Hockey can be regarded as a bit of an extreme sport if you regard the speed of movement and the injuries hockey players can suffer. That is the reason hockey players have to invest in their equipment more than other athletes. If you are keen on hockey and the time is right to choose the equipment, here are some tips on how to choose the right hockey items for your game.
Since it is regarded as your crucial tool or weapon at the ice rink, make sure you feel comfortable when you handle your stick.
The stick can be made of different materials – wood, composite stick, fiberglass, aluminum, carbon fiber, kevlar, and reinforced sticks. The wood sticks are most economical and suitable if you are a hockey beginner. You choose others if you want to advance your performance at some higher level. You choose the length of the stick according to your height: if you are between 154 and 160 cm tall, the stick should be 35”; if you are between 162 cm and 175 cm tall, the stick should be 36-36.5”; for people taller than 175 cm, there are 37” sticks.
It is important to differentiate them from figure skates – hockey skates are shorter with bigger curves. You choose the skates according to the frequency of going on ice. If you play hockey several times a week, you would need composite skates with a stiff boot. If you play hockey for fun, you would need softer boots. Keep in mind that, even if you are not so often on ice, you need good protection, which means choosing a bit stiffer, high-end skates.
This is the most protective item from your hockey equipment. It prevents you from serious injuries and that is why it needs a certificate from the Hockey Equipment Certification Council. Your helmet needs to keep your chin fastened and tightened and it should have a chin cup and a chin strap.
These pads are needed to protect your knees, your shoulders, elbows, and shins. Since your legs are doing the most crucial job on the ice, your knee and shin pads must have a plastic exterior that reaches the top of your skates.
Gloves are there both to keep the hands warm, to protect the wrists and fingers from injuries, as well as to prevent thumbs from bending backward. The gloves should be made of thin leather to provide the easement of movement.
Also known as a neck guard, this item is there to protect your neck from injuries caused by the puck, the stick, or even skate blades which can cause bleeding. Although neck protectors are worn mostly by goalies, they are also recommended for regular hockey players.
Hockey pants or breezers should be tight enough to fit your waist so as not to fall during the play, and to be as comfortable as to give you the freedom of movement. The perfect length is measured by the position of the pants’ bottom – it should rest between the middle and the top of your kneecap.