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12-17-2011, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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Gear advice for an overweight beginner

I've read the beginner's gear thread and searched the forum for tips specific to purchasing gear for overweight people but haven't had a lot of success (probably just using the wrong terms).

Here's the deal ...

I'm 5'11", 290lbs (down from 340 a year ago - and still making good headway). I wear a size 44 waist pants, 11 shoes (I no longer need wides) and I haven't skated in 20 years.

I grew up in Minnesota and skated a few times a week at local parks or on lakes - but let's be honest ... after 20 years and another 100 lbs ... well ... it's going to be ugly.

So my plan is ...

On 1/9 my "Learn to Skate" classes start. They last 8 weeks. After that I'll probably hit the open ice 2-3 times a week until March when the "Adult Intro to Hockey Skills" class starts. That lasts another 10 weeks followed by the level-2 version of that class.

So this puts me out into July. I should be around 265lbs by now. Then I'd like to start doing stick-and-puck to continue to develop my skating - maybe some pick-up games ... and in about a year maybe I'm ready (physically and technically) to start playing on an entry level team (which I think they call C2 around here [Raleigh]).

Hopefully by this point I'm at about 240 lbs - so I'll probably have a much easier time finding gear.

So off the bat I know I want skates, a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads. I'm going to fall a lot and I'd rather not have it hurt.

Question 1: Are there specific things I need to be aware of as a fat guy to make sure I don't just tip through a pair of skates in a few days? A pair of cheap skates won't cut it - I'm thinking of trying to pick up a used pair of top of the line skates from two years ago but maybe I can find last year's model on clearance.

In 10-16 weeks I need to start picking up the rest of the gear - sticks and pads.

Question 2: Am I going to have trouble finding gear that will fit me? I've seen compression jocks for 40-44" waists. I'm wearing 44 pants now - are the sizes realistic? Are there key words I should be looking for (like when I buy pants I look for boot or relaxed cut - not skinny, slims, etc)?

Question 3: Any thoughts on how my weight will affect my stick selection?

And last question(s) ...

Can anyone suggest a small place in the Raleigh/Durham area (or the Triad area - I don't mind driving a little) for hockey gear? Are the shops in the rinks the best places to start or are there other locations worth hitting? I'm sure Dicks Sporting Goods is just great - but I would prefer to find a place that specializes in skating/hockey equipment to make sure I'm getting the right fit for things.

Any other advice for the fat beginner?



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