Just starting out or thinking about playing ice hockey ?
One of the most confusing things when beginning to take up the sport is the equipment, there is so much to consider due to the vast selection of gear from all the different brands and models out there. With this article I hope to clear up the main questions beginners may have when buying their first ice hockey kit.
How much will a full ice hockey kit cost?
Lets break down the cost of each piece of equipment while adding in a few tips and points to remember when shopping.
Ice Hockey Skates
Your skates are the most important piece of your entire ice hockey kit, its critical that you get this aspect of your equipment correct, in order to do this you need to choose the pair of skates the fits you correctly rather than the pair of skates you like the look of.
Points to keep in mind – different skate brands have different fits and sizes, not all sizes are the same across the different brands i.e. size 9 in a Graf skate is not totally the same as a size 9 in a CCM skate, This is why its so important to go into a store and try on the skates rather than jumping on a cheap online sale.
Skate brands also differ in width, same skates have wider fits when compared to others i.e. Bauer Vapor has a narrow fit compared to Bauer Supreme, so if you have wide feet, a Supreme skate may fit you much more comfortably.
Weight, build and skill
Your build plays a vital role in selecting your skates, if you have a big build you will need a skate stiffer (or higher level) than the average in order to properly support you on the ice. Selecting a skate with insufficient support will result in premature breakdown of the skate resulting in you buying another pair and wasting money, its best to get it right the first time and save yourself time and hassle.
The amount of use the skates will get will also determine what level of skate you require (which refers to the level of stiffness the skate will have). Once you advance, skill level will also determines which skate you require.
Junior players – £100-150
Medium size players (under 5’10 and 12 Stone) – £200-250
Big build players (13 stone plus) – £300-350
How to select your first pair of hockey skates
Hockey Skates Stiffness for beginners
Hockey Stick Guide Full Guide – CLICK HERE
Price for beginners – £20-50
A key point to remember is that when your buying your hockey pads, get what you require and NOT what you’ve seen on TV / the latest gear out. Unless you are playing full contact hockey (full check) you do not need top end equipment as its been designed for full contact hockey. Buying these pads will only leave you with less money in your pocket without any results on the ice. Top end kits will also weigh more than intermediate and beginner level kit (more weight will only slow your development down).
As you go up in model or even buy specific brands, you may find yourself spending money simply for the name of the manufacturer of your kit. Bigger names will mean bigger price tags, with hockey pads, 90% of the equipment is all the same regardless of brand, there may be a few alterations in how they fit and the designs of them but in essence, its all the same stuff,. So don’t be ripped off buying the latest Bauer kits.
The main areas you can expect to improve as you go up in models or levels of kit from the same manufacturer are:
Protection (as the level of contact may increase as you develop)
Mobility – the equipment becomes much easier to move around in
Weight – more padding will result in weight increase
Design – the more you pay, the better it looks
Price for beginners – £30-50
Price for beginners – £60-75
Price for beginners – £40-50
Knee and shin pads
Price for beginners – £50-60
Helmet and grill or cage
Price for beginners – £60-80
Price for beginners – £50-60
A tip when shopping is to (where possible) buy all equipment from the same brand, this will always save money as mixing and matching normally always works out more expensive (hockey suppliers and stores give discount when buying a full kit from one brand).
Total cost of first kit – £650 to £700 (based on a player 5’9 of medium build)