EQUIPMENT/BEGINNERS - Buyer's Guide and Advice
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12-10-2011, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
A couple of notes regarding women's gear.
Women's shoulder pads are absolutely worth it if you have any sort of a chest. Many brands now make women's pads in a relatively affordable range. I have I-Tech, I've seen CCMs recently that were nice and light. Look for ones that are adjustable in the front to most comfortably fit your shape.
Women's pants, eh. I have fairly wide hips, but I wear boys pants in a slightly larger size than my height/weight would indicate. the nicest thing I've found are those with two belts, because you can basically jury-rig them to fit the fact that you have hips. Getting them on is always a little bit of a dance, but that's hard to get around when things are built for straight up-and-down boys.
I have seen women's skates advertised, but I've never tried them. However, you will have to look long and hard for the right fit in men's skates. From an old AP article:
"Women have thicker ankles and calves, higher arches and narrower heels, Cavanagh said. "A woman with the standard foot size common to men and women would have about three quarters of an inch greater calf circumference, and that would be about a quarter of an inch higher," he said. "That is pretty much, if you have a narrow-fitting ski boot."
Also, women's ankles are about one-quarter inch closer to the ground, and men's big toes are a little thicker, Cavanagh said."
The narrow heels thing can be a big issue in skates with the heel lock. Try on everything. I have RBKs that are as good as anything else I tried though the heel is slightly to big, but the exact same size in CCMs was painfully narrow in the front.
Also, shin guards will never wrap all the way around unless you're skinny. Goes with the wider calf thing. Elbows can be a little funky to find the right size since your biceps will not be nearly as big as a man's comparable to forearm size. Also, flex rules for men are going to be too stiff for you in general, since women do not have the same proportional upper body strength. Don't be afraid to try very tall junior sticks if you can find them or the whippiest intermediates you can find.
As far as undergear, there are compression shorts/loose short combos built specifically for women, and they're great. Wear a sports bra that's one size too small if you can breathe in it, as it will feel a long more controlled under all that gear.
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