If you’ve been involved with the sport of wrestling for a long time, you’ve probably got some wrestling gear that’s seen better days. How do you know if your gear is just comfortably broken in or if it’s so worn out that it needs to be replaced? Here are some guidelines.
- Wrestling singlets. Your singlet is one of the most important things to show your intentions and respect for your sport, so you want to make sure to keep it in top shape. Take care of your singlet by keeping it clean and it should last you a while. But make sure to keep an eye on any weaknesses in the fabric. Once your singlet begins to wear through and tear, or even if it gets stains that you can’t get out, it’s time to get a new one so that refs can see that you take your sport seriously.
- Wrestling headgear. Your headgear is what protects your ears during a match, so you want to be sure it’s functioning properly. You definitely don’t want to end up with cauliflower ear! So inspect your headgear regularly for any signs of breakage or weakening of the straps and get new headgear when you notice any tears.
- Wrestling shoes. High-quality wrestling shoes tend to last a year or two depending on the beating you give them on the mat. You should plan to have two pairs of wrestling shoes: one for matches and one for practice. When your competition shoes start showing signs of damage like worn soles or small tears, it’s time to turn them into practice shoes and purchase a new pair of shoes for matches and tournaments.
- Knee pads. You may not put much thought into your knee pads, but they can wear out just like anything else. Don’t let them get to the point of breaking. Be sure to notice when the foam or fabric begins to wear down and purchase a new pair before the hard plastic pokes through the foam and causes pain and injury.
As long as you’re making quick regular inspections of your equipment, you’ll be in tune with the shape it’s in and you’ll recognize right away when you need a replacement. Pay attention to your instincts with this as with everything else, and you’ll be a step ahead of the competition!