Slide Boards: Creating the Perfect Hockey Stride

Slide Board Functions

Regular readers of this blog will no doubt be familiar with the hockey slide board and all the benefits (fitness, agility, balance) of training with a slide board. However, did you know that using the hockey slide board will also contribute to the fine tuning of your hockey stride?

By way of reintroduction, the hockey slide board is a smooth and flat surface with blocks on each end. A player wears “slide board booties” and can practice the skating stride (and other skills) on the slide board, which is compact enough to be utilized almost anywhere.

The slide board offers the hockey player (from beginner to elite) the opportunity to fine-tune their stride in a controlled environment. On-ice practices and games are great ways to work on your skills and overall game, but the skating element is often overlooked because you are concentrating on the drill or actually competing in the game. I can’t imagine a coach would be super happy if you kept looking down at your feet to see how your stride looks!

Slide Board Training

Using the hockey slide board in conjunction with a mirror or video-system and an instruction guide allows you to try out a variety of strides and make tweaks and adjustments to how your skating mechanics work. Players are often surprised at how minimal adjustments (such as knee or waist bend) can make such dramatic improvements in skating stride. In addition to being a great hockey training aid, the effort required to effectively use the slide board is minimal, with a recommended usage of 10-20 minutes 2 to 4 times per week.

Hockey slide boards come in a variety of sizes and configurations and vary in price from under $100 up to $175. Put in context, for a fraction of the cost of new skates, you can get a slide board and really improve your skating, balance, fitness and most importantly, your stride.