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Is it Possible to start playing at 17?

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Old
03-15-2009, 09:28 PM
  #1
Rangers Forever
 
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Is it Possible to start playing at 17?

Hey guys, how you doing.

I'm a 17 year old high schooler in North New Jersey. I have loved hockey all my life. Unfortunately, when I was the age where you'd start playing hockey in leagues, there were no local ice rinks. So instead, I took up roller hockey. The leagues ran from about age 8 until 20. I set records for the local team for goals scored in a year, after starting out a d-man, so I wasn't just some scrub, given, I'm not Alex Ovechkin either. As ridiculous as this will sound, I quit playing at age 14, because the coach wasn't playing me more than 5 minutes a game, because his son, who was also on the team, hated me for dating his ex-girlfriend. Because we all know how serious 14 year old relationships can get. So anyway, now, basically, I'm hurting. I feel like I need to play hockey again. I can't believe I've made it this long without.

I recently made friends with a few kids who play for a travel team at a new local indoor ice rink, and hearing them discuss their team made me want to play again. Obviously, I cannot play for some super travel team. I asked if there was any place they knew of where I can play. They said that this rink hosts leagues for all ages and skill levels, and they knew a kid, who I used to play roller hockey with, who played in one of those leagues. I immediately got so excited.

Then it hit me. I have never ice skated before.

I REALLY want to play ice hockey. It is a given already that I will be playing hockey this year. But should I just go back to roller hockey? Even that will be a haul for me after 3 years off. If I put in some hard work this Spring, Summer, and Fall, is it even plausible I can be ready to play ice hockey in the winter?

Also, I have no equipment left from roller hockey, except a brand new girdle which I don't even know if they use in ice hockey. I don't plan on buying cheap crap, but definitely not top of the line stuff either. How much can I expect to spend, about?

Any other advice? Any comments?

Thanks a lot everyone, I really appreciate it. Thanks for reading. Have a good one.

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03-15-2009, 09:32 PM
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Yeah, you can learn. And you could use the girdle, but the stuff used in ice is a lot more protective. You would have to buy a shell though.

I learned at 17 and do fine. The big thing will be learning to stop, but you should be fine. Skating is going to be pretty much the same.

As for gear, it can really vary depending on what's low end to you and what's mid level, and new or used, closeouts and whatnot. Expect to spend $250 for skates and about $100 for a pretty good helmet, and the rest of the protective can vary greatly.

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03-15-2009, 09:34 PM
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I'm 16 and have ice skated twice in my life and I'm just starting to transfer from inline to ice so I feel your dilemma on this one, my advice is to just go for it.

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Old
03-15-2009, 09:37 PM
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let me start off by saying, ice skating is not exactly like roller blading. you wont feel nearly as balanced on skates as on roller blades

as far as equipment, yea we use girdles in ice hockey. if you only have a girdle and want to by mid level equipment, i would expect to spend over 500 mcdantes doublecheese.

i would really reccomend borrowing some equipment and playing open hockey first cause it is alot diffrent when you get out there then what you think

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Old
03-15-2009, 09:40 PM
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Dr Turk
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Hey man, Im 17 and just started skating/playing hockey a couple months ago, so I feel like I can relate a lot to your situation. For me I have been following hockey for a long time but have never played any kind of hockey. A couple months ago I decided to try it out and see if I liked it. I bought an old crappy stick glove and helmet combo off craigslist and started going to stick’n’pucks. I would just see if I liked it. The first time I went out It hit me how hard the sport was. But at the same time I realized how much fun it can be.

So I went to s’n’p’s for a while and realized I wanted to commit to it. I found an adults beginner league/clinic in my area and signed up for it. Its an hour and a half a week of drills and scrimmaging. I felt like this helped a lot more than jumping straight int a competitive league. All the while I found that sticknpucks and public skating sessions have been enormously useful.

As for cost, I tried not to but the cheapest possible but to save money I did buy used. All in all without skates all my equipment was around 200-250$. I bought some cheap bauer05 skates and have already decided to upgrade to better skates. They were fine at the beginning but now I feel they’re hindering my development. So if you are really committed I would recommend getting some decent skates.

Ive only been playing maybe 3 or 4 months and by no means am I a skilled player, but Its still a lot of fun. Im at the point now where my hockey skills are being held back my skating, so I am really focusing on that. However, even after such a short amount of time, I think I can go to drop in and not look like a complete fool.

Bottom line is, since your 17 and probably in school, Its gonna be an effort to get out and practice as much as you should. But if you are committed and can sacrifice a couple hours every week, than by all means 17 isnt to late to start playing. I am really happy I decided to take this great sport up.

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Old
03-15-2009, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for the advice and encouragement so far guys.

Yeah, practicing shouldn't be much of a problem for me since I have friends who would always be willing to go out for a skate. Equipment won't be much of a problem, as if I pay for my skates my parents said they'd take care of everything else, provided I chip in here and there, because they know how much I love hockey and how ridiculous the circumstances that made me stop playing were.

I'm so excited to start playing again. I assume there's a thread for this, so if so, I'll look shortly and just delete this part, but can anyone recommend a nice pair of skates? I have size 12.5 feet if that matters. Not too wide footed, either.

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03-15-2009, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangers Forever View Post
Thanks for the advice and encouragement so far guys.

Yeah, practicing shouldn't be much of a problem for me since I have friends who would always be willing to go out for a skate. Equipment won't be much of a problem, as if I pay for my skates my parents said they'd take care of everything else, provided I chip in here and there, because they know how much I love hockey and how ridiculous the circumstances that made me stop playing were.

I'm so excited to start playing again. I assume there's a thread for this, so if so, I'll look shortly and just delete this part, but can anyone recommend a nice pair of skates? I have size 12.5 feet if that matters. Not too wide footed, either.
like cptjeff said, for a mid level pair of skates, expect to spend around 250. the nike bauer XXV are 250 and would be the skate i reccomend, but try some on to see what is comfortable. seriously, try skates on first. i know you are probably excited about playing but you really need to try skates on.

if you have a 12.5 shoe, you will need probably an 11 skate. but i varies depending on brand

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Old
03-15-2009, 10:13 PM
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Are ice skates like roller blades were for me, where the first couple times you wear them, you're bound to get blisters?

My friend alerted me to an amazing deal, where the local rink hosts free skates every Saturday. I guess I will rent skates there just to get the feeling for skating on ice in the beginning, plus we can look in the proshop there. That should be a good start for now, skate-wise.

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Old
03-15-2009, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangers Forever View Post
Are ice skates like roller blades were for me, where the first couple times you wear them, you're bound to get blisters?

My friend alerted me to an amazing deal, where the local rink hosts free skates every Saturday. I guess I will rent skates there just to get the feeling for skating on ice in the beginning, plus we can look in the proshop there. That should be a good start for now, skate-wise.
if you get a decent skate you can get it baked then molded to your foot so you might not get blisters

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Old
03-16-2009, 08:23 AM
  #10
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You can defintely start playing again. Keep in mind there are a few NHL players who played Midget B at 17, and still improved enough to make the show.
Conversely, you have fatsos who played AA who made the show and do NOT belong there(Latendresse, I'm looking at you, you were a slow fatass in AA, and the same is true in the show)
Maybe I'm bitter

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Old
03-16-2009, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangers Forever View Post
Are ice skates like roller blades were for me, where the first couple times you wear them, you're bound to get blisters?

My friend alerted me to an amazing deal, where the local rink hosts free skates every Saturday. I guess I will rent skates there just to get the feeling for skating on ice in the beginning, plus we can look in the proshop there. That should be a good start for now, skate-wise.
Good luck dude. Floyd Hall Arena at Montclair State University has High School open hockey for ages 14-17, Friday or Saturday nights.
You have to check their website for scheduling.

That will be the best place for you to transition into a game type of situation.

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Old
03-16-2009, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangers Forever View Post
Are ice skates like roller blades were for me, where the first couple times you wear them, you're bound to get blisters?

My friend alerted me to an amazing deal, where the local rink hosts free skates every Saturday. I guess I will rent skates there just to get the feeling for skating on ice in the beginning, plus we can look in the proshop there. That should be a good start for now, skate-wise.
If you have a proper fit and are wearing proper socks (not cotton) you should not get blisters.

Go to a local shop and get fitted for skates. Different brands have different fits and sizing systems. Easton is wide and flat, RBK is the same but with a much wider heel, Bauer has both a narrow/shallow line and a wider/deep line (vapors and supremes respectively), but they both have higher insteps then Easton and RBK. CCM I don't know, the U+ is a brand new fit. Traditionally the vectors have been narrow with a higher instep though.

And by instep I should say that it means pretty much any instep at all. I have pretty much flat feet, so Any instep is going to feel quite high for me.

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03-16-2009, 01:41 PM
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It's never too late, my friend. Good luck!

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03-16-2009, 02:22 PM
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I started on ice at age 29. Now, a year later, I'm already much, much better than I was when I started, and my first league game is coming up next month. I expect to be one of the better players on my C level team.

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03-16-2009, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muttley View Post
Good luck dude. Floyd Hall Arena at Montclair State University has High School open hockey for ages 14-17, Friday or Saturday nights.
You have to check their website for scheduling.

That will be the best place for you to transition into a game type of situation.
If you're near there, Floyd Hall also has an adult beginner hockey clinic Thursday nights and Sunday mornings. I'm 23 and just started playing a few months ago and I highly recommend that, it's an hour clinic that starts with some skating work, then some puckhandling drills, situational drills, and ends with a 10 minute scrimmage. It's a good way to ease into playing hockey without jumping straight into a game situation.

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03-16-2009, 03:41 PM
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There's no reason you can't start playing at 17 and enjoy the game. Good luck to you!

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03-16-2009, 04:02 PM
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Hugh Madbrough
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There are a lot of people on this board that are probably envious that you would be starting at 17...most threads like this start:

I'm 40 is it too late for me?

Get out there and have fun.

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03-16-2009, 04:36 PM
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I know it might not feel this way right now, but at 17 there's few things that you're "too late" for. Live it up, ice hockey is a thrilling experience.

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Old
03-16-2009, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangers Forever View Post
Hey guys, how you doing.

I'm a 17 year old high schooler in North New Jersey. I have loved hockey all my life. Unfortunately, when I was the age where you'd start playing hockey in leagues, there were no local ice rinks. So instead, I took up roller hockey. The leagues ran from about age 8 until 20. I set records for the local team for goals scored in a year, after starting out a d-man, so I wasn't just some scrub, given, I'm not Alex Ovechkin either. As ridiculous as this will sound, I quit playing at age 14, because the coach wasn't playing me more than 5 minutes a game, because his son, who was also on the team, hated me for dating his ex-girlfriend. Because we all know how serious 14 year old relationships can get. So anyway, now, basically, I'm hurting. I feel like I need to play hockey again. I can't believe I've made it this long without.

I recently made friends with a few kids who play for a travel team at a new local indoor ice rink, and hearing them discuss their team made me want to play again. Obviously, I cannot play for some super travel team. I asked if there was any place they knew of where I can play. They said that this rink hosts leagues for all ages and skill levels, and they knew a kid, who I used to play roller hockey with, who played in one of those leagues. I immediately got so excited.

Then it hit me. I have never ice skated before.

I REALLY want to play ice hockey. It is a given already that I will be playing hockey this year. But should I just go back to roller hockey? Even that will be a haul for me after 3 years off. If I put in some hard work this Spring, Summer, and Fall, is it even plausible I can be ready to play ice hockey in the winter?

Also, I have no equipment left from roller hockey, except a brand new girdle which I don't even know if they use in ice hockey. I don't plan on buying cheap crap, but definitely not top of the line stuff either. How much can I expect to spend, about?

Any other advice? Any comments?

Thanks a lot everyone, I really appreciate it. Thanks for reading. Have a good one.
There are a few places you can join up to play if you're looking for ice hockey:

Ice House - Hackensack
Ice Vault - Wayne
Floyd Hall Arena - Montclair/Little Falls
MacKay - Englewood
Sport-O-Rama - Monsey (NY)

You can join an adult/mens house league. They are mostly organized. Good competition most of them.


If you are looking for adult roller hockey, i can't help you, i play ice, i don't know much about the roller hockey genre. But i do know there are a bunch of places around Northern Jersey that have leagues. I have heard people mention them around the arena. At my next practice i'll ask a few of the guys and see if they know any roller leagues in North Jersey.


By the way, the Blackhawks just drafted Akim Aliu in June, he didn't start skating and playing hockey until he was 15. So, it is NEVER too late to do ANYTHING.


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03-17-2009, 01:24 AM
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Its never too late...I started two years ago at age 23, barely able to skate. It is arguably the most fun and rewarding thing I have done in my life.

I'd highly recommend to you Floyd Hall Arena's Adult Instructional League. Its the league I play in, and is perfect for beginners. Also, don't worry at all about being too old. At 17, you'll be one of the younger guys on your team.

If I were you...I'd get a pair of ice skates, start hitting open skates so you learn how to skate, try out some of those clinics and then start playing. Do it now though..I regret going through the first 23 years of my life without playing hockey.

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Old
03-17-2009, 08:27 AM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DevsFan84 View Post
Its never too late...I started two years ago at age 23, barely able to skate. It is arguably the most fun and rewarding thing I have done in my life.
I'm 26 this october. Started learning to skate and play at the same time in July 08.
I get about 2 hours hockey time a week with around 1-2 hours skate ice time per week.

It's harder in the uk with next to no rinks and less teams/leagues but it's never too late to learn to do something.

I play on a rec team with players aged between 18 and 56.
And with guys who range in skill from my amatuer status to guys who have played in the Premier League here. (premier league being 1 down from the Pro Elite British IH League.)

Go for it and good luck.

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Old
03-17-2009, 10:47 AM
  #22
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Two suggestions...

-Take a power skating class

If you've played roller a lot, you should have the shooting and stick handling form down, it takes a little bit to adjust on ice but it's not that much different. Skating is a lot different though as there is a lot more starting and stopping. Take a class so you have your wheels under you when you get out there.


-Get a quality pair of skates but...

...get them on close out.

http://hockeygiant.com/nbh70sktsr.html

http://hockeygiant.com/miswkdsktsr.html

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Old
03-17-2009, 03:03 PM
  #23
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A lot of good advice. I started playing when I was 33 and have palyed with people who didn't start until they were in their 40's or 50's. So 17 is jsut fine. You also played inline. I'm sure a lot of those skills will come back quickly. I have seen inline players transition to ice. While they struggle in some areas such as rules of the game (icing an off sides) and stopping, they seem to excel in stick handling.

As some have suggested, I suggest you go to a learn to skate program over the srping/summer. I also recommend a power skaking course such as Robby Glanz or Laura Stamm over the summer. I think this would really get you giong for the fall when the season begins.

Good luck and have fun out there.

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Old
03-17-2009, 10:23 PM
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If you're gonna be practicing your ice skating by roller skating alot I recommend a set of Sprungs for your chassis, they almost exactly mimic the feel of skating on ice on street because of how they let you push

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Old
03-17-2009, 11:04 PM
  #25
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Wow thanks a lot guys, I'm really excited to start practicing now. By the sounds of it that clinic run in Montclair is perfect, I'll definitely have to check that out. For starters I'm going to the Ice Vault Saturday for the open skate, but for now I'll have to rent. Can I rent hockey skates or am I going to get some sort of joke figure skates?

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