Since the inception of inline hockey, skate blades have been a popular choice amongst hockey players looking to avoid injury. However, not all hockey skates are created equal, and there are several types of skates out there that can increase your chances of getting hurt on the ice.
Bindings Are Key
One of the most significant advancements in the past few years has been the introduction and establishment of composite hockey sticks. Also commonly known as ‘blades’, these sticks dramatically reduce the strain on your arm when compared to a traditional wooden stick.
When it comes to the design of a hockey stick, the phrase ‘less is more’ really does apply. This is because excessive amounts of tape holding the blades together and/or excess weight distribution can cause injuries. Indeed, the geometry of the stick can have a significant impact on your performance on the ice.
Hockey players are always looking for ways to improve their play, and what they do notice is how easy it is to hurt yourself when using a wooden hockey stick. Not only are they prone to breakage, but the impact that they have on your body when hitting you with the stick causes a great deal of damage.
Composite hockey sticks allow for better weight distribution and more flexibility, which translates to better performance on the ice. If you’re serious about getting into hockey, you owe it to yourself to try out a composite hockey stick.
No More Wrists
Wrists are a significant source of discomfort for most skaters, and they can be prone to both injury and strain. A lot of the time, this is due to improper weight distribution, which results in an uncomfortable position whilst skating. Some skaters even resort to using wrist straps to lessen the discomfort caused by having their wrists and/or arm above their head while skating. This is something that you definitely don’t want to do, as it takes your arm out of the ‘ice flow’, which can greatly increase the chance of getting injured.
Hockey skates that feature a raised toe platform can significantly reduce the strain on your wrists, as well as increase your stability whilst skating. This is because a raised platform takes the pressure off of your wrist and transfers it to your ankle, thus allowing you to plant your foot more firmly in the ice and experience better performance.
Hockey players are always searching for ways to improve their performance, and one of the keys to doing this is by using equipment that is comfortable and safe to wear. Raised toe platforms can help with this, as well as increase your stability and traction when using the rink’s surface, which is often covered in ice and snow.
More Blade Options
One of the most significant developments in the area of hockey equipment in recent years has been the emergence of alternative blade options. Whilst most hockey players tend to focus on one particular style of skate, there are several types of blades out there that can vastly improve your game.
Hockey blades are usually classified according to the number of cleats they have, with the most common types being:
- Narrow blades
- Wide blades
- Intermediate blades
- Super-wide blades
- Curved blades
- Heart-shaped blades
- Flat blades
Many people are surprised to learn that most hockey players actually use a combination of these different types of blades. This is because different blades are typically attributed with playing specific roles, such as increasing your speed or reducing the effort required to push you along the ice.
The majority of modern hockey players use a combination of flat and wide blades, often in conjunction with a composite stick. This is because wider and flat blades increase your skating speed, whilst narrow and curved blades do the exact opposite. If you’re serious about getting into hockey, it’s worth looking into the different types of blade options available, as well as the way they impact your game.
Tape Is Also Key
Most hockey players will argue that tape is incredibly important when it comes to protecting yourself on the ice. They are usually correct, but they are also wrong in that saying that only certain types of tape are essential for successful playing. Most players will agree that it is best to have at least three different types of tape, positioned at various locations on your arms, legs, and helmet.
Tape is most importantly used to cover the knuckle area of your joints to protect them from getting injured by hard blows from fall or fall-like objects, like the puck. This is a common occurrence on the ice, especially since it is so easy to get struck by a puck whilst playing. Your knuckles are also prone to injuries from skating on hard surfaces and from rubbing against the inside of your gloves, causing irritation and chapping. This is why it is essential to protect them with tape, especially given that it is the most practical and cost-efficient solution available.
The knuckle area of your joints is another significant source of discomfort for most hockey players, and it is something that they need to take seriously. In order to reduce this discomfort and increase their play time, most players will use tape to cover their knuckle area, especially around their joints and on the back of their hands.
It’s worth noting that tape can also be used to prevent injuries to your eyes, ears, and mouth, so it truly is indispensable in that regard.
Comfort Is Also Important
When it comes to playing hockey, your comfort level is one of the most significant factors that determine your performance. Whilst it is important to play with the appropriate amount of effort, it is also important to be able to maintain a comfortable position on the ice. If you’re spending a large amount of time each week playing hockey, then it’s worth considering investing in equipment that is comfortable for you.
Comfort is particularly important when it comes to the design of your hockey helmet. The shape of the helmet can greatly impact how comfortable you are whilst playing. If you’re looking for a comfortable helmet, then you should look for one with the following features:
- A raised, thickened area around the edge, which acts as a buffer between your head and the surface of the ice.
- A low profile, which reduces the overall height of the helmet when compared to the rest of your body.
- A hard liner, which adds an extra level of protection against hits and abrasions from the puck or from the fall of other players.
- An inner sleeve, which provides an additional layer of insulation and protects your scalp from external stimuli, like the sun’s ultraviolet rays or the snow’s cold air when you’re coming back from a breakout.
- A flexible strap, which allows you to securely wear the helmet during play and ensures that it doesn’t fly off when you hit the ice or are knocked over by another player.
As for the thickness of the padding within the helmet, this is something that you should consider based on how hard you are willing to play. If you are going to be participating in a lot of hard hits on the ice, then you should opt for a thicker layer of padding within the helmet. Remember, however, that too much padding can prevent you from hearing well, so you need to find that right amount that gives you the best of both worlds!
The fit of your hockey helmet is also incredibly important. You don’t want to play with a helmet that is too big or too small, as this can cause you physical discomfort. It is also worth noting that the shape of the inside of your helmet can greatly impact how well it fits. If you’re looking for a comfortable fit, then you should opt for a shaped helmet.
Now, the most important part of this entire article is: how much are true hockey skates? Well, if you’re wondering, the answer is… it depends. You see, not all hockey skates are created equal, and there are several different factors that you need to consider before you can determine how much they are worth. To begin with, not all hockey skates are made equal in terms of quality and craftsmanship. In other words, not all hockey skates are created with the same care and attention to detail.
For example, if you’re looking for a pure racing skate, where speed is the name of the game, you might be well served to spend a little more money and opt for a higher-end model.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more classic look and feel, with a focus on safety and comfort, then you might want to go for a cheaper option.