In part one of this blog we looked at what areas of the body the shoulder pads protect and how to tell the difference if they are too long or short. In this blog we concentrate more on the mechanics of how to fit and adjust your new pads. The first thing to bear in mind is like everything today, you get what you pay for. By this we mean that if you have bought the cheapest pads on the market there may be limited adjustments you can make on them. The more you pay for your pads then the more straps and ways to adjust your pads will be fitted.
Shoulder pads should have straps that allow the biceps to move up and down depending how short or long your arms are, or how big your biceps are. To do this move the shoulder cap up, you will see a Velcro strap that holds the bicep pad and adjust it so you feel comfortable and there is enough room to move quite freely, don’t loosen it too much or the pad will move about too much. There will be straps and adjustments all over the shoulder pads, have a play with them all until you find the correct comfort. It is much easier doing this with an assistant perhaps a fellow team member. Remember find the right balance between comfort and movement, the pad should move with the body and if it is too loose this will not happen.
Pads for the Ladies
As more women are taking up and enjoying the sport, there are now available specific shoulder pads and other equipment made especially for women’s bodies. Most women’s equipment is featured shaped and designed to fit the curvature of their bodies. The shoulder pads are molded plates that cover the whole chest area in a general fit for all women. These types of protective shoulder wear are fine for many ladies that play hockey, but some women find them too restrictive. The sports stores have indicated that ladies choose the molded type of pads around fifty percent of the time, the remaining half prefer the male type shoulder pads and adjust them.
Maintenance of Your Pads
Shoulder pads actually do not get excessive use and don’t take that much comparative impact, therefore if you look after your pads they should last at least a decade. You will probably find the first problems that occur are with the Velcro straps, with use Velcro can loosen its grip.
This is pretty easy to fix, either your favorite hockey equipment supplier will do this for you. Or you can do it yourself, after all it is not too difficult. Another problem comes through wear and tear, from the materials decaying through wetness and bacteria. Apply a sort of Under-Armor layer and that should alleviate the problem from happening, as it will limit the amount of sweat going into the pad.
Looking after all your hockey equipment is an important way of keeping it in good working order, don’t forget to attend to your shoulder pads, because a lot of players tend to neglect the pads to concentrate on their skates and sticks. If you do these simple things then you will be able to enjoy your hockey equipment for a long time.