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How should I test the ice?

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Old
02-03-2009, 10:21 PM
  #1
csohio
 
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How should I test the ice?

I am 32 and interested in playing hockey; I can skate pretty well but have never played before. There are very limited stick and puck times or adult drop in hockey (mostly during the work day) at the local rinks that would give me an opportunity to try it out; however, the rinks now have a house league level "E" for the "Extreme Beginner" with 0-2 years of playing experience. I am thinking about giving it a try; the only hestitation is that I would have to drop $200 to play a 12 game season and buy the hockey gear (used) to play. The local rink does require full pads for stick and puck or drop in so I'd have to buy hockey equipment to try the game out anyways.

Can anyone provide any advice for getting started? Did you get started at a later age? If so, how?

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02-03-2009, 10:34 PM
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vivianmb
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Originally Posted by csohio View Post
I am 32 and interested in playing hockey; I can skate pretty well but have never played before. There are very limited stick and puck times or adult drop in hockey (mostly during the work day) at the local rinks that would give me an opportunity to try it out; however, the rinks now have a house league level "E" for the "Extreme Beginner" with 0-2 years of playing experience. I am thinking about giving it a try; the only hestitation is that I would have to drop $200 to play a 12 game season and buy the hockey gear (used) to play. The local rink does require full pads for stick and puck or drop in so I'd have to buy hockey equipment to try the game out anyways.

Can anyone provide any advice for getting started? Did you get started at a later age? If so, how?
you may be able to get cheap gear at play it again sports.
try it out. you'll be hooked. trust me hockey is the best rush there is.
good luck.

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02-03-2009, 10:36 PM
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OprtnShtdwn
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You could practically go to hockeygiant or hockeymonkey website and get all the equipment on clearences.

If your just starting, what's the difference between this year's and last year's model of shin guards or such. I'd look around for clearence deals online.

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02-04-2009, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MPR15 View Post
You could practically go to hockeygiant or hockeymonkey website and get all the equipment on clearences.

If your just starting, what's the difference between this year's and last year's model of shin guards or such. I'd look around for clearence deals online.
I advice that you go to your local hockey store and just ask the guys working there what's the needed size of everything before even checking online

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02-04-2009, 01:05 AM
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cptjeff
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I advice that you go to your local hockey store and just ask the guys working there what's the needed size of everything before even checking online
And if you use up their time, go ahead and buy from them. Or at least go to play it again and try stuff on yourself.

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02-04-2009, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csohio View Post
I am 32 and interested in playing hockey; I can skate pretty well but have never played before. There are very limited stick and puck times or adult drop in hockey (mostly during the work day) at the local rinks that would give me an opportunity to try it out; however, the rinks now have a house league level "E" for the "Extreme Beginner" with 0-2 years of playing experience. I am thinking about giving it a try; the only hestitation is that I would have to drop $200 to play a 12 game season and buy the hockey gear (used) to play. The local rink does require full pads for stick and puck or drop in so I'd have to buy hockey equipment to try the game out anyways.

Can anyone provide any advice for getting started? Did you get started at a later age? If so, how?
I'm 23 and I just started playing about 2 months ago. I didn't join a league immediately since I'm lucky enough to have an adult clinic in my area, but if that's your only option I'd say go for it. You could also call up your ice rink, explain your situation to them, and ask them about the best way to get started. That's how I found the clinic I go to. And if you can already skate pretty well that's half the battle when you're first learning.

Like you I needed to buy full hockey equipment to get started, and I finally just decided to take the plunge and spend the money, since I'm not getting any younger. And I can say that I have not regretted it for a second - the only thing I've regretted is not starting sooner.

When it comes to buying the equipment, at the very least I'd recommend you buy your skates (if you don't have them already) and helmet at your local hockey store. They can fit you properly, and it's really important for those two items especially to fit you well.

Good luck!

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02-04-2009, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csohio View Post
I am 32 and interested in playing hockey; I can skate pretty well but have never played before. There are very limited stick and puck times or adult drop in hockey (mostly during the work day) at the local rinks that would give me an opportunity to try it out; however, the rinks now have a house league level "E" for the "Extreme Beginner" with 0-2 years of playing experience. I am thinking about giving it a try; the only hestitation is that I would have to drop $200 to play a 12 game season and buy the hockey gear (used) to play. The local rink does require full pads for stick and puck or drop in so I'd have to buy hockey equipment to try the game out anyways.

Can anyone provide any advice for getting started? Did you get started at a later age? If so, how?
Hockey is a rather expensive sport. There's not really any way around that but you can make it somewhat cheaper. People above have already made some good suggestions but I'll add my $.02.

1- Do research. Look around online (and local if possible) for good deals. Don't just buy the first set of stuff you come across! Your patience will pay off in the long run. Different online stores have some great deals from time to time- The clearance section is your friend!

2- Know whats important. Skates and Helmet... those are the things that you really should not skimp on so spend your money there. As a beginner, you really dont need a $200 composite stick or $130 gloves. A cheap wood stick and some $30 gloves will do fine. Shins, shorts, shoulders, and elbows too... As long as they fit, you really won't see much of an advantage to getting high end gear. Once you get more experience, you will learn what pieces of equipment annoy you the most and you can replace them as you wish. As long as you don't view hockey as a fashion show and are not concerned with having the latest high-end gear, you can get by reletively cheaply.

3- Think of it as an investment. While it is a lot of money up front, your equipment is a one time expense that you will use for years. Theres not really a good way to get around league fees (unless you're a goalie... and thats a whole other topic) but at least the money spent on gear will go a long way. The great part is that should you not like playing (never met anyone who tried it and did not like it) or if you get injured and cannot play anymore- you can sell your gear on ebay and get some of your investment back. Believe me, no matter how ratty and smelly your gear gets- someone out there will buy it.

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02-04-2009, 11:43 AM
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I'll borrow my advice from Nike....Just do it!


Last edited by TCNorthstars: 02-04-2009 at 11:59 AM.
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02-04-2009, 12:37 PM
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Like many others have said... go down to a used sports store so you can properly size and fit your equipment. Most if not all used equipment stores properly clean their gear (with an Esporta machine or something similar) so you won't catch cooties. This way, if you do decide that you don't like playing the sport (hey, it happens!), you're not out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars.

Online stores also have good offers on gear from last season and earlier, but with some places shipping can kill you. Make sure to take that into account.

The only thing I'd suggest buying new (besides a jock) is a helmet. If you do buy a used helmet, check the date on the HECC label... the foam hardens up over time and offers less protection, so make sure it's still certified for a couple more years.

Get a couple wood sticks to start with. If you're still playing after you break the first stick and you think you really like the game, go for a mid-level composite shaft (around $60-$70) and a wood blade. I still laugh at the guys who think they need $200 composites for drop-in shinny.

Also, and this is optional but convenient, buy two cheap practice jerseys: white and black (about $15 each). If the drop-in places you play at don't have pinnies, then being able to switch jerseys/teams really helps even things out and makes for more enjoyable play.

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02-04-2009, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by densetsu View Post
Like many others have said... go down to a used sports store so you can properly size and fit your equipment. Most if not all used equipment stores properly clean their gear (with an Esporta machine or something similar) so you won't catch cooties. This way, if you do decide that you don't like playing the sport (hey, it happens!), you're not out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars.

Online stores also have good offers on gear from last season and earlier, but with some places shipping can kill you. Make sure to take that into account.

The only thing I'd suggest buying new (besides a jock) is a helmet. If you do buy a used helmet, check the date on the HECC label... the foam hardens up over time and offers less protection, so make sure it's still certified for a couple more years.

Get a couple wood sticks to start with. If you're still playing after you break the first stick and you think you really like the game, go for a mid-level composite shaft (around $60-$70) and a wood blade. I still laugh at the guys who think they need $200 composites for drop-in shinny.

Also, and this is optional but convenient, buy two cheap practice jerseys: white and black (about $15 each). If the drop-in places you play at don't have pinnies, then being able to switch jerseys/teams really helps even things out and makes for more enjoyable play.
All good advice. The only way to play ice hockey on the cheap is to play on a frozen pond with a pair of skates and a wooden stick -- I actually thought this thread was about making sure the ice was thick enough to play on. Drop-in hockey at the local rink is about $10 for an hour's time and organized hockey (with refs) averages out to about $20 per game when you enroll for a season. If you're on a very tight budget it might not be the sport for you right now.

If you decide to jump in I recommend trying on the equipment in a local shop. It may be cheaper online but if it doesn't fit right you're not going to enjoy playing as much.

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02-04-2009, 01:07 PM
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I'll add that I don't think I have ever met someone who tried hockey and didn't like it. I know people who have quit because it's too expensive, they're injured, too many late nights, etc., but never have I known someone who stopped playing just because it wasn't fun.

Good luck! An "E" level league sounds awesome. If you can afford it, go for it!

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02-04-2009, 01:08 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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$200 is not a bad price for 12 games

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02-04-2009, 01:14 PM
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You can look in to hna.com and see if they are in your area. I have finally decided to learn to play as well at age 35 and found this school to fit my needs. The school starts next week and I can't wait!

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02-04-2009, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptyNetter View Post
All good advice. The only way to play ice hockey on the cheap is to play on a frozen pond with a pair of skates and a wooden stick -- I actually thought this thread was about making sure the ice was thick enough to play on. Drop-in hockey at the local rink is about $10 for an hour's time and organized hockey (with refs) averages out to about $20 per game when you enroll for a season. If you're on a very tight budget it might not be the sport for you right now.

If you decide to jump in I recommend trying on the equipment in a local shop. It may be cheaper online but if it doesn't fit right you're not going to enjoy playing as much.
I thought the same thing about checking the thickness of the ponds ice. I would suggest as a beginner stay away from online purchases. go to pias/ or you local hockey shop. properly fitted equipment will make your playing more enjoyable. do you need $125 gloves? nope. but I would spend as much as you can afford on a good helmet. and once you start playing you can little by little replace equipment once you know what you like/need. but its never to late to start.

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02-04-2009, 02:43 PM
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I agree with everyone else, basically. Get yourself a new wooden stick, a decent pair of skates to learn, like CCM V04s or at most, V06s, and a good helmet. You can buy medium level gloves, shins, elbows and shoulders cheap online, if you can figure your size out.

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02-04-2009, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptyNetter View Post
All good advice. The only way to play ice hockey on the cheap is to play on a frozen pond with a pair of skates and a wooden stick -- I actually thought this thread was about making sure the ice was thick enough to play on. Drop-in hockey at the local rink is about $10 for an hour's time and organized hockey (with refs) averages out to about $20 per game when you enroll for a season. If you're on a very tight budget it might not be the sport for you right now.

If you decide to jump in I recommend trying on the equipment in a local shop. It may be cheaper online but if it doesn't fit right you're not going to enjoy playing as much.
Thanks to everyone for the advice. I am looking for some used gear right now. The money is not the biggest issue, although I don't want to spend it to and find I out this is not for me a week in.

I will definatly get a little ice time at stick and puck, but drop-in hockey scares me as a newbie because of the level of players that may be there.

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02-04-2009, 04:39 PM
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don't know how many rinks are in driving distance for you, but check out a couple of different rinks. I am sure you will find some guys that will accept you. help you, make you feel welcome. I play at three different rinks all within 20 miles of home where there is a core group of 30-40 guys where we usually have 15-20 for any session. some guys only started playing when they got tired of going to all their kids games and such. other guys played juniors or minor league hockey, and everywhere in between. the guys that are usually ignorant usually don't have any perspective for where THEY are playing. I think anyone that has played hockey for any time is there to have fun and get some exercise and to work on their game. don't sweat it. they will accept you just go in with a good,and friendly attitude.

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02-04-2009, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by csohio View Post
Thanks to everyone for the advice. I am looking for some used gear right now. The money is not the biggest issue, although I don't want to spend it to and find I out this is not for me a week in.

I will definatly get a little ice time at stick and puck, but drop-in hockey scares me as a newbie because of the level of players that may be there.
dont worry about other players, there will be other beginners there, i am certain. i have been around plently of beginners, ask people for tips, most will be more than happy to help you.

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