You can’t get out on the ice if you don’t have the right ice hockey equipment. If you want to pick out a specific piece of gear, then click on one of our buying guides above. If you are just getting started and want to learn a little bit about what each piece of gear is and why you need it, then keep reading. But make sure to bookmark this page and come back to check out our reviews as well.
If you’ve gotten this far in Ice Hockey 101 then you probably know what a stick is. Choosing the right one can be tough for the beginner player though. It is more important at the beginning stages to get a stick that is fit properly than it is to get one that is the best brand or model.
Youth players are going to be growing fast and you will want to be able to get sticks that match their growth. So rather than spending a lot of money on one stick, budget for frequent replacements as they grow.
Ice Hockey Skates
The single most important piece of equipment you will own. You might try out hundreds of different types and styles of sticks over a lifetime of playing ice hockey, but you’ll only have a hand full of different skates if you choose them correctly and take care of them. Comfort and support are the two main things you want to look for in a skate. Make sure it fits you right and make sure it has enough support for the level of play you will be engaging in.It can be tempting to buy bigger skates for youth players and tell them to wear thick socks. This is not a good idea. That will lead to foot pain, blisters, and an overall miserable time on the ice. It would be better to get less expensive skates, even used, that fit correctly than to try and “buy big” and let them grow into it.
If the skates are the most important piece of equipment for playing well, the helmet is the most important piece of equipment for ensuring that you can continue to keep playing. This is one piece of gear that you do not want to buy used. The protective foam inside the helmet deteriorates over time and becomes less protective. Helmets also need to be fit properly or risk causing even greater injury.
Gloves have to be soft and comfortable and allow you to have precise control of your stick at all times, yet at the same time stand up to a two handed slash to your hand. Beginner players should start with the less expensive cloth variety of gloves. After playing for some time you may want to upgrade to leather gloves. They can be more protective, less prone to ripping, and have a softer feel once you break them in.
Hockey pants are a type of protective gear that covers from just above the knee to just above the waist. They are called pants even though they look more like shorts. Along the front pieces of hard plastic protective covering built into the fabric that is intended to prevent injury from pucks, sticks, and anything else that may hit a player’s thighs. They also have padding along the sides of the thigh and the tailbone to prevent injuries from falling on the ice. Finally, most good hockey pants will have additional padding above the waist that wraps around a player’s abdomen and protects the lower back, ribs, and midsection.
Shin guards in ice hockey are much bigger and stronger than shin guards in other sports such as soccer. They cover from the top of the skates all the way up to and including the knee. They protect a player against injury from pucks and sticks generally. They also protect your knees in the event of a fall or when you might intentionally kneel or slide to block a shot. Players that usually play defense generally get more protective shin guards as they are more likely to be hit with shots, either intentionally blocking them or just being in the way.
Shoulder pads protect your shoulders. As you can see the names are pretty easy to figure out. Whether you are playing in a league that allows body checking or not, shoulder pads are important. In addition to protecting the shoulders during collisions with other players, shoulder pads also consist of a chest plate and back plate that protect a player from high shots or sticks hitting them in those areas. It is important to ensure that your shoulder pads.
Elbow pads do most of their work when a payer ends up falling backwards or crashes into the boards or another player. The ice is hard and a broken elbow is no fun. They can be a little tricky to find a pair that have just the right balance between comfort, mobility, and protection.
The jock (or Jill as it is called for women) protects the groin area. This is a highly important piece of gear and choice is highly based on personal preference. Make sure you get one that offers enough protection and fits perfectly. You’ll be happy you did.
You may not think about your hockey bag as a piece of equipment but it can be more important than you think. Look at all the gear we just named above. Now remember that you need to carry all that stuff to every game, practice, and open hockey session that you go to. If you never saw a hockey bag before, they tend to look like giant duffel bags. Find one you like and that fits all your gear. They come in carry bags or the rolling variety.
Don’t forget this. A mouth guard protects more than just your teeth. It helps prevent or lessen the effect of concussions as well. It is an essential piece of gear.
Get some hockey tape. You will use this for everything from taping your stick to fixing a strap on your shoulder pads. It is invaluable. It comes in a bunch of different colors. To start, just get a couple rolls of black and a couple rolls of white. No need to get fancy just yet.
A Note About Buying Gear Online
Hockey is an expensive sport and we want to make it accessible to as many people as possible so we try to find the best places to get the best prices on ice hockey gear.Buying your hockey gear online can frequently make it easier to find the most affordable prices but may leave you worried about not being able to try it on. We only recommend online retail sites that have friendly return policies so you can feel comfortable finding the best deals without worrying about being stuck with ill fitting gear. Check out our buying and fitting guides and make the best decision you can for you or your youth player. Then make sure to try on or test the gear well before playing with it.