What You Need To Know About Your First Ice Hockey Equipment
Ice hockey is one of the most enjoyable of all winter past times, especially in the northern areas. In some parts of the United States and Canada, ice hockey isn’t just a past time or a serious sport, but rather a way of life that borders almost on being a religion and most assuredly an obsession. One of the best things about hockey is that for all of its potential multi-layered complexity, it is at its core a very simple game that can be played by as little as half-dozen players or as many as you wish to include. In truth, the purity of it as a past time that can be enjoyed equally on both a professional grade ice surface or even just a backyard rink or frozen pond is one of the major draws for many.
If you are planning on playing hockey this upcoming winter then you should start now with buying the proper gear to play both effectively and safely. It’s best to buy your hockey gear out of season to get the best deals.
This is especially true if you are on a tight budget as you do not want to skimp on quality.
Hockey is a fun sport, but it can also be very dangerous if you are not using the right gear. Let’s start by looking at the most obvious items that you will need to play.
Ice Hockey sticks
Ice hockey sticks are pretty simple when you get down to it. A shaft of either composite material, aluminum, or even wood (for those die-hard purists) with an aluminum, graphite, or wood “blade” (that’s the curved part) on the end. The stick is your primary play tool. While you want a good one that will not break, and which offers balanced control, it’s not necessary when just staying out to go for the best of the best.
Ice Hockey Skates
Ice hockey skates, on the other hand, should be the best that you can afford on your budget. It should also be noted that hockey skates are not the same as recreational skates or figure skating skates. The difference is far more than aesthetic or “being more macho” they are actually physically different than the other types of skates. Hockey skates are designed with the rigors, speed, and agility of the game in mind and as such have different blade properties and more support and padding to help protect the wearer during long periods of intense play.
Of course, there are other considerations to have when buying your equipment. Protective gear, both in the form of actual pads and other ice hockey protection to protect you while playing the game, as well as proper ice hockey clothing to protect you from the elements while playing (especially important when playing outdoors) is essential. Here are a couple of lists of items that you should acquire for playing hockey, even if it’s just amateur games in local parks or you won backyard. These items will help to protect you and make playing the game more enjoyable and safer for you and your friends or family.
Ice Hockey Protection
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads
- Athletic supporter (for males)
- Separate Athletic Cup with Support Pocket Garment (for males)
*ensure this is rated for hockey/lacrosse/football
- Hockey Helmet
- Hockey Gloves
- Mouth Guard
- Wrist wraps
Ice Hockey Clothing
- Long Underwear (unionsuits are best as they move with you and don’t gape. Wear a pair of thermals over them if needed for extreme weather.)
- Moisture wicking socks for the base layer, long tube socks to go over them
- Medium weight sweatpants with lots of leg and crotch room for movement
- Hockey shorts if you desire
- Hockey jersey if you desire
- Medium weight sweatshirt or hoodie with plenty of arm movement
- A knit cap to wear over your helmet for extreme cold weather situations to help hold heat in.
*NEVER wear the knit cap under your helmet as it will significantly reduce the helmet’s effectiveness.
Hockey is one of the most popular winter past times, and being properly outfitted with the right gear is one of the best ways you can ensure that you are able to enjoy it effectively as well as safely. Remember to buy the best that you can afford when it comes to helmets, skates and impact point pads. Buy out of season to get the best deals, and don’t be afraid to buy from outlets such as eBay where you can get brand new equipment at a significant markdown. The most important thing is to get out there and have fun and be safe.