What Hockey Gear Do I need?
Becoming a good hockey player demands the proper equipment. Due to minor differences between hockey leagues, your team might require more or less equipment. In this guide, we will cover the basic equipment every hockey player should wear head-to-toe.
Helmets are a crucial piece of protection when playing hockey. In order to maximize protection, we recommend spending extra money to get a good quality helmet that fits your head perfectly. Most leagues require full cages to protect the face from the occasional flying stick or puck. These cages help reduce mouth injuries but do not necessarily help to prevent them.
Hockey Mouth Guard
A good way to protect your mouth from injuries is investing in a proper fitting mouth guard specifically designed for hockey. Mouth guards can vary from $10 dollars, to a few $100 dollars if purchased from a dentist's office. Although it is not mandatory, we highly recommend purchasing a mouth guard as they are an inexpensive way to protect your teeth. In addition, mouth guards have been shown to help prevent concussions. For optimal breathability and protection, we recommend the Nxtrnd Rush and Nxtrnd Classic sports mouth guard.
Hockey Neck Guard
Neck guards support your neck and reduce injuries to the neck when contact between players is made. Furthermore, they also protect from the possible contact of a hockey stick or skate blade to the throat area. If you are a new player, we recommend getting one just to be safe.
Hockey Shoulder Pads
Shoulder pads are designed to protect the shoulders, chest, and upper back area of a player in the chance that a collision may occur. Even though most leagues are non-contact, having the proper protection equipment won't harm you. Depending on your personal preference, shoulder pads come in two versions; bulky and thin. If you're a new player or a young player that falls alot, we recommend getting a pair of bulky shoulder pads that fit well, without restricting movement. If you're an experienced player, we recommend getting a thin pair allowing for better mobility.
Hockey Elbow Pads
Whether you are a beginner or professional, elbow pads are a very good investment as most falls result in your elbows absorbing the brunt of the fall. A good pair of pads protect the elbows, as well as part of the forearm and tricep from falls, slashes, and hooks from other players. Since elbow pads assist you with getting up after a fall so that you can continue practicing, we recommend a good pair of elbow pads.
If your serious about hockey, you will need a good pair of gloves. Everyone has their personal preferences when picking gloves but the most common factor you should look into include:
- Fit (Loose or Snug)
Hockey pants are worn to protect the hips, kidneys, thighs and tailbone against hard shots, slashes and hits. For optimal protection, you want to look for a properly fitting pant with reduced sagging, but big enough to cover the gap between the shin pads and pants.
A jock (for men) or jill (for women) protect the important parts of hockey players. There are 2 different options available; the old style also known as a garter belt or the new style of compression shorts with velcro. We recommend the new velcro style for added comfort.
Hockey Shin Pads
Shin pads are designed to protect your shins from hockey sticks and pucks as well as protect your knees from the ice when falling. Getting the right size is important so there are no bare gaps between the skates and shin pads. One of the most painful and common spot to get hit with a puck is right where the skate meets the bottom of the shin guard. In order to reduce the chances of obtaining such injuries, we recommend purchasing a pair with the proper fit leaving very little room between the skate and shin pad.
A comfortable pair of skates is a must for any hockey player. Here are a few pointers you might want to look for when shopping for your pair:
- The right size (width and length. It's important to keep in mind that skates usually fit a size or 2 smaller than shoes.
- Heat molded to foot for optimal fit (most store will offer the service)
- Sharpened blades
In addition, make sure that the skates are properly sharpened before going on the ice for the first time. We recommend buying skates at a shop and getting them properly fitted in order to maximize support and skating abilities.
Similar to skates, hockey sticks are also an important piece of an athletes equipment. A well fitted stick is determined by the length, flex and handedness of the player.
In most cases, the dominant hand goes on the top of the stick since most of the stick handling movements come from the top. If you're right handed, you should left and vice-versa.
To determine the right stick length, the stick should arrive under the chin when skates are on. This stick length encourages proper stance when playing a game and will ensure maximum power transmission when stick handling.