Buy Goalie Equipment
Sizing, Info, Recommendations
Being a good goalie doesn't mean you have to have the most expensive equipment on the market, goalie equipment is expensive enough as it is, but you should take great care in selecting your equipment for sizing, your "style", and durability.
Selecting the proper mask will go a long way in improving your game. When I first became a goalie, I selected a mask that was way too big for me and I had a lot of problems that I didn't even realize until I got a mask that fits properly.
- It is recommended that all goaltenders wear CSA and HECC certified masks. All CSA and HECC certified mask have a sticker indicating their certification.
- The top edge of the opening in the front of the face mask should be 1/4 of an inch above the eyebrow.
- All chin straps should be snug and the chin should rest as much as possible in the chin rest provided.
- The foam inside the mask should snugly fit around the head, but not too tightly as to cut off circulation. A good rule of thumb is to place your fingers in through the cage of the mask at the temples, they should slide in with just a bit of tightness.
My favorite type of mask is the Olie. It offers excellent padding and protection, fits great and is lightweight. Itech (junior or senior) makes a great mask as well, they also offer masks with Kevlar protection, perfect for goalies facing harder shots.
Your chest protector should have protection for the shoulders, elbows and top of your arms as well as protection for your chest and stomach area. If you have weak protection in these other areas, it will result in (more) bruises and numbing pain while playing -- which is not a good thing when you have to be ready for another shot!
- Measure your chest just below the arm pits. You should have a good range of motion. To test, lift your arms above shoulder height -- ensure the pads do not dig into the neck.
- The sleeves should reach down to the wrist. It is acceptable for the sleeves to slide up a bit, the blocker and trapper should extend far enough to cover a slight gap.
Personally, I prefer Bauer for chest protection. They have an excellent full line with good prices.
If your trapper is too loose, it could cause control and stick-handling problems. I like to have a very snug trapper when first buying it -- eventually the trapper will break in, causing a good fit. Remember, you also need to use your trapper hand when stick-handling the puck!
- The hand should fit snugly into the palm of the glove.
- Properly tighten all straps.
- The "blocker" part of the trapper, the part that extends over the wrist, should extend to cover the bottom part of the sleeve of your chest protector. No gaps!
There are many different styles of blockers, most importantly you should make sure the palm is durable yet comfortable, and you have excellent hand and wrist protection as well as a good sized blocker surface.
- The blocker should fit loosely. Some have straps to tighten around the wrist to ensure it doesn't fall off during play. The tightness of the strap is up to you.
- The palm should allow you to grip the goalie stick properly.
- The blocker should extend past the bottom of the sleeve of your chest protector. No gaps!
- There should be durable protection on the thumb-side of the blocker.
Goalie pants should fit much the same as regular player pants, but goalie pants have much more protection on the inner and outer thighs. Some styles also have a lower waist to allow for better movement with the chest protector.
- 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).
- The bottom of the pants should rest just above the knee. When you drop to your knees, the pants will rise up, leaving the part above your knee unprotected (this is where knee-guards are useful). Try to minimize this area while still having a good fit.
Goalie pads are easily one of the most important pieces of goalie equipment you will own. Many factors come in to play when choosing them: comfort, protection, fit, style and design.
An easy way to properly estimate a goaltender's size for a pair of goal pads is to take the following three measurements:
- Floor to mid-point of knee cap - _________" (A)
- Mid-point of kneecap to desired height on thigh - _________" (B)
- Skate size - _________ x 0.75 = _________ (C)
- The estimated size of pads would then be (A) (B) (C)
- Important: Make sure the pads are relative to your style of play. Pads are cut differently for butterfly style and stand-up style goalies. Talk to a knowledgable sales person if you are unsure.
- Always fit goal pads while wearing skates.
- Kneel down and make sure that your knee is in the middle of the knee roll.
- The top of the knee pad should extend above the knee by about 4 inches
- Ensure the pad has effective protection on the inside of the knee and leg.
- Some goalie pads have built-in removable knee guards. Make sure they are durable and cover the unprotected area.
- 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).
- Your toes should barely brush the toe of the skate when your heel is all the way back.
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.
Proper stick size is extremely important. The length of the paddle, lie of the stick, curve of the blade and length of the shaft are all paramount to proper sizing.
- Beginning goalies should start off with a relatively straight stick. The bigger the curve, tougher it is to poke check, stop the puck, control rebounds and stick-handle the puck.
- In your stance (with skates on) rest the stick blade flat on the floor. The end of the shaft should not be higher than your shoulder. (Important: Never cut a goalie stick -- they are designed to be balanced, cutting the stick will throw it off.).
- In your stance (with skates on) rest the stick blade flat on the floor. Your blocker should be positioned between the waist and the bottom knee roll on the pad.
- The lie signifies the angle the blade is on. The higher the lie number, the closer the blocker hand is to the body and further from the ice. Use what is comfortable for you, with proper positioning
Recommended: Bauer, Vic. Intermediate (and Women): Sherwood
Other accessories are important to goalies too. Jocks/jills, knee guards (optional), and neck protection are all important pieces in a goalie's ensemble. Sizing for these are generally measured by comfort and protected area.