Selection of hockey equipment is a key issue for players, parents and coaches. When purchasing and fitting hockey equipment, remember two important factors: 1) make certain the player is adequately protected and 2) be sure the fitting allows freedom of movement so the player can properly perform the necessary skills. By carefully considering these two factors, your child will be more comfortable and will have more fun playing hockey.
A complete set of hockey equipment can be purchased for a relatively reasonable cost. Shop around for the best values and remember that you need not buy the most expensive equipment. Inquire about local equipment swaps and team discounts, but keep in mind the equipment must fit properly to provide the maximum protection.
Skates – Purchase skates that will fit your child today with no more than ½” allowed for growth. Seek adequate protection in the ankle, toe and instep areas, improperly fitted skates will hamper your child’s ability to skate.
Helmet – Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC). Must be sized at the time of purchase to fit properly. The chin strap must always be fastened.
Facemask – Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC).
Mouthpiece –A mouthpiece is required for all youth players through the Junior age classification.
Stick – Length should generally extend from the ice to the players chin (with skates on). Quality and price differ greatly, so the choice is yours.
Shin Pads – Check for proper lengths so they protect the knee and skin completely.
Supporter and Cup – Essential protective equipment.
Gloves – Check for proper fit with good finger and hand mobility.
Shoulder Pads – Adjust to fit the individual at the time of purchase. A fiber cap is extremely important in preventing shoulder separations and should extend to the tip of the shoulder.
Pants/Breezers – Held in proper position by suspenders. Pants provide protection for the lower spine, hips and thighs.
Elbow Pads – Properly fitted so they do not slide.
For goaltenders, special equipment is necessary such as gloves (catching and stick), chest and stomach protection, goalie skates (with protective shell), leg pads and shoulder and arm protectors. The goaltender’s equipment is especially important, so seek advice from a knowledgeable source.