How to buy first full ice hockey equipment for beginners buyers guide
In this article we’ll be taking you through all of the essential pieces of equipment you need, and most importantly what you need to know about them before you start playing hockey.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Hockey Skates
The amount you intend to send playing hockey will also help to determine if you should spend a little more on a higher level skate. (the more you play, the better skate you’ll need to invest in)
The bigger your build, the more you’ll need to spend on your first skates. This will ensure you get an the required level of support.
Different models within the same range offer more support as you go up in price.
Different manufactures fit slightly different so be sure to try them on before you buy.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Shorts
Selecting a pair of hockey shorts that first your specific build it key. There are different fits and styles of shorts to suit different players builds and also position on the ice, so try to think about where you want to play on the ice. Although this isn’t essential for your first pair as most shorts offer good all round protection and mobility.
Moving up in price within the same range will give you more support and protection, excellent for additional protector required for checking or full contact hockey.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Leg and shin pads
With the fitting make sure your knee sits in the middle of the knee cup when when you have them in place and also some people like to put their shin guard over the tongue of the skate and some like to put them just inside the skate but either way you don’t want them too long and interfering with your skates
During fitting your leg pads, ensure your knee cap sits right in the middle of the knee cup and protection inside the leg pads.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Elbow pads
You always want these to fit well, the ideal play for the elbow to finish close but not under the cuff of your glove. This will offer the most protection from slashing and still give you great mobility in your hands.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Body armour
Everyone likes different body armour, some like very small body armour that isn’t bulky at all, while others prefer bigger shoulders cups for more protection. For your first pair, make sure you shoulders fit in the middle of the cups. I would recommend getting something that isn’t too bulky but still offers good protection.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Hockey Gloves
Fitting is key with gloves, measure from the inside of your elbow to the start of your fingers for a good gauge on the size you will need in inches.
Types of gloves – You have the wider more traditional 4 roll glove that are a wider fit. Then you get the modern tapered glove that give a much more snug fit around the hand.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Hockey Stick
Hockey stick curve – With so many to choose from, the best thing to do is get a neutral curve. The more you play, the more you will get a feel for what you need from your stick.
Hockey Stick flexand length – The flex and length are something that need to be selected carefully, purchasing the wrong flex or length could restrict your development and learning on the ice. You’ll want the stick length to come up somewhere between your chin and nose while standing in your skate. The flex needs to allow you to use the full potential of the stick without it being to stiff or loose. These are ground rules for you to learn the basics with, it will always come down to personal preference.
Left or right hand
Normally your strongest hand goes at the top of the stick, but it’s what ever you feel most comfy with. If your left hand is at top of the stick, you would use a right handed stick, if your right hand is at the top you would use a left handed stick (crazy I know)
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Hockey Helmet
Everyone’s head is a different shape, so the best thing to do is try a couple different makes of helmets on to see what is the best fits you. The helmet isn’t a piece of equipment that you want fitting badly, it’s protecting an important part of the body. When starting out I would always recommend a cage for the helmet (you need to wear one if you are under 18 in the UK) As you get better and the level you play improves, perhaps then look at getting a visor.
How To Buy First Hockey Equipment – Mouth Guard
Don’t forget to pick up a mouth guard.
These will not prevent you from loosing teeth, they are to prevent you from sustaining a concussion.
The small bits
Don’t forget to get a protective cup or jock! Most of these come in a pair of shorts now that help hold up your hockey socks. You will also need some sweats or under armour and a hockey jersey with some hockey socks to finish off all your equipment.
Most people are different sizes and most different manufacturers of equipment make their kit in different shapes. For your first kit, I would always recommend you go and try your kit on. Most good hockey shops will have someone to make sure you get the correct size and level equipment.