboards. So how do you know what size skateboard to buy? What size skateboard is good for street skating? What size skateboard is good for a beginner? We’ve got the run-down.

 

Sizing it up

What size deck should you skate?

Let’s get some of the skateboard lingo down first. The skateboard deck is the actual board itself. The skateboard deck is the flat, long board that you stand on when skateboarding. Ice Park offer a huge selection of skateboard decks in a variety of shapes, sizes, weight and color patterns. Skateboard decks vary in size but most are between 7″-10″, and are made of either seven-ply wood, bamboo, resin, carbon fiber or plastic. Deciding which skateboard deck is best for you depends on what you will be skating and, of course, your personal brand preference.

 

skateboarddeck What Size Skateboard Do I Need?

Width – The average width of a skateboard deck is 7.5″- 8.25″. Width is influenced by the size of the rider and the type of riding. Bigger riders and those skating ramps and vert ramps typically prefer a wider deck. Street skaters usually choose a smaller deck. Choose your skateboard deck according to the width, not length.

 

Length – The length of the skateboard is measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Average board length is 28″- 32″ but length is only referred to by advanced skaters.

 

Wheelbase – The wheelbase is the distance from one pair of inner mounting holes to the other inner pair. The average wheelbase is 13″-15″, and again, the choice is influenced by the skill set of the rider

 

Nose and Tail – The nose and tail of a skateboard can be hard to tell apart, but most decks provide you with graphics to distinguish the two apart. Also, most skateboard decks have a bigger kick on the nose and mellower kick on the tail.

 

Mounting Holes – Mounting holes are pre-drilled holes where the skateboard trucks are attached. Arranged as two sets of four holes; one set is near the nose, the other near the tail.

 

Ply – When looking at the side of the skateboard deck, thin layers of maple veneer are visible. Layering the wood in a cross-grain pattern creates a stronger board than a single solid piece of wood. The typical skateboard is seven-ply.

 

Concave – The section of the board between the nose and tail curves up slightly on the sides. The concave gives the rider more control and increases the skateboard’s strength.

 

Decks come in many different widths. If you are a beginner to skateboarding, choose your deck according to the width, not the length or wheelbase. The width you need depends on your size, skating style and personal preference. Here are some general guidelines.

 

What are the different sizes of skateboard decks? 

 

Micro Deck width: 6.5″ – 6.75” – Deck length: 27.2” – 27.6”

For skaters 5 years or younger, under 3’5” tall who wear a size 3 shoe or smaller

 

Mini Deck width: 7.0″ – Deck length: 28”

For skaters 6 to 8 years old between 3’5” and 4’4” tall who wear size 4-6 shoes

 

Mid-size Deck width: 7.3” – Deck length: 29”

For skaters 9 to 12 years old between 4’5” and 5’2” tall who wear size 7-8 shoes

 

Decks 7.5” or larger Deck width: 7.5″+ – Deck length: 29”+

For all skaters over age 13, taller than 5’3” with a shoe size of 9 and up.However, individual skating style will determine deck size for these decks:

7.5″ to 8″ – Standard board for adult riders skating streets or doing more technical tricks

8.0″ to 8.25″ – Skating pools, ramps and parks

8.25″ and larger – Vert, pools, cruising and just going old school

 

What size skateboard deck should you skate?

skateboarddecksize1 What Size Skateboard Do I Need?

Now that you’ve dialed in what size skateboard is good for you, check out our massive selection of skateboard decks. If you still have questions about skateboard deck sizing, please contact Ice Park Customer Service.

Selecting the Best Hockey Skates

What are the best hockey skates? – How to find the right skate for you

best hockey skates

When it comes to selecting a pair of hockey skates there is no “best hockey skate” it all comes down to what the best skate for YOU is. The best skate depends on your skill level, playing style, foot size width and depth, ability and weight. In a previous article we covered fitting hockey skates (make sure you read that article as well). In this article we are going to go into detail on how you can determine which skate will be best suited depending on your personal preferences and playing ability.

 

 

How much should I spend on a pair of Hockey Skates?

buying hockey skatesIf you want to play hockey you should be looking to spend at least $150 on a pair of skates. Almost every pair of skates that costs less than $150 is not suitable for an adult playing hockey. (unless you get a good sale price check the links at the bottom of this article for some good places to get clearance skates)

If you just want a recreational pair of skates to go to the odd public skating session and skate laps then the cheapest skates will be fine, but for the demands that hockey puts on skates (crossovers, stops, starts, sharp turns, pucks, sticks, etc) you want a better quality skate

If you just want to learn to skate at the moment, but your goal is to begin playing hockey I still recommend getting the more expensive skates (that way you don’t have to buy new skates down the road). Some stores will have sales on last years models, this is a great way to get the higher end skates for a good price. If you find this opportunity (and the skates fit you properly) then take advantage of it.

When you are at the store, make sure you get a good fitting for your hockey skates: In this article we will cover personal preferences in skates, and which style and brand of skate will be best for you.

Can the Steel be Replaced on Your Skates?

hockey-skate-bladesAsk about replacing steel (the skate blade). Most skates that are designed for hockey will have replaceable steel. Some brands like CCM, Reebok and Easton have visible screws on the outside, and other brands like Bauer have the screws underneath the heel beneath the sole.

Skates without replaceable steel are most likely low-end skates, not meant for regular use. Good skates are designed to outlast their blades (and blades can sometimes break) so you need a skate that allows you to replace the steel when needed. Without this option you will need to replace your entire skate within a few years.

In some of the lower end skates the steel is actually molded to the blade holder and can not be replaced. In these cases the steel is usually very low grade and prone to pitting (pitting is tiny holes and dents in the skate blade) and will not hold a sharpened edge as long

When will you replace the skate blades?

replacing-skate-bladesThis varies, but if you play more than once a week and get your skates sharpened regularly then you will need to replace your skate blades after a few years. After being sharpened over and over the steel wears down, and once it gets too close to the plastic it can effect your skating. The guys at your pro shop who sharpen your skates will tell you when it’s time to replace the steel. It’s not expensive to do so, and means you get to keep skating in the skates that you love!

Some pro players replace their steel every few weeks, but these guys sharpen their skates before every game, and are on the ice almost every day, and sometimes twice a day.

What Style of player are you?

hockey-skating-styleSome players are more aggressive, they are always on their toes ready to go and pounce on the puck. Other players are more reserved, they play a defensive game, they like to read plays, play heads up hockey and stay on the defensive side of the puck.

There are different styles of skates depending on your playing style

Some skates will help put your in a more aggressive stance. These skates are designed with a forward pitch at the ankles that allows you to get a deeper knee bend. Some skates also have a pitch in the blade holder that will put the player more on their toes.

Alternatively you can also buy skates with a more traditional fit, these skates are better for the reserved players and should be selected depending on your style of play.

What fit do you prefer?

Different skate brands will provide different fits for your feet. In our skate fitting guide we cover the different sizes and widths which will help you pick the right size of skates, but after you know your size you can still determine the feel you prefer.

Some skaters prefer a snug fit, while others like a looser fit. The right fit depends on the shape of your foot as well as your personal preference. Below we have a chart that covers the different fit that each line of skates provides.ice-hockey-Skate-table

 

The stance of your skate can be slightly adjusted with profiling the blade. Most new and recreational players will probably do fine with a traditional stance

How Stiff should my skates be?

hockey-skate-stiffness-testTo determine how stiff the skates are you can perform the squeeze test. Hold the skates by the quarter package (the back / heel of the skate) with the toe facing away from you. Grip the skate in one hand near the top but below the tendon guard (that piece that flares up to protect your tendon). Now squeeze the skates and try to bend the sides inward.

If the skates fold together with only a little resistance (kind of like a good pair of boots) they aren’t strong enough for hockey. If they are hard to squeeze together they are solid skates and are stiff enough for hockey. If you are performing crossovers, tight turns, quick starts and hard stops you want good ankle support, which usually means a stiffer boot.

Some players prefer more mobility, and some high end skates like the Easton Mako offer high quality skates with less stiffness for more mobility.

If you are just starting hockey, you probably don’t require the stiffest boot on the market, as it could restrict your from developing good ankle support, and you may not stress the skates enough to properly break them in. A boot that is too stiff for your playing ability could reduce your ability to get a good knee bend. Newer players are typically advised against using a very stiff boot. Remember when buying hockey skates you need to factor in your foot size, width, arch, playing style, playing ability, and weight.

What Skates are best for New Hockey Players?

hockey-skates-lacingFor a new hockey player a middle of the line skate should be perfect. If you go for a top of the line skate it could be too stiff for your playing style, and if you go for a low-end skate it could end up not giving you enough support (making your ankles bend), hurt you feet, and end up falling apart quickly. Look into skates in the $150-$300 price range.

If you have a good local hockey shop nearby drop in and try to find a pair of skates that fit you. If you live in an area where hockey isn’t very popular or you know which size and skate you want, you can try looking online. Be sure to read our hockey skate fitting guide before buying skates.

Cheap Skates VS Expensive Skates

cheap-skates-vs-expensive-skates

Expensive does not always mean better. As we have outlined above you need to find the right type of skate to fit your experience and playing style.

  • Cheap skates (under $100) are made for casual use, should not be used for regular hockey players
  • Average priced skates ($150-$400) are made for recreational hockey. Some will not hold up so well, and others will hold up fine, it depends on the brand and model. An average priced skate should be fine for most players.
  • High end skates ($400-$800) are made for competitive hockey and skilled skaters. They are usually stiffer, lighter, and have all the bells and whistles. If you skate a lot and skate hard, you should be shopping for higher end skates.

If you are shopping for skates for kids I do not recommend the most expensive skates as the kids will grow out of them very soon. Look for used skates, or a decent pair on sale.

Check their clearance and discount sections to find good deals! Also when buying online make sure you know the return policy so you can return the skates if they do not fit properly.

 

 

Written by Doug Sears Jr and Coach Jeremy

A HUGE thanks to Jeremy at how to hockey & new to hockey for allowing us to use this great information.

Coach Jeremy

Roller Derby & Roller Skate Fitting Guide

skater-on-bench Getting the Right for skates, no matter what type of skate they are is a very hard process and in this guide we will try to provide the best ways to fit yourself up for skates. The best way to fit skates is to go to your local skate shop and have a professional fitting. This in Australia is not always possible, with the lack of shops that offer this service is very few. Having to rely on information you find online is very hard as well, are you getting the right size for the brand of skate you are looking at??? and are there any other features you should be aware of with that brand that may be different to another?

With all of these questions the internet is a great place for information, but sorting out the right information can be hard sometimes too. What we want to do in this guide is explain the best way to fit Roller Derby Skates. Derby Skates are slightly different to normal roller skates as they are a lower cut boot, which does change the look and feel of the Skate.

They are almost always made of Leather, top end skates above $300 on average will have real leather, and below this average will have synthetic leather. If you are thinking that the leather wont make much of a difference, it does make one of the biggest changes…. Not just to the look, but also the performance of the skate over time and also if they are able to be modeled to your feet e.g. stretched like Ice Figure Skates. Also the durability of the skate and comfort.

 

Correctly sizing roller skates is a very important part to the buying process. A correctly fitted skate is going to be more comfortable and supportive. An ill fitting roller skate can lead to poor performance, sore feet and not wanting to skate. Correct fitting will allow for better support, greater power transfer, more control and most important! best comfort of the skate while using. In this guide we will go over correct sizing of skates for Men, Women & Kids. Knowing sizing tricks and break in times information and the cortrect sizing charts.

 

General sizing information

brannock_deviceThe majority of Skates are going to fit the same as your shoe size. If you wear a size 7 with you everyday shoes, a size 7 skate will most likely fit. Most brands of roller skates will make their skates fit the same as popular shoe brands to make it easier to size.

 

The first fitting of your skate may feel like they are too snug. There are a few tricks that you can do to make sure they are indeed the correct size. When first trying the skate on, check to see where your toes are. Best is to be standing as if you are going to skate, with your knees just bent a small amount as if you were skating. This is the position you will be using them in and will allow your foot to move back, locking the heel correctly into position and moving your toes off the front of the skate. If your toes are just touching the front of your skate, this is ideal. If you have to curl your toes these are too small, in this position this will cause a lot of pain and make you or your child not want to skate.

 

Kids sizing

Fitting kids is always a hard issue, as the do grow so fast and at the time of fitting/buying the may fit perfectly but a week or a month later they maybe too small…

Have your kids put the skates on and check the foot position. While the laces are lose move the foot to the front of the skate and check how much room behind the heel. There should be a pencil to a finger width room at the heel for growth. If there is any more room then this the skates will rub and cause support and other comfort issues. having check the skate this way is always best, as the visual is the only way to make sure the kids feet are not too small. If you are to use the compression of the toe box area to check, some skates have quite thick leather or toe guards that create issue to checking the position of the toes. (Ice hockey skates and Inline skates are bad for this as they are hard plastic materials in these areas, for fitting of these check our other guides)

some brands offer adjustable skates, which are great for those growing feet. But even with these the above should be used as a guide to fitting. When the child’s toes are touching the end when they are in the skating position and no room behind the foot, the skates would required to be upgraded to suit there feet.

 

Roller skate width

feet_b

The majority of roller skates will only come in one width, Standard. For the most part this will fit most skaters. There are some skates that do   come in Narrow, Medium or Wide widths, but this will only be found on higher end skates. After the break in period the standard width will suit  most skaters tho. But those with a very wide or Narrow foot may find it best to have your skate fitted correctly to suit the specific type.

 

 

Break in time

Depending on the brand and also the type of leather, Break in times vary. On average after a few skating session and they will be fully broken. On higher end models with stiffer boot types and formable padding, this could be up to 20 hours. This time on the higher end skates can be reduced by having the streched or Heat modeled.

 

 

Ice Hockey Skate Sizes

We want you to get the best fit! It you can’t make it into a shop to get fitted please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions.

Written by Doug Sears Jr

I am a former LHS (local hockey shop) employee and have fit thousands of pairs of skates. In this article I will address everything you need to know about getting a properly fitting pair of hockey skates. A poorly fitting pair of skates can impair your skating ability, cause foot pain, blisters and a lot of frustration.

How to get a Good Fitting for Hockey Skates

hockey-skate-fittingHockey Skate Sizes – What size hockey skate should you wear?

If the LHS employee asks you what your skate size is and then gets that size for you, that is a red flag. He should basically ignore your assumption of your size, and measure you.

Hockey skates are typically 1-2 sizes lower than the shoe size you wear. However there are differences between different skate companies. (I wear a size 11 or 12 shoe depending on the company, and my skate size is 10D in Bauer)

What are the different skate sizes and fits?

Skates have many different fitting characteristics so if the LHS employee tries to sell you the first skate you try on, that’s another red flag. When fitting a skate you are looking for more than just the right size, skates should be fitted according tohockey-skate-width-chart

  • Skate size
  • Skate width
  • Depth / arch
  • Your weight
  • Your skating ability/ skating style / playing level

Different lines from different skate companies will offer different fits. So lets say you are a size 8, a size 8 in Bauer Vapor might fight you great, but a size 8 in Easton might not feel right. This is because of differences in the overall width of the skate, width of the toe, depth of the skate, volume in the heel pocket, etc.

What Skate Will Fit Your Feet?

ice-hockey-Skate-table

Remember each of the models shown above also come in sizes C, D, E or EE. However a Bauer Nexus 8D would be a looser fit than a Bauer Supreme 8D and Graf will be wider then other brands when stated as wide.

How to Test if your Skates fit Properly

There are two popular tests when it comes to fitting hockey skates: the pencil test, and the finger test.

hockey-skate-pencilWith the pencil test you will put on your skates, but do not tie them up. Pull the tongue out and then take a pencil or pen and place it across the eyelets, about three eyelets down.

If the pen / pencil lies flat without rocking back and forth on your foot then the skate has good depth. If the pen / pencil hits your foot without touching both eyelets then the skate is too shallow for you.

hockey-skate-fit-testThe finger test will ensure your skates are the right size, and that you have the right ankle fit. Lace the skate up tight as if you are going to play hockey. Lean forward and bend your knees (like you are in the hockey stance).

Now reach back to the heel of the skate and see how much of a gap there is between your heel and the skate. If you can slide more than one finger between your heel and the skate (not the tendon and skate) then the skate is not locking your ankle / heel into place and the fit is not suitable for you. For children who are still growing a 1 finger gap is fine, if you are an adult and no longer growing you can go for a bit of a snugger fit. Skates that are too loose can cause blisters, foot pain, and impair your skating ability.

Where Should my Toes Touch on my Skates

toes-touch-hockey-skates

The Toe Brush Test –  Another popular way to tell if the skates are the proper size is where your toes lie in the skates. With your skates laced up, stand up straight in the skates, in this stance your toes should just brush the toe cap inside the skates. Now get into an athletic stance (the hockey stance) in this stance your heel should lock more into place and your toes should not be rubbing on the toe cap anymore.

proper-fitting-hockey-skateSkate Stiffness – Give your Skates a Squeeze

The stiffness of your skates is also important when considering the right fit. Some skates are designed with very stiff boots and some are designed with less stiff boots. Typically stiffer boots are recommended for more experienced hockey players, and heavier players. The stiffer the boot, the more ankle support and energy transfer you will get, however stiffness can compromise mobility in some cases.

hockey skate stiffness testNewer hockey players should probably not get the stiffest boots available as they may not be aggressive enough in their skating to properly break the skates in and get the full advantage. However new players should not buy skates with very little stiffness as these skates will not provide enough support for playing hockey on a regular basis.

To determine the stiffness, give your skates a squeeze. Hold the skate below the tendon guard and squeeze the sides together. If it folds in easily these skates are too weak for hockey. If there is some good resistance then they are good for a newer hockey player, and if they are very stiff they are suitable for experienced players.

Get Your Skates Baked

bake-hockey-skatesWhen new players hear about baking skates they might think it’s a bit crazy, but high end skates are designed to be heat molded to fit your feet. While you can bake them yourself at home (only if you know what you are doing) the best time to get your skates baked is at the store before your purchase them.

How does skate baking work?

After you find a comfortable pair of skates that fits you properly the store associate will take your pair of skates and put them into a special oven for a few minutes. When the skate is warm it is ready to be put on your feet. You gently lace the skate up while sitting in a chair and then sit for about 10 minutes while the skates cool and form fit to your foot. This process gives your skate a custom fitted mold to really lock your foot into place and give you the most comfortable experience.

Is it Normal for my Feet to Hurt after Skating?

hockey-skate-foot-painWhen you first skate in your new skates, yes, it is normal for there to be a little discomfort. It is normal to get the odd blister, or a bit of a pain. This discomfort should only affect you the first few times you use your skates. This is the normal process of breaking in a new pair of skates. After your skates are broken in you should be able to skate in them without any pain or blisters.

What happens if your feet hurt every time you skate in them

If you’ve skated 10+ times and your skates still hurt your feet then there is a problem. Your skates may not fit you properly, or you may have unique feet that need special attention. You can customize your skates by getting custom insoles (superfeet are popular), or by taking them to a pro shop to get them “punched”. Lets say you have extra wide ankles, you can get the sides of your skates punched to give you some more room.

 Buying Skates Online vs In Stores

hockey-skates-storesIf you are a new player it’s a good idea to buy your skates in the stores. A good employee can help you find the right fitting skate for your foot (although I was once talked into buying a pair of skates that were not the right fit for me, I suspect the store was trying to sell a certain brand to clear out stock). After reading this article you should have a good idea of what you need, now it’s up to the employee to help you find it.

If you decide to buy online you should always look for a good return policy. If you find a great deal, make sure the skates still are covered under the return policy. This way you can buy the skates, try them on, and if they don’t fit properly you can still return them.

Orignial post by Coach Jeremy on newtohockey.com a big thanks for the great information!
Huge thanks to Doug Sears Jr, a former employee at a hockey shop and member of reddit.com/r/hockeyplayers for providing the meat of the information in this article! (with some additions from Coach Jeremy)

Coach Jeremy

Thanks for dropping by Ice Park’s Learning Center – Ice Hockey Skate Sizes. Keep an eye out for more updates