If you’re a huge ice hockey fan and enjoy the wintertime and all of its ice hockey-ready glory, you probably dread those warmer days when the ice skates disappear and the smells of summer waft into the open air. If, for whatever reason, you’re unable to enjoy hockey on the ice during some point of the year, don’t fret just yet. Below, we’ve covered three different ways to enjoy hockey in some fashion or another off the ice. That way, even though there may not be frost at your feet, you can still follow the sport, albeit in forms varied from your typical preference.
During the heat of the summer with scorched blacktop beneath your feet, why not trade in those flip-flops for some roller blades and bring some friends over for some roller hockey. Played easily on gymnasium floors, driveways, and even actual streets, roller hockey still retains much of the speed of ice hockey, though you can certainly do with loads less gear than you would need on the ice. For many players, roller blades put less strain on the ankles than even ice skates, so if you can manage to maneuver around on the slick ice with ease, you should at least be able to hold your own atop a set of wheels on pavement.
OK, so women may dominate this particular version of hockey, but if you do not so desire to play the sport so much as to follow it, kicking back at a few women’s field hockey games is certainly not a bad idea. Granted, the sport is perceptibly slower than ice hockey (the grass has plenty more traction than ice or any surface when glided over with wheels), but the action can be just as rough-and-tumble even at slower speeds. You may have trouble adjusting to the change from puck to ball, but if you’re focusing all of your attention on the ladies anyway, that probably won’t matter.
When being either a full-on player or a spectator doesn’t give you your fix, you can always go for the freestyle entertainment route. By playing hockey on an air hockey table, you can play in a leisurely setting with a puck-style piece like you’re used to, albeit its lack of surface friction will be because of the air not because of any ice. Perfect for a game with friends or just for a quick five minute diversion, that air hockey table may be your last glimmer of hope of recreating ice hockey without ice until the NHL takes over your TV screen again come start of the season.