Buying Pro Hockey Stuff
Make sure the equipment protects you
Hockey is one of the fastest and most dangerous sports in the world and you can enjoy it on the field, street, high school gym, pond, and in the rink. If you're out for a fun game with the neighborhood kids you really only need a stick and a pair of skates or shoes, but once you get into any kind of organized game you should make sure that you are well protected at all times.
It's foolish to disregard any piece of hockey equipment because you may only be playing in a recreational or non contact league. Some of hockey's worst injuries occur in these games because players aren't always properly protected or prepared for any physical contact. You don't have to be on the receiving end of a body check to get seriously hurt. Pucks, skates and sticks are flying around at face level and a fall to the ice or into the boards can easily break your bones, badly bruise you or tear your ligaments. You don't have control over most of the action during a hockey game and you never know when you may be unintentionally hit by a body, hockey puck or stick, or even by the referee or a team mate.
There's no point in putting on a 20-year-old piece of equipment if it doesn't protect your body. If you're going to wear equipment make sure that it offers you the padding you need and that it fits you properly. Many hockey careers have been ended in a pickup or recreational game. The pros know how to protect themselves because it's their livelihood. You should protect yourself because it's your life.
Player Equipment - Sizing, Info, Recommendations
- The helmet should fit snugly but comfortably on the head.
- Your chin should fit as much as possible on the chin guard (If there is a cage).
- Remember, helmets are adjustable.
- Pads should fit snugly and comfortably.
- Shoulders should be aligned in shoulder guards.
- Bottom of arm pads should not overlap elbow pads.
Recommended: Itech, Recommended for Women: Louisville TPS 808 Female Shoulder Pads, Itech
- Measure the length between your shoulder pad and the cuff of your glove. This measurement will be the size elbow pad that is appropriate.
- There shouldn't be any space between the top of the glove and the bottom of the elbow pad.
- There also shouldn't be a gap between the arms of the shoulder pads and top of the elbow pads.
- If you use a glove with a low cuff, remember to look for a longer elbow pad to compensate for the extra space.
- Make sure the glove fits comfortably.
- There is a wide variation in styles of gloves, longer to shorter cuffs. Shorter cuffs provide "easier" maneuverability for stick-handling, but leave you open to slashing.
- Check for a pliable, yet durable, palm.
- Add approximately 6" (15cm) to your actual waist size to come up with a pant size. If you like a big fitting pant, add 8" (20cm).
Recommended for Women: Itech Style#HP6000W, TPS Luiosville Female 810 Pant, Tackla W880 Women's Pant
- Measure the distance from the center of your knee to the top of your skate boot. This is the length of shin guard you should purchase.
- Some shin guards have built-in straps to hold it onto your leg, I prefer these. Alternatively, you can buy shin straps or use tape (on the outside of your socks!).
Recommended for Women: Rage Women's Series Shin Guards-DR
- Your toes should barely brush the toe of the skate when your heel is all the way back.
- Wear the type of sock you will wear when playing. Some players opt to not wear socks, in this case use a nylon (most stores won't let you try on skates/shoes with bare feet).
What is your shoe size?
- For CCM skates find your athletic shoe size and subtract 1 shoe size. For women, this size is 2 to 2 1/2 sizes smaller. This is your CCM skate size.
- For Bauer and Nike find your athletic shoe size and subtract 1 1/2 shoe sizes. For women, this size is 2 1/2 to 3 sizes smaller (yes, 3!). This is your Bauer or Nike skate size.
The height of the stick should reach to your chin when you have your skates on.
Jock/jill, neck guard, mouth guard, wrist guard, and shin straps are all optional (except in some leagues the neck guard and mouth guard are mandatory) and should fit comfortably.
Recommended for Women: WSI Women's HockeyJOC short, Women's Short With Pelvic Protector-ITECH, ITECH Jill Mesh Short with pelvic protector
Hockey equipment has kept up with the changes and it is now built for the modern day player. The equipment is now manufactured out of stronger and lighter materials such as Kevlar and graphite and more comfort and protective padding has been added. Some articles of hockey equipment such as helmets and hockey masks are government tested to help prevent concussions.
Most other articles of hockey equipment are now bigger and stronger than ever but are also lighter. You can be fully protected from head to toe if you buy the necessary accessories such as mouthguards, throat protectors and ankle guards.
Some hockey purists say that equipment makers may have gone too far in their eagerness to keep up with the times and are blaming certain articles of equipment for causing serious injury because of their strength and hardness.
Hockey is one of the fastest and roughest sports in the world so you should comfortably try and protect as many body parts as you can without hindering your movement and flexibility. But remember, hockey equipment is worn to protect you from the hazards of the game. It should never be used to try and injure an opponent.