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10-09-2007, 03:13 PM
jiggs 10
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hockeytown, ND
Country: United States
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I've owned 2 pairs of shin pads in the last 28 years. They almost never wear out, it's just if you want something with a little more padding in it. Same with my elbow pads. Just bought a new pair last year after 25 years with the old Canadian's. I would not even have done that, but they were REALLY starting to stink! Even washing them 4 or 5 times a year didn't slow it down, so it was time.

Gloves can last 10 years, if you take care of them. My thumbs got holes in them after 4 years, but so what? It doesn't affect your play in the least, unless you stick your thumb out of the hole and get slashed.

I have 3 helmets, 2 of them over 20 years old (a CCM and a Jofa Gretzky helmet). I finally bought a newer Bauer helmet last year, and it's OK, but I like the CCM better. The padding is getting bad, though, so I only wear it for rentals with buddies who won't hit me in the head (very often!).

Don't wear hockey pants. Haven't since high school 26 years ago. I bought a pair a few years back, just in case I needed them for tournaments in Canada. But they really slow you down when you are used to playing without them! I would suggest getting a pair that fits fairly snug, with the zippers in the in-seam to give you a little more flexability. I hate that "cut-pants" look, but I guess if you need to be able to skate better...

Skates are the place to not scrimp. Buy the best you can afford, and take care of them! I see lots of players who just throw them in their bag without even drying the blades off! Small wonder they are buying new skates every 2 or 3 years! Wipe the blades and blade holders dry, then cover them with Blade Blankets and lay them on top of everything else in your bag and take them out when you get home. Let them air dry if possible (and your wife doesn't complain about the stench!) in between skates.

I just hate to break in new equipment, so that's why I never buy any. But I have to laugh at players who get new pads every 2 or 3 years! What could possible break down that fast, except skates?

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