Hockey is a fast paced, physical game so you’ll need the proper hockey equipment to get started. There are so many pieces of hockey equipment and many different lines the entire process may become overwhelming.
From something as small as a set of elbow pads to your helmet which may be the most important piece of equipment in your entire bag, we’re here to help you find every piece of equipment you need to get started.
If you’re looking for the best hockey equipment, we recommend you check out Dangle and Snipe Hockey. They specialize in hockey equipment for players and goalies in both roller and ice hockey.
Let’s start from the top and move down. The hockey helmet can be considered the most important piece of safety equipment you wear. This is because it protects your head from any damage.
In a physical game like hockey, head protection is extremely important. Many helmets now have a brace in the back of your head in order to keep your head from making direct contact with the ice if you were to fall backwards.
The padding in helmets are also much thicker than they used to be. The foam padding absorbs the shocks from hits, falls and blocked shots, keeping your head protected and safe.
Comfort is a big part of playing hockey so you want a helmet that allows you to adjust the sides. For some hockey helmets, the sides have latches that allow you expand or contract the size of the helmet to properly fit your head.
There are several popular hockey helmets such as Jofa and CCM but, by far, the most used hockey helmet is Bauer. Bauer has dominated hockey helmets for over a decade and there are no signs of them slowing down.
Many people think the mouth guard is to protect your teeth but that’s not true. A mouth guard is used to prevent concussion. It sounds weird but allow us to explain.
When you get hit and fall, you’re supposed to bite down on the mouth guard. Then your head hits the ice, the shock is mostly absorbed through the mouth guard rather than your brain. Who would have thought that something so small could be so important?
Wearing a neck guard has been mandatory for youth hockey players since 2008. They can be made of a soft foam or a hard piece of plastic. Which one you get is completely up to you.
It’s obvious that the foam neck guard is more comfortable while the plastic one offers more protection. Both can be used legally so either option is acceptable.
There’s also a shirt option that has a built-in neck guard. These fit extremely comfortably and have a collar that extends to cover your neck. This is great option if you don’t like the feel of a typical neck guard.
Shoulder pads do more than just protect your shoulders. They’re the largest piece of equipment and cover most of the upper half of your body including your spine, sternum, ribs and shoulder blades.
When choosing proper shoulder pads, you’re looking for something that covers your spine and sternum with a hard piece of plastic. Since a puck or stick could hit you up there, you want something that can withstand that stress.
Also, mobility is crucial for hockey players. If your entire upper body is restricted, you’re not going to be able to keep up with the competition.
CCM, Easton, Bauer and Mission all make solid shoulder pads. You should give them a look and determine which is best for your style of play.
Elbow pads are often the forgotten piece of hockey equipment. They’re not very comfortable and cover only a small part of your body.
That being said, without wearing your elbow pads, you can chip, fracture or break your elbow very easily. You take them for granted and don’t understand their worth until you play a game without them.
If you’re looking for elbow pads, consider those that cover parts of your forearm and bicep. It’s a good idea for your elbow pad to meet your gloves and your shoulder pads at each end.
However, some players don’t like the feeling because it restricts movement a little. If you’re in that boat, make sure the elbow part of the pad is hard and can withstand a hit while still allowing you to bend your arm freely.
There are two important functions of hockey gloves. The first, and most obvious, is protection. Your hand has many small bones that can crack or break with a slash. Your glove is meant to protect you from injury.
The other function of hockey gloves is puck feel. You want to be able to know where the puck is at all times without having to look down. The material and thickness the palms of your glove are made from can play a major role in how well you feel the puck on your stick.
After shoulder pads, hockey pants are the next largest piece of equipment. They cover most of the lower half of your body especially your hips and thighs.
You want hockey pants that allow you to bend your hips and knees easily. You should also be able to twist and turn. Mobility shouldn’t be restricted whatsoever.
That being said, you want a hard piece of plastic that covers the thighs. If you don’t and you go to block a shot, it’s not going to be pretty.
When I see lists of hockey equipment, no one ever mentions the athletic cup. If you’ve ever been hit below the belt, you know how necessary this piece of equipment is.
It’s just a piece of plastic that covers your unmentionables. It’s either in a small pair of underwear or a strap that goes along your waist. We prefer the underwear style for comfort but both do the job well.
Shin guards for hockey are like larger versions of soccer shin guards. Not only do the protect your shins, but they cover the knee as well.
It’s also important to find a shin guard that have pads that wrap around the back of your leg. Rather than straps, foam is wrapped around your cafe to secure the pad. This will absorb the stock of slashes to the back of the leg.
Also, look for shin guards that have foam inserts inside of the shin guards. This adds extra cushion inside and will make them more comfortable.
You can’t play hockey without skates. You want a pair that’s light, durable and protective.
The toe of the skate should be a hard plastic since you’ll be driving into the boards and getting slashed in that area.
That doesn’t mean the rest of the skate shouldn’t protect your foot. You’ll block a lot of shots with the skate. You want them to keep your foot secure without restricting movement.
Also, keeping the ankle firmly secure in one spot is essential. If it isn’t, you have the ability to roll your ankle badly.
Having a light skate plays a huge role in your skating speed. Even the slightest weight difference can improve your skating by a few miles per hour. This is because your stride’s recovery time will be faster.