Ice hockey is a sport extremely popular in countries such as Canada, Russia, and the United States of America. Typically known as a winter sport it has increased in popularity in many more countries. Indoor hockey rings are popping up all around the globe.
In order for you to start taking part in the popular sport, you have to be fully prepped in gear. Equipment that is needed by ice hockey players are; hockey pucks, gloves, shin pads, skates, helmets, shoulder pads, jock, mouthguard, elbow pads, and special hockey clothes.
The equipment list might put you off from even participating at all. That’s why we’ll make it easy for any beginner ice hockey players through our complete buyer’s guide. When you’re an experienced player – we’ll go in-depth about the key factors you have to consider when buying gear.
At the top of your list should be skates. Without them you won’t be able to glide on the ice. Just like you won’t be able to run on land without trainers.
Don’t compromise quality over cost. Your skates are very important as they provide support for your foot. Cheap skates can buckle and wobble and won’t support your weight. Investing in a decent pair of ice skates will prevent injury and can even improve your performance and speed.
Buy skates that are the right fit for your foot. If you are an adult, the skates should fit your feet perfectly. Not too tight or too loose. When you put your foot in a skate without the laces being tightened, you should be able to put one finger behind your foot. This is the perfect fit.
Many kid’s skates are adjustable. This means that they will be able to grow between 3-4 sizes with the skates on. As soon as they are too tight, it’s time to invest in new ones.
Try on skates with the same socks you will be wearing them in.
The puck is very hard. When hit with full force it can injure your body. Protective gear is important to protecting bones. Shin pads are one of the most vital protective ice hockey guards.
The most important aspect of shin pads is their length. They need to cover the entirety of your front leg. Your shin guard length is measured from the top of your ankle to the middle of your knee.
Try on a few different sizes to make sure they fit perfectly. When you walk around, they shouldn’t slide off or rotate. You should be able to securely fasten them. Shin guards shouldn’t be fastened too tightly. Make sure they fit comfortably by fitting 2 fingers underneath the guard.
Your hockey stick will become an extension of your arm. Without this piece of equipment, you won’t be able to play at all. When picking a hockey stick you have to consider all of the following key factors:
Sticks are made from a variety of materials including Aluminum, Fiberglass, Wood, Kevlar, and Carbon Fiber.
Aluminum was the first material used after wood. Shafts of the sticks are made with aluminum and wooden blades are inserted into the shaft. They are more durable than wood, but not as light as Kevlar. Professional players don’t typically use sticks made from aluminum.
Fiberglass sticks are made from wood and coated with a fiberglass exterior. The fiberglass coating provides a more durable and stronger stick. These sticks aren’t as high-quality, but they are great for beginners and cost-effective.
Wooden sticks are the original material used for hockey sticks. Not as popular today, though, as they tend to splinter and break. Many sticks use wood combined with other materials as reinforcers.
Kevlar is a strong synthetic fiber that is resistant to heat. The fiber is used in a variety sporting equipment ranging from tires to bulletproof vests. It’s also lightweight and insanely strong. When mixed with other materials it is an extremely durable material used by many pro athletes.
Carbon fiber is used in many professional ice hockey player’s sticks. High quality and expensive sticks are made from 100% carbon fiber.
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The best way to measure your stick is to put on your skates and then hold the stick to your body with the blade on the floor. When it is a few inches shorter than where your chin is, it’s a short stick. When it touches your chin, it’s an average stick, and when it reaches your eyes, it’s a long stick.
There isn’t a specific height your stick should be, it all depends on your technique. Some professional players use a variety of different height sticks, depending on their gameplay.
It’s best to start out with an average height stick.
A variety of different curved hockey sticks can be found. The curve is the part on the blade that is slightly bent. The curve can be found at either the heel, middle, or toe of the blade.
Whether it’s curved to the left or right, depends on the player’s dominant hand. Deciding which curve, you want in your hockey stick will depend on your personal preference and playing style.
This refers to the firmness of the stick. Whether it has a little bit of bend or not. The percentage of flex refers to the force needed to bend the shaft one inch. When a stick is 90Flex it means that it needs 90 pounds of force to be able to bend one inch. It’s recommended to start with a stick which flex is half your weight.
Helmets protect your nugget from serious concussions. High-end helmets come with suspension technology, foam fit, and weightlessness.
Click here to learn more about how you can select the perfect hockey helmet.
When it comes to ice hockey gear you get what you pay for. Higher quality equipment is usually much more durable and more expensive. Since the gear will ultimately protect you against the force of the puck, it’s important that you invest in good quality protection.