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jaac 08-27-2006 08:57 PM

Beginner: equipment advice
 
Lots of great info in the forums, but I've got a couple of questions:

Planning on starting in a beginner's league this year - I've got good skates, but that's about it equipment-wise. What peices of equipment should I spend good money on, and where can I get away with going with something cheap? If it matters, I'm pretty small, so can probably go with junior equipment for a lot of things.

Also, where do you recommend I do my shopping (in general, ie. hockey shop, chain sports store, etc.)

Thanks!

Julia

Jeffw-13 08-27-2006 09:15 PM

If you have some well stocked hockey shops nearby I would highly recommend that. There's just no substitute for being able to put stuff on & see how it feels.

As far as what to get, everybody has their favorite stuff.

Go to the shop, try stuff on. Personally I go for equipment that is light & comfortable and especially not restrictive. In other words, elbow pads that don't make it hard to bend my elbows, shin guards that don't bind up on my knees, etc.

Don't skimp on a helmet, you only get one head.

Hawker14 08-27-2006 09:32 PM

it's always awesome to see someone take up the sport. congratulations !!! it's the best sport in the world ! you're going to have a blast for the rest of your life !

going to a hockey or sports store is a great way to try on equipment and see what you like. i stress though, don't impulse buy. look around for sales at major department stores for the same equipment once you know what you want, you'll likely save quite a bit of money.

headgear is most important. make sure the helmet is certified, and it'll be fine. any bauer, ccm, etc. will have a sticker on it certifying it is fine.

unless the league has players firing slapshots at 100 mph, inexpensive but right-fitting equipment will be fine.

i highly suggest a mouthguard, it's cheap, you can form it to your teeth, and you'll save your choppers. even a crosscheck to a facemask can sometimes knock out a chicklet. a neckguard is very wise as well (pretty much mandated anyway).

have fun !

stick9 08-28-2006 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaac (Post 6371810)
Lots of great info in the forums, but I've got a couple of questions:

Planning on starting in a beginner's league this year - I've got good skates, but that's about it equipment-wise. What peices of equipment should I spend good money on, and where can I get away with going with something cheap? If it matters, I'm pretty small, so can probably go with junior equipment for a lot of things.

Also, where do you recommend I do my shopping (in general, ie. hockey shop, chain sports store, etc.)

Thanks!

Julia

Helmet, pants, elbow pads, and gloves are your most important peices. As others have said go to your local hockey shop. They can fit you properly and set you up with equipment suited for your level of play.

As for Jr. gear...let the guys at the hockey shop fit you.

Welcome to the greatest game on earth!

Greeneye 08-28-2006 09:56 AM

I would definitely try on stuff before you buy. Different companies always seem to fit differently. I have found that Easton stuff tends to fit me better than the rest. I wouldn't skimp on skates, gloves and helmet.

sc37 08-28-2006 12:07 PM

Helmet is defintely a good investment. Prventing injuries...plus getting what works best for your head will prevent headaches from the thing pinching you and whatnot.
I'd recommend full face coverage with cage or faceshield.
Pants-- you'll prob be on your butt a lot.

Elbows-- same as the pants...you'll prob fall a lot even if you are a good skater since chances are, a large number of people can't skate and you get some collisions.

Shoulders-- can skimp on this since it's non-checking most likely.

Shins--worthwhile since you'll be blocking shots, and again..sliding, falling, etc.

Gloves..can skimp, but make sure it's long enough for proper protection.

Sticks- don't be fooled into buying $100 sticks...stick with wood, fine the curve you want, work on your hands before moving up.

Neckguard is worth the extra $10. Not cool when you get tangled up and guys skates and sticks are flying around your neck. If you wanna see what happens, look up Clint Malarchuk.

Go to the local hockey shop, check it out even if you don't intend to buy. Tell the guys if you arn't and maybe you can pay them $5 or something just to get you sized up so you can order online or something.

EmptyNetter 08-28-2006 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaac (Post 6371810)
What peices of equipment should I spend good money on, and where can I get away with going with something cheap?

Unless you have a friend who will shop with you and advise you on what to buy I strongly suggest going to a dedicated hockey store. Most of the sales staff has played hockey at some level and can give you advice based on personal experience. I find that's seldom the case in super-big sporting goods stores. You might pay a little more in a hockey shop but the advice you get is well worth the price.

If cheap = used I'd say you can get away with buying a chest guard, elbow pads, shin & knee pads used, especially if you're unsure of your commitment level. If you already know you're going to make a long term committment to hockey I'd spend as much as I could afford -- if you go cheap now in a couple of years you'll be looking to buy better versions of what you have. Spending cheap, you're bound to compromise on either fit, protection or comfort. I'm finding that out first hand now -- who knew that having a chest protector with air circulation holes would keep me from overheating and gasping for breath on the bench? :dunno:

Other ways to learn from my mistakes ;) :
  • Hockey pants -- Don't just wear old nylon pants with a pair of shin guards underneath. Most hockey pants have hard padding to protect your thighs, hips, kidneys, etc. You'll appreciate them the first time you take a puck to the thigh or fall on your hip.
  • Chest protector -- I've heard one too many stories about hockey players who've died from a puck in the chest. A puck to the belly or a bump in the ribs is no picnic either.
  • Knee & Shin guard -- Getting hit in the knee or shin is too painful to think about. Besides, I just took a beginner's class myself and one of the drills involved dropping to one knee while skating and then pushing ourselves back up to our feet. Note: Ice is just as hard as concrete, only smoother.
  • Nylon socks, tshirt, etc -- Try wearing UnderArmour or any other nylon tshirts under your gear -- you'll stay much cooler than with a cotton tshirt. Wearing thin nylon socks instead of cotton tube socks will save you from a lot of blisters, too.

Happy Pony 08-29-2006 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EmptyNetter (Post 6375765)
[*]Nylon socks, tshirt, etc -- Try wearing UnderArmour or any other nylon tshirts under your gear -- you'll stay much cooler than with a cotton tshirt. Wearing thin nylon socks instead of cotton tube socks will save you from a lot of blisters, too.[/LIST]

Dress socks work well for this...get some cheap ones at walmart and you'll be fine.

Nbr-17 08-29-2006 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trlewis4 (Post 6381147)
Dress socks work well for this...get some cheap ones at walmart and you'll be fine.

True, but you'll want smooth ones without any ridges.
FWIW I use Wigwam Dry Foot Liners #2152, they work great and aren't too expensive (@ 4-5$ a pair).

DaveyCrockett 08-29-2006 02:48 PM

Polyproplene liner socks are the way to go. They work very well and help wick moisture from your foot.

usiel 08-29-2006 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaveyCrockett (Post 6382657)
Polyproplene liner socks are the way to go. They work very well and help wick moisture from your foot.

no way barefoot works best for me :)

jaac 08-29-2006 04:52 PM

Thanks for the tips :) Looking forward to all the shopping I have ahead of me!

DGraf 08-29-2006 06:03 PM

Try finding someone that you know who plays and get them to tag along on your shopping trip, it is super helpful! Don't be afraid to say " uh .. I didn't understand that.. what are you talking about ? ". I have that problem sometime when people are trying to sell you things.

Smart buying choices can really cut down on prices, but like someone else said, if your really into it, buy for the future. Take the vaccuum to your wallet today so you don't have to do it tommorow.

sc37 08-29-2006 09:14 PM

About socks...I'd say soccer socks work the best. They don't have many seams to prevent blisters and they are pretty thin and also wick moisture away. Plus they are long so you don't need to get your shinpads all nasty either.


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