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Hockey Equipment for Serious Players will provide you with the hockey equipment you'll need to get into the rink, along with relevant, up to date information to help you make smart choices when purchasing hockey equipment. We also offer an array of NHL hockey jerseys that will make an excellent gift for any hockey fan. Please see below for some excellent tips for purchasing hockey equipment.


Hockey Equipment Safety: When it comes to buying hockey equipment, buyers should consider all safety issues in addition to the equipment's usability. All hockey equipment should be purchased to fit the player; under or oversized hockey equipment can lead to serious injuries; important to note when buying for children. Sometimes, people with good intentions, will purchase hockey equipment items for children that are a size too large to extend the life of the product. When it comes to hockey equipment this should never be done. Hockey equipment that does not fit can lead to serious injury or death; do not take that chance to save a few dollars. Hockey equipment should also be continuously inspected for cracks and other damage. Now, let’s take a look at some of the most important pieces of hockey equipment.


Hockey Sticks: Hockey sticks come in a variety of sizes and materials. You can purchase hockey sticks made of wood or composites such as titanium, graphite, fiberglass, aluminum and kevlar. Wood hockey sticks are usually cheaper, but break more easily. Composite hockey sticks are normally lighter than a wooden stick, but generally cost more money.


What's the best hockey stick for you? Consider the following: If you tried a graphite hockey stick in the past and did not like it because it to broke too easily, give a new model a try. With advancements in technology, the newer graphite hockey sticks are far less likely to break. A lot of players prefer to use the one piece graphite hockey stick because of its lighter weight. If you are changing from a wooden hockey stick to a new graphite hockey stick, you should plan on an adjustment period because of the weight difference – you may not like it at first. Tape on the hockey stick:


What are the advantages of putting tape on the hockey stick blade? Some hockey players use tape because the tape gives them a better feel of the puck; they have more confidence gripping it. Other hockey players think that using tape on their hockey stick may help them hide the puck long enough gain an advantage. If you are going to use tape on your hockey stick, we offer a couple of tips. First, put the tape on the hockey stick 45 minutes to an hour before the game. If you wait until just before the game, the tape is likely to  unravel. Second, it is important to change the tape on your hockey stick after each game. The result of not changing out the tape could decrease the life of your hockey stick because of the moistness trapped by the wet tape.


Key purchasing tip: Your hockey stick must be the proper length for you. Improper stick length is the single most common mistake players make when purchasing a hockey stick. As a rule, if you are standing on hockey skates, the hockey stick should hit just below your chin. If you are standing on the floor, the hockey stick should hit just below your nose.


Hockey Skates: Hockey Skates are arguably the most important piece of all hockey equipment. What is the most important thing you should look for when purchasing a pair of hockey skates? First, look for a light hockey skate - the lighter the better. Second, look for a stiff boot. A stiff boot will last longer and better protect your ankles. A hockey skate should be snug with a couple of millimeters space between the toes and the end of the boot (some players actually like their toes to touch the end of the boot). Make sure the hockey skates are comfortable when tightly laced and tied.


Common mistakes: One of the most common mistakes when purchasing hockey skates is buying a pair that is too big. If you purchase a pair of hockey skates that are too big, you will likely suffer (balance wise) when you stop and go, make tight turns and change directions quickly. Be advised that hockey skates normally run one to one and a half sizes smaller than your normal shoes. Finally, it is a good idea to have your hockey skates “baked” at a hockey store that uses the proper equipment. The baking process will heat mold your hockey skates to your feet giving you a much better feel.  We advise you not to do this at home – leave it to the professionals at your local hockey store.


Hockey skate maintenance: Drying your hockey skates after each game or practice is very important. It is a good idea to hang your hockey skates upside down near a heater when possible. NOT on the heater; hanging your skates on a heater could cause a fire or at the very least ruin your hockey skates.


Helmet: Purchasing a hockey helmet that fits will provide the maximum amount of comfort and protection. The most common mistake when purchasing a hockey helmet is improper sizing. The helmet should be snug, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable. You should look for the seal of approval from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC). Whether you are playing professional or in the amateur league, you will need a CSA or HECC approved hockey helmet. As with all hockey equipment, you should frequently inspect your helmet for damage.


Face Mask: A hockey player’s face mask is another critical piece of hockey equipment. The face mask should fit so the entire face is covered to the bottom of the chin. There are three types of masks to choose from; wire cage, plastic shields and a combination of the cage and shield. Pros and cons of each: Wire Cage: Pros – offers excellent protection and will not fog up – it is also good for people that wear glasses. Con – can restrict peripheral vision to some degree. Plastic Face Shields – offers excellent protection with better vision. Con – tends to fog up restricting vision, but can now be purchased with fog resistant features.


Neck Guard: The neck guard should be snug, but fit comfortably and cover the entire throat - a very important piece of hockey equipment.


Shoulder Pads: Shoulder Pads should protect the entire shoulder through a full range of motion. The shoulder pads should protect your upper chest, upper back, collarbone and some protect your stomach. If you purchase a pair of shoulder pads that are too small you may have more mobility, but with less protection - if too large you will have less mobility. A lot of defensemen tend to wear the bigger shoulder pads because they are doing a lot of shot blocking. Important: When purchasing shoulder pads, the center of the shoulder caps should line up with your shoulder line.


Elbow pads: Elbow pads should fit so that the top of the elbow pad reaches the bottom part of the shoulder pad and the bottom part reaches the top of the gloves. Elbow pads should

not restrict the elbow from moving. Purchasing elbow pads that are too big will interfere with your stick work – too small will not provide adequate protection.


Hockey Pants: Hockey pants should also have a snug, but comfortable fit. The vast majority of hockey players purchase hockey pants that fit based on their waist size. To help determine the proper length, you should look for pants that overlap the top of the shin pad kneecaps by 1 to 2 inches. Hockey pants are designed to help protect the kidneys, hips, tailbone and the thighs.


Shin Pads: When purchasing shin pads, make sure your kneecap fits directly in the center of the kneepad cup of the shin pad. Shin pads should also extend the length of the lower leg; keep the tongue of the skate under the shin pad. Shin pads protect the shin and knee from sticks, pucks and falls.


Hockey Gloves: Hockey gloves help protect your hands and wrists from injuries. The gloves should fit snugly and should overlap the elbow pad. The level of tightness will vary based on individual comfort, but the tips of your fingers should not touch the end of the glove. Your hockey gloves should not restrict movement in any position, and should not negatively affect your ability to handle your hockey stick. If you are not able to grip the glove properly, and don’t have a good feel, the glove is too stiff. After purchasing a hockey glove, it is important to break the gloves in. A tip on how to do this is to soak the palm of the glove. After doing this, you should be able to instantly grip the stick and they should feel like gloves that you’ve wore for a couple of months. 


Mouth Guard: As with most hockey equipment, the mouth guard should also fit snugly, but not too tight. Mouth guards help protect your jaw and teeth, and have been said to reduce the risk of concussions. There are different types of mouth guards available. Mouth guards that are custom made for your mouth offer the best protection. The next best is the soft plastic mouth guard that you boil and bite down on to form a mold around your teeth. Finally, you can purchase the standard stock mouth guard. These mouth guards are the cheapest, but in many cases offer the least amount of protection.


Thank you Barry Nelson and Chris Sandau (lifetime hockey players) for your insightful contributions!










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