6 Crucial Pieces of Equipment Every Young Hockey Player needs | Tales of a Ranting Ginger

6 Crucial Pieces of Equipment Every Young Hockey Player needs

So, your kid wants to be a hockey player, huh? Well, it takes more than heart and determination if they want to be serious about playing the game. While they can get away with not having full gear if they’re playing garage hockey, there are some pieces of equipment that are not only essential for performance but for security as well. Not playing with the right gear may not only make them more injury prone, it could also affect their overall enjoyment of the game. Here are some crucial pieces of equipment every hockey player needs.

Helmet

A helmet with a good visor is the first thing you should be looking for. A good helmet should not only be protective, but it should offer great vision as well. As far as the visor goes, you could go with a clear visor or a cage type. Most players tend to be more comfortable with a cage since it breathes easier and is overall more comfortable. However, the league your child will play for may ask that you pick one type over the other, and you have no choice but to acquiesce if you want your child to keep playing.

The helmet you’re going to end up using will have to be snug, but not too tight, and breathe easily to make sure that it doesn’t overheat during games.

Neck Guard

A neck guard is required hockey equipment for children, as huddles happen much more often and there’s nothing you can do to prevent a skate from causing a serious injury. While most adults don’t wear neck guards, they will usually be mandatory in lower leagues.

Hockey Skates

Choosing the right pair of hockey skates is also absolutely essential for comfort and performance. Remember, your kids will be playing for hours in these skates, so it’s important that you pick a pair that fits them. You could go for a boot and skate combo or choose a boot and have the skates installed later.

This is usually the best option for parents. The reason for this is that you’ll be able to spend a little more on the boot without getting overcharged for the blades. The quality of the boot is much more important, but skate companies will often make you pay too much for the combo.

Speaking of blades, make sure that they are properly sharpened every time they hit the ice. Poorly sharpened blades increase the chances for injuries and will affect how well they play.

Choosing the right size can be tricky when it comes to skates since they have a tendency to run smaller. The width and length of the skates have to be perfect for optimal comfort. As a rule of thumb, you should pick skates about two sizes larger than shoes. You should also make sure that your boot is heat molded for the child’s foot. Most reputable skate shops will offer this service for free.

Good Shoulder Pads

While the level of contact isn’t as important in lower leagues, it is still important that you invest in a good set of shoulder pads. Shoulder pads will not only protect your shoulders but parts of your back and chest as well. These will not only protect your child in case of contact but will protect them from straying pucks or sticks too.

When it comes to shoulder pads, there are usually two schools of thought. Some people prefer lighter, and less protective, shoulder pads that allow them to move freely while others will go for bulkier ones for more protection.

For children, it’s always good to go for a good protective set of shoulder pads, but they shouldn’t be too big, so it doesn’t restrict their movement on the ice.

Hockey Pants

Hockey pants are essential, and a key part of any hockey player’s equipment. They protect against contact and are very important to prevent injuries, especially from straying pucks. You’ll also have to invest in some shin pads as well, to protect the legs and knees.

Hockey Stick

Last, but not least, you also have to pick the right hockey stick as well. You have a choice of many materials when it comes to hockey sticks, such as wood, carbon fiber, etc. But, for children, the material isn’t as important since they won’t be doing slap shots.

You have to make sure you pick the right flex, handedness, and length for better performance. The right length for a stick should be right under your child’s chin when they’re standing up on their skates. Anything longer or shorter than that and they won’t be able to handle it properly.

Conclusion

Choosing the right set of equipment is essential, especially if your child is just getting started. If you want them to enjoy the game and play to the best of their abilities without getting injured, make sure that you don’t skimp on equipment and go for the best equipment you can find.

 

Comments

  1. Jennifer Wilson says:

    A skate will fit 2 sizes smaller than shoes, not larger as stated in article Example: if you wear a size 3 shoe, then your skates would be a size 1.

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