Hockey Equipment Guide for Beginners
1. Hockey Skates: Both new and used hockey skates can suit your new hockey player well. Be sure to try to skates on to ensure they are comfortable. There are two types of skates for hockey - player and goalie. If you are new to hockey, a standard pair of player skates will do. There are many locations that have used skates and plenty of retailers with new skates also. Note: Most often, new skates don’t come sharpened. Please ensure the skates have been sharpened prior to your first game or practice.
2. Helmet with Cage: The helmet is a very important piece of equipment for the new hockey player. The more expensive helmets usually have the latest technology but all CSA approved helmets will provide adequate protection. The most important thing to look for in a helmet is proper fit. A helmet that is too big will slide and one that’s too small will hurt and cause pain. Most modern-day helmets are adjustable and many of the local retailers will help you find the best fit.
3. Hockey Stick: A beginner should stick to a standard wood stick with a slight curve. Once the basic skills are learned, a switch to a lighter composite stick may be desired. The wood stick allows the player to be able to handle a pass and have a solid stick when learning how to shoot the puck.
4. Hockey Pants: These pants are designed specifically to provide cushioning for the thighs and legs and include hard plastic inserts for impact protection. Many high-end pants provide kidney protection and allow for increased movement.
5. Hockey Gloves: Gloves protect the wrist and hands. They come in a variety of lengths, colours and should be fitted to ensure proper length. Second-hand gloves are a good option as well as long as they are in good condition.
6. Shoulder Pads: These protect the upper torso, chest, shoulders, collar bones and rib cage. This is another item that requires the proper fit to ensure maximum protection.
7. Elbow Pads: Available in a wide variety of colours, lengths and styles, these pads cover the forearm, elbows and triceps. Ensuring the proper fit will ensure the player is comfortable and safe.
8. Shin Guards: A vital piece of equipment for the new hockey player. Shin guards/pads cover the shins and knees to protect against falls and picks. They are available in a variety of lengths, colours and styles and need to be fitted.
9. Neck Guard: Neck guards protect against any errant pucks or sticks that happen to hit the neck. Comfort and fit is key to a good neck guard.
10. Jill (Pelvic Protector):This piece of equipment protects the pelvic area and also serves as a piece of equipment to attach the socks to.
11. Bag: Bags are available a variety of styles. Some stand upright, some have wheels and some are the classic hockey bags. Pick the bag that best suits your needs and budget.
For youth players who are new to the game, Canadian Tire offers 'Hockey Protective Kits' that include many of the above. You can view those kits here.