May 27, 2012

Storing skates

I've been putting in gardens for the past month, for the organizations where I volunteer. It doesn't leave a lot of time for skating.

In fact, a couple of people have contacted me about what to do with their skates when they aren't planning to skate for a while. First the don'ts-- don't leave them in the car. Don't leave them in a bag, especially if it's got any sort of moisture barrier (many gym carriers and skate bags do). Some basic advice:

Get them cleaned, refurbished, and sharpened
If you're not going to be skating for a while, this is a perfect time to get that ratty tongue replaced, or fix the varnish. These maintenance activities can take a couple to a few weeks, especially if you live in an area with no skate technicians and you have to ship them.  I like to store my skates with a clean new edge on them. This also guarantees that you're not putting away rust.

So how do I find a skate technician?
Contact the manufacturer. If you have a major-brand boot like Reidell, Harlick, Graff, Jackson, SPTeri or Edea, these are family-owned companies with great customer service. They can either advise you about a boot technician in your area, or let you know how to ship them right back to the company for repair.

DON'T take them to the local shoe repair shop.

Keep them cool and dry
Pull the tongues all the way out, tuck the laces inside (or better yet, chuck the laces and get new ones), and just store them on a shelf in your closet. Don't leave them in a bag, where residual moisture can get trapped.

Don't hide them
I once put away a pair of skates so effectively that I didn't find them for 20 years. True story. If you're not sure you'll remember where they are, make yourself a little note in your calendar.

While you're at it, empty out your locker or bag and clean everything in there, too!

1 comment:

  1. I was off the ice for 4 months due to a bad wrist fracture. I used the time to send my boots to the manufacturer to have the heels and soles completely replaced, and the boots repainted. They came back looking like new. :)