Whether you’re a hockey player or just an avid fan, you know that every little detail can make a difference in the game. From equipment to training, and even tying your skates, everything counts towards better performance on the ice. One question that often comes up is whether it’s possible to tie in hockey.
Tying refers to creating extra tension between your foot and skate through the lacing of your skates. Some players believe that tying tightly results in better control and stability while skating; others argue that having more room in your skates gives you greater mobility and flexibility on the ice.
So which approach should you take? The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Every skater has their own preferences and comfort levels when it comes to tying their skates. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help improve your overall performance regardless of how you decide to lace up.
“Good preparation is key to success in any sport, but especially for hockey where split-second decisions can determine the outcome of a game.” – Wayne Gretzky
This article will explore some different approaches to tying in hockey and offer suggestions on how to optimize your performance based on your playing style and personal preference. We’ll also discuss other factors that can affect your on-ice performance and provide some general tips and tricks that can help you become a stronger, more effective hockey player.
Tying Your Skates Properly
When it comes to hockey, properly tying your skates is crucial for both performance and safety. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, knowing how to tie your skates correctly can make all the difference in your game.
Start with a Secure Base
The first step in tying your skates properly is ensuring that you have a secure base. This means making sure that your skate is snug around your foot and ankle before lacing up.
To achieve this, start by loosening all of the laces on your skate completely. Next, place your foot inside the skate and push your heel back towards the back of the boot until it sits firmly against the back of the skate’s heel cup. Ensure that your toe is touching the front of the skate as well.
Once your foot is positioned correctly, begin tightening the laces from the bottom eyelets upwards. Be sure to pull the laces tightly as you go to avoid any excess movement within the skate.
Criss-Cross Your Laces
After achieving a secure base, the next step is to criss-cross the laces over the top of your foot. This not only provides added support but also helps to create a comfortable fit.
To do this, take one end of the lace and cross it diagonally over to the opposite side of the skate. Thread the lace through the corresponding eyelet and pull it tight. Then, repeat this on the other side, creating a criss-cross pattern over the top of your foot as you work your way up the skate.
It’s important to note that some players prefer different patterns for their laces, such as “straight lacing” or “loop lacing”. Experimenting with different patterns can help find the most comfortable fit for your individual foot shape.
Finish with a Tight Knot
The final step in tying your skates properly is to finish with a tight knot at the top of the skate. This helps to prevent any unwanted movement within the boot during gameplay.
To tie a tight knot, take the two ends of the laces and cross them over each other. Cross them again one more time and then loop one end through the gap between the two sets of crossed laces. Finally, pull both ends tightly to secure the knot in place.
“Properly fitting equipment is essential. Take the extra time to get the right size and use it properly.” -USA Hockey
Properly tying your skates involves starting with a secure base, criss-crossing the laces over the top of your foot, and finishing with a tight knot at the top. While everyone has their own preference when it comes to lacing up their skates, taking the time to ensure a comfortable and snug fit can make all the difference in your game.
The Importance of a Tight Fit
When it comes to hockey, having properly fitting equipment is crucial. This not only applies to helmets and gloves but also to your skates. In fact, having tight-fitting skates can make all the difference in terms of comfort, performance, and injury prevention.
Prevent Blisters and Sores
One of the most common reasons for discomfort while skating is due to poorly fitted skates. When skates don’t fit snugly around your foot, there’s more room for shifting and movement which can result in blisters and sores. The pressure points created by ill-fitted skates increase friction between your foot and skate, leading to uncomfortable rubbing that can quickly escalate to painful blisters and sores.
To prevent this from happening, ensure that your hockey skates are tightly laced up. Start at the toes and work your way up, pulling each lace as snug as you can manage before tying them off. While it may take some extra time and effort to get the correct fit on your skates, the payoff will come later when you’re able to play without experiencing any pain or discomfort.
Improve Skating Performance
In addition to preventing blisters and sores, wearing snugly fitting hockey skates can also improve your skating performance. When your skates are tight, they help you maintain better control over your movements, ensuring that each stride is stable and low-profile. A snug fit helps to reduce unnecessary slipping and sliding inside your boot, allowing you to transfer all of your energy into your strides instead of fighting against your skates to stay balanced.
You’ll notice that with properly fitted skates, your strides become smoother, more powerful, and more efficient overall. You can focus on your technique and speed rather than struggling to stay on your feet or manoeuvre around the ice.
When it comes to playing hockey, everything from your helmet to your skates needs to fit perfectly. Taking extra care to ensure that your skates are as tight as possible can make all the difference in terms of comfort, performance, and injury prevention. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, proper skate fitting is one key ingredient to success on the ice!
Choosing the Right Laces
When it comes to playing hockey, choosing the right laces for your skates is crucial. The last thing you want is for your skate to come untied during a game or practice. Not only can it be a distraction, but it’s also a safety hazard.
The material of your skate lace can make all the difference in durability and performance. Many players prefer waxed laces because they are less likely to stretch out and they keep their shape better than non-waxed laces. However, some players don’t like the “sticky” feeling of waxed laces. In this case, non-waxed laces are a great option.
If you decide to go with non-waxed laces, look for ones that are made of high-quality materials like Kevlar or nylon. These materials are strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of skating while still remaining lightweight.
Length and Width Considerations
The length and width of your skate laces will depend on several things: the size of your skates, your foot size, and how tight you like your skates to feel. Generally speaking, most players opt for 96-inch laces, but if you have larger skates or wider feet, you may need longer laces.
When it comes to width, thinner laces can sometimes break more easily, so many players choose thicker laces. It’s important to find a balance between width and strength – you don’t want your laces too thin that they’ll break easily, but you also don’t want them too thick that they create bulky pressure points.
Color and Style Options
While function should always come first when selecting skate laces, you also have some options when it comes to color and style. Some teams prefer to match the color of their skate laces to their jerseys or socks – this can be a fun way to show team spirit.
Beyond that, some players like to choose funky designs or colors for their laces. Although they may look cool, make sure you prioritize function over fashion.
Waxed Vs. Non-Waxed Laces
We previously touched on the differences between waxed and non-waxed laces. It really boils down to a matter of preference between feel and durability. Here are some pros and cons of each:
- Waxed laces:
- + Keep skates tight throughout game/practice
- + Holds shape better than regular laces
- – Can create “sticky” feeling inside skate
- – May not glide through eyelets as smoothly as non-waxed laces
- Non-waxed laces
- + Less likely to stretch out than waxed laces
- + Durability allows for longer use
- – Sometimes too slippery in skate; hard to keep tied tightly
- – Doesn’t hold shape as well as waxed laces
“When it comes to lacing up my skates, I always opt for waxed laces because I love how tight they stay during games.” – Sidney Crosby
The bottom line is that choosing the right laces for your hockey skates is essential to a great game or practice. Keep your personal preferences and needs in mind when selecting the right material, length, width, color, and style for your laces to get optimal performance out of your skates!
The Benefits of a Double Knot
When playing ice hockey, a single knot may not be enough to keep your skates tightly laced throughout the game. That’s where the double knot comes in! Here are some benefits of using a double knot:
Extra Security on the Ice
A double knot provides an extra level of security when you’re skating on the ice. It keeps your laces tighter for longer periods of time and can help prevent any potential injuries that could occur if your skate were to come undone mid-game.
Professional ice hockey players often use a double knot to ensure their skates stay securely fastened during games. According to Braden Holtby, a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender, “A lot of people won’t even tie their skates before the game, because they know it’s just going to come loose quick. For me, I like to make sure my skates are as tight as possible…sometimes I’ll even triple-knot them.”
“For me, I like to make sure my skates are as tight as possible…sometimes I’ll even triple-knot them.” -Braden Holtby
Reduce the Need for Frequent Re-Tying
By tying your skates with a double knot, you decrease the likelihood of having to re-tie them multiple times throughout a game. This means more time on the ice and less time fiddling around with your laces.
Additionally, this reduces wear and tear on your laces, which can prevent them from breaking prematurely. Laces typically last longer when they aren’t being constantly retied due to them coming undone.
Tying your ice hockey skates with a double knot is highly recommended among professionals and amateur players alike. It offers extra security on the ice and reduces the need for frequent re-tying, which can save you time and money in the long run.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
One of the biggest mistakes new hockey players make is not tying their skates tight enough. Loose laces will cause your foot to move around inside the skate, making it difficult to control your movements on the ice. Make sure to pull each lace tightly and tie a knot that stays in place.
According to former NHL defenseman Jeff Brown, “Skate as tight as you can stand. You want them to be snug against your foot and ankle. No wiggle room. That keeps everything in line.”
Incorrect Knotting Techniques
Another mistake beginner hockey players tend to make is using incorrect knotting techniques. There are different ways to tie a skate, but some may not provide enough support or stability for your foot during gameplay. Make sure to use a method that works best for you while providing ample support.
NHL player Tom Wilson suggests, “I like to tie my skates within two eyelets of being done. This gives me extra mobility when I need it the most.”
Uneven Lacing Pressure
A common error among inexperienced hockey players is unevenly distributing pressure when lacing their skates. Improper lacing patterns can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even injury. Make sure to exert consistent pressure throughout the entire lacing process.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Meghan Duggan offers this advice: “Wrap the laces around the back of the boot before criss-crossing over the front. After crossing over the eyelets, pull the laces upwards towards the tongue as if you were tightening a belt.”
To avoid any unnecessary discomfort or injury, always take your time when lacing up your skates. Properly tying your skates may seem like a minor detail, but it can make all the difference in playability and overall performance on the ice.
Expert Techniques for a Perfect Tie
The Bunny Ears Method
If you want to keep things simple, the bunny ears method is perfect for you. It’s a quick and easy way to tie your hockey skates without much fuss. Start by tucking in the laces behind the tongue and cross them over each other at the bottom of the skate.
Tie a knot with one end over the other but do not tighten it all the way just yet. Instead, make two loops which are also known as ‘bunny ears’. Cross these loops over again so they form an X and then grab the loops from below and bring them up through the opening between the tongue and the skate. Hold onto both bunny ears and pull tightly on the loops until the skate feels snug and secure.
The Over-Under Technique
If you have trouble getting a tight fit or if you feel like your skates are slipping, try using the over-under technique. This method involves weaving the laces back and forth in an alternating pattern to create more surface area contact throughout the entire length of the skate.
To begin, lace up the first four sets of eyelets normally and then start creating a criss-cross pattern with your laces starting with the fifth set onwards. Thread your lace under the next set of hooks instead of going straight across, moving alternately from left to right until you reach the top of the skate. Finish off with a bow-tie knot and you should feel comfortable and secure.
The Surgeon’s Knot
For those looking for maximum security and stability, try out the surgeon’s knot. This knot is perfect for those who play at a highly competitive level and require a lot of full-body motion, jumps, and sudden stops.
Begin by crossing the laces over and then tying an initial knot. Next, wrap one lace around the other twice before threading it into the loop you’ve created – do this again on the other side with your remaining lace.
Pull tight to create a secure fit and then tie normally with a bow-knot like you usually would. This method ensures that your skate stays tight throughout even the most intense gameplay and reduces your chances of injury or accidents which can occur due to loose-fitting skates.
The Hidden Knot Method
If you are tired of dealing with laces getting untied during playtime, try out the hidden knot method. Not only will this keep your laces tied securely – it also makes for a neater-looking finish.
To start off, cross the laces as usual but make sure the ends are tucked neatly underneath the next overlapped section of the laces. Continue lacing up until you reach the top where you will need to tie a standard bow-knot.
You’ll find the resulting knots stay hidden beneath the top layer of the laces, keeping any excess material from dragging or getting stepped on while playing hockey.
“Tying skates doesn’t have to be difficult; just master one of these techniques and hit the ice without worry” -Hockey Monkey Staff
Tying your skates in different ways gives you more options to tailor the tightness of your boots according to personal preference. Maneuverability aside, well-tied skates reduce the risk of injury and give the wearer better control on the rink. Pick one of these proven methods and focus on enjoying the game!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is tying still allowed in professional hockey?
Yes, tying is still allowed in professional hockey, although it is becoming less common. In the National Hockey League (NHL), if a game is tied after regulation time, there is a five-minute overtime period. If no team scores during this period, the game ends in a tie. However, in the playoffs, there is no tie allowed. If a game is tied after regulation time, there will be an additional overtime period until one team scores a goal and wins the game.
What happens if a game is tied after regulation time in hockey?
If a game is tied after regulation time in hockey, there is a five-minute overtime period. During this period, both teams play with four skaters and a goalie. If no team scores during this period, the game ends in a tie. However, in the playoffs, there is no tie allowed. If a game is tied after regulation time, there will be an additional overtime period until one team scores a goal and wins the game.
Can teams tie in the playoffs in hockey?
No, teams cannot tie in the playoffs in hockey. If a game is tied after regulation time, there will be an additional overtime period until one team scores a goal and wins the game. This continues until a winner is determined. In the playoffs, every game is crucial, and there must be a clear winner to advance to the next round. Ties are not an option in playoff games.
How often do ties occur in hockey games?
Ties in hockey games are becoming less common due to changes in the rules and the addition of overtime periods. In the National Hockey League (NHL), ties were eliminated in the 2005-2006 season, and since then, there have been fewer tied games. However, ties can still occur in other professional and amateur leagues. The frequency of ties depends on the league, level of play, and rules in place.
Are there any strategies or tactics for avoiding ties in hockey?
One strategy for avoiding ties in hockey is to focus on offense and try to score as many goals as possible. Another strategy is to play conservatively and not take unnecessary risks that could result in a turnover or goal against. Teams may also choose to pull their goalie in the final minutes of a tied game to gain an extra attacker and increase their chances of scoring a game-winning goal. Ultimately, the best way to avoid ties is to score more goals than the other team.