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21 yrs looking to learn... help!

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12-16-2009, 03:12 PM
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21 yrs looking to learn... help!

Hey guys...

I'm 21 years old, 5'9" 180 lbs. I love hockey yet have not skated since I was a wee tot. I have 3 ice rinks within 5 minutes of my house, so I feel I can get a lot of skate time in. Got a few questions...

1) Can anyone recommend me a set of skates? I read the hockey skates thread, however I'm more wanting a solid skate for a relatively cheap price (preferably around $150). I'm thinking a set of Bauers... maybe X30's?

2) What is the best way to learn? I do not have money to pay for expensive classes... I was planning on learning how to skate during free skate and maybe playing in an amateur pickup league once I got used to skating.

3) Anything else you can recommend me? Any brands to stay away from? Anything would be great. I love hockey (big Blackhawks fan), yet I never really played.


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12-16-2009, 04:11 PM
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1) Any boot in that price range should serve your needs. I've used Bauer skates all my life, and I have no complaints beyond the little bony growths on my feet

2) Go to free skate if you can find open ice. They typically encourage you to skate around in a circle, and if there isn't enough room you'll be forced to follow the pattern. You'll want to skate both ways, and find room to work on your stopping, turning, backwards skating, etc.

As far as learning to skate without an instructor goes, there is a lot of instructional video online... but without someone to watch you and correct you when you make a mistake, your mileage may vary.

3) Have fun and stick with it. Learning to skate can be INCREDIBLY frustrating. Don't be afraid to fall... you won't get better if you don't push yourself. I can guarantee you this much: you will fall, you will fall again, and you will fall some more after that.

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12-16-2009, 04:25 PM
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Hello me from 1 month ago!

Im actually in the exact same boat as you: Im 22 and have never really skated before. I did a bunch of research on skates and for us, there really is no reason to spend over $150 anyways. The thing to look for (from what i read/was told) is comfort and ankle support. I ended up getting a pair of reebok skates on sale for $100 (Exact model: SKC87). They seem to fit well, but unfortunately due to the slow city rink workers, have been unable to test them yet.

I have a few friends who have played hockey so im getting them to teach me. Its a pretty good option if you cant pay for lessons, as they are only charging me a case of beer

Good Luck!

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12-16-2009, 04:34 PM
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free skate as much as possible. Im 22 and recently started within the last two months. I skate probably twice a week and have improved a ton, once I buy all the gear ill be getting myself into stick and puck sessions.

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12-16-2009, 04:38 PM
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As others have said, get as much as time as you can. It helps to be in fairly decent physical shape as well.

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12-16-2009, 05:58 PM
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I have a pair of CCM Vector 6.0s that I picked up about 2 years ago for $200. Looking at ebay real quick and people are selling them for about a $100 a pair. I like them and figured for a $100 you can't go wrong.

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12-16-2009, 06:39 PM
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1) Skate brand doesn't matter, fit does. Try different ones on and see what fits.

I started last year at age 23 - have fun!

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12-16-2009, 07:38 PM
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1) Like DevilsFan states above, skate brand doesn't matter - fit matters most. If you can swing the purchase price, buy a mid-level set of skates that fit your feet.

2) Best way to learn to play hockey is to learn to skate first. Learn by taking an intro to skating classes (yes, figure skating classes). The gear and hockey sticks will just compound and lengthen the amount of time it takes you to learn how to skate. 1 month of skating classes (1 30-min class a week) and skating during public sessions as much as possible to practice will cover the same skating skills as 3 or 4 months of hockey-specific introductory classes (never-skated-in-my-life type). Most rinks offer very cheap group rate classes for intros. Just make sure your not uncomfortable working with kids if that's the only classes available (some may have adult specific skating classes).

3) After you learn basics of skating you can go and jump in on puck-play (open ice, pucks, nets, etc...) to get a feel for your gear and hopefully you'll make friends that can help you with the puckhandling/shooting/passing. Or alternatly attend hockey clinics for beginners.

Don't worry about gear that much. All you need to start are skates and shin pads (to keep your knees from getting too hurt when you fall when learning). The rest of the gear is all dependant upon the type of hockey (no-check league I'm guessing) and what fits you best.

I started skating and playing earlier this year (Feb.) at 32.

Good luck and have fun! Awesome sport.

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12-16-2009, 08:08 PM
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I started playing at 18...and I just joined my first beer league at 20. I didn't take any classes or anything like that, self taught, but I did skate rollerblades in parking lot hockey for a while before I moved up to ice.

Get skates that fit and fit well, first and foremost. Each brand has different molds and will fit your feet differently, take a day, walk into the hockey store tell them what you're doing, get sized up and try every skate on that you can. It might take a while but it'll be worth it for your maximum comfort and performance.

Shin pads, make sure that they're the right size length wise, consider that the top of your skates will be right around the bottom of the shin pad. I put my shin pads over the tongues of my skates so I got longer ones, but that is personal preference. I bought $30 shin pads and they've done everything I'd ever want them to do for me in rec league.

Obviously you're going to need a cup. You can go old school jock strap type or you can get the jock shorts that some companies are making now that include the Velcro tabs to hold up your hockey socks and everything.

Pants, I skimped on pants too. I don't remember how much they were but they're CCM and they were pretty cheap. I like them, but they may suck compared to really good pants, I don't know.

Shoulder pads. Some might say you might not need them if you're going to be in a non-checking league but I bought them and wear them every game. A little more protection can't hurt in my opinion.

Elbow pads are probably going to be important since you're going to fall...a lot. make sure there is some good, solid plastic between your elbow and the ice but you also want a lot of cushion on the inside too so that you don't get that numbed up funny bone feeling every time you fall.

Helmet, DO NOT SKIMP ON YOUR HELMET. It may be tempting to buy the $30 helmet, but your brain is the most important thing on the ice and the more expensive helmets have better padding, buy a good helmet...ice is hard. You can get them with a full cage if you want or a visor, whatever you like and think you'll need. Look around.

Gloves. You want some gloves with a locked thumb most every pair I've seen has that. you want some good padding on top but you probably don't need top of the line gloves either, hopefully you wont have a bunch of people slashing you. You want to make sure that your wrist has good mobility and that they're comfortable for you. Grab a stick and hold it in the gloves, make sure the palms are comfortable. You don't want your finger tips to touch the very end of the glove ideally, but if you happen to have crazy long, ET fingers like me, you wont have a choice.

Buy a practice jersey, two if you can afford it, one light and one dark so that it will be easier to make up teams at open hockey.

Buy a hockey bag, I wouldn't go any smaller than 32" for an adult player, I have a 32" and I can fit all my stuff in there but it's like a game of Tetris.

Buy a pair of socks and a roll of shin pad tape and a roll of stick tape. You'll obviously need a hockey stick, two preferably, in case one breaks at the rink. Buy a puck or two for yourself as well. You want to spend the most on your skates and helmet.

Make sure that everything you buy is comfortable for you and have fun! Take your time learning and don't be intimidated by other players. I found that paying attention to players on TV or YouTube and the mechanics of the way they do things like skate and shoot was very helpful for me personally. Good luck!

Last edited by Elshupacabra: 12-16-2009 at 08:16 PM.
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12-16-2009, 10:30 PM
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As elshupacabra mentioned, try not to skimp on the helmet. It's your only noggin. You can find plenty of used equipment on ebay for cheap prices but I'd head to the shop and get as good of a helmet as you can. Once you get to the point of playing in stick practice games or in leagues, remember that no-check does not mean no- contact. Occasionally you'll get knocked down. With a good helmet, you'll almost always get back up. Just a little more slowly

As for learning to skate, although money can be tight, only a few lessons from a figure skating instructor can work wonders. Say every other week for $30 a half hour or so. Well worth the $$$.

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12-17-2009, 01:52 AM
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Good to hear that you want to get out there and pick up the game!

1. Definitely get a pair of skates that fit well; your feet will thank you for it. I realize that you want to spend about $150 or less, but keep in mind that you might be able to get a pair of skates that fit well for a little more money.

2. You can definitely learn on your own; trial and error can be very frustrating, but definitely very rewarding if you learn on your own. In my area, free skate is $8 per session. The hockey lesson (multi-week program) is a bit expensive, but if you break it down per week, it only is about $6 more per week over the cost of free skate (so it works about to $14/class). If you learn the "right" way, you will most likely not pick up as many bad habits. It's not to say that you will not have any bad habits, but you might have less.

3. I don't know if there are any brands to stay away from; most places that sell hockey gear are going to be selling reputable/reliable equipment. I would say that when it comes to buying the safety equipment, you don't have to buy top shelf (although I would recommend buying a good helmet). If you plan on playing pick up and/or adult recreational league, most likely there will be no checking.

Have a great time out there and have fun!



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