HOCKEY HELMET VISOR INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
If you or your child are 18 years old or under, it's almost certain your league will require a helmet equipped with a full hockey visor or cage. And if you’re over 18 and you like your nose and teeth straight and unbroken—not to mention your eyes, eye sockets, cheekbones, jaw, and the rest of your face—we strongly recommend you wear complete face protection every time you're competing on the ice.
Consequently, you need to know how to install or replace your hockey visor or cage. Knowing how to maintain this equipment will also extend its life and help it perform to your advantage. Luckily, it's not hard for the new-to-hockey player to learn how to do.
HOW TO INSTALL A VISOR ON A HOCKEY HELME
Whatever visor you buy should include installation instructions in the box. If not, you can probably find a video that will show you how to install your particular visor on your helmet. If neither is available to you, don't worry. Helmets are designed logically, and they’re made for easy visor installation.
The most complicated aspect of installing your visor will likely be mounting the brackets that hold it on the helmet. Typically, visors attach at both temples with pairs of screws. Some visors come with their own bracket mounting systems, so you may need to remove the screws in the helmet to use the visor hardware. But it's easy. Get out your cordless drill and proceed with confidence.
Some visors, particularly the longer ones, may attach at the center of the forehead, usually with a pair of screws. Again, installation is designed to be simple.
One good tip is not to seat the screws all the way initially, because you'll want to adjust the visor for a perfect, safe fit. Many mounting systems include slots through which the screws insert, allowing the visor to be adjusted to your face. Once you have your visor best situated, then seat the screws tightly.
If the visor is a full face model like Bauer's Concept III the chin fit is key. The chin should fit snugly into the chin cup—even if you see professional players with slack in their chin strap.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOCKEY VISOR FROM FOGGING AND SCRATCHING
A persistent issue with hockey visors is fogging. The last thing you need is to be swiping at the inside of your visor so you can see the flow of the offense. Air circulation is critical. Many of the larger visors—those over four inches in length—include vents. Vents obviously will help keep your visor from fogging up.
Try using an anti-fog spray; many are available. These can be effective at preventing water from condensing on a given surface. Most players spray the inside and outside of the visor before the game and experience little to no fogging after application.
If you're in a pinch, the word on the street is other products can also work—baby shampoo and even furniture polish may also help your visor resist fogging.
Your visor and helmet may be the most important pieces of equipment you or your child will wear. Luckily, they're remarkably simple to manage. The visor is easy to install and even easier to maintain.
In an interview with NHL.com, Anaheim Ducks Equipment Manager Doug Shearer sums it up:
"...(W)e go through every guy who wears a visor and clean the visor with an anti-fog treatment. If there are any scratches on the visor that are in the field of vision, we'll replace it. When we travel, we always make sure the visors are in a helmet bag to keep them from getting scratched. Mostly, we try to keep visors clean and avoid scratches."
There you have it. Keep your helmet in a bag when you're not wearing it. Sure, it requires some extra attention if you’re not already in the habit, but you’ll be rewarded with clear vision and better plays. Apply some anti-fog spray before the game. True, you might not have an equipment manager to maintain your equipment or install your new or replacement visor, but we're confident you're more than adequate to the task.