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Friday, March 1, 2019

What Hockey Equipment do You Need to get Started?

Four years ago we were handed a flyer (sent home from school) by our little guy, which read "How to Ice Skate lessons". Coming from the kid who loved watching sports but never wanted to participate....In my youth I figure skated, competed and even won medals. 
Funny Side story: My spouse will even tell you of a hilarious first date we had at the Ice Arena where I may have "forgotten" to mention I already knew how to skate. 
Hockey Mom
When our son brought us this first piece of paper, I will be the first one to tell you, I was shocked! Never did I think he would want to follow in my footsteps. Or that he somehow inherited my love of the Ice. Fast forward two years ago when I became a full fledged Hockey Mom. 
You can read all about that here.
Now that we have survived our first Hockey season and getting ready to tryout for another one I thought I would share some insight. Many of you ask us:  "What equipment is needed to get started"? I decided to write it all down and walk you through it step by step!
We were so blessed to have older Hockey players guide us through the beginning years and now I want to pass my knowledge onto you!
Buffalo Sabre's, Learn to play Hockey program
This post includes products or services sold by companies that I have used affiliate links with. I was not required to write positive reviews nor I was I compensated in any other way. All opinions and suggestions are my own.
Let's talk Equipment: First off, I want to say if your children are 9 years or younger, check your local arena for a "Learn to Skate program" brought on by a NHL team. We have the "Buffalo Sabre's, Learn to play Hockey" program for example. You pay one flat rate in exchange for 20 week- Hockey lessons and a FULL set of equipment complete with sticks, skates pads etc! This is by far the BEST "bang for your buck" I can really suggest when you are first starting out. 

Now if you have an older kid unfortunately this program might not be an option.
My next suggestion is search around your local Ice Arena for second hand items. Because your child is just learning there is no need to go all out and purchase expensive gear until you know for sure they are going to "Stick with it". In several of my Hockey posts you will notice I reference how expensive the sport can be. Not to scare anyone off but to give them a "head up"!

 When they get to playing real games then you can start spending some money on gear. Places like HockeyMoney online, Pure Hockey and Great Skate always have great deals or Clearance racks!
Great Skate Hockey Store
What equipment do you need? Here are MY suggestions (from head to toe):
1. Helmet with a cage: I recommend getting a new one just for safety reasons. They will help you in a store to figure out what size you need!
2. Mouth Guard: I don't know why kids fight not to wear this but they do. I personally will NOT let my son on the ice without his mouth guard in, period!
3. Neck Guard: While many people never buy these, let me tell you why I do! On my son's first ever Hockey practice two little boys were messing around while getting on the ice. One of them tripped and the other boys skate sliced his neck open (Welcome to Hockey). After seeing blood I realized having one of these $20 guards might not be a bad INVESTMENT!
4. Chest pad
5. Long sleeve compression top: I find these at our local thrift store because kids out grown these fairly quickly. 
6. Compression pants: These look like leggings for boys.... just saying!
7. Hockey Cup with Velcro: This is an item I recommend getting new. Many of these can interchange the cup part as they grow. Again many kids don't like wearing these....It's another deal breaker for me so my son HAS to wear his :)
8. Elbow pads: Pretty self explanatory...
9. Butt Pads: These have to go over #6 & #7 mentioned above, so keep that in mind when purchasing (size up these tie)!
10. Long sport socks: You can find these at TJMAX for cheap all year round. They just need to be tall and thick.
10. Shin Pads: Just make sure they are the right size.
11. Over socks: These have to go over all of #6 through #9 mentioned. There are different sizes based on height so measure them in store before buying. They attach to the Cup Velcro to keep them up when skating.
Hockey Player undergarments
12. Hockey Skates: If you buy brand new or a used pair, get them sharpened!!
13. Jersey: Most tryouts require you to buy a Black one and White one so you might as well start off with these.
14. Hockey Stick- these need to be measured for your child's height.
15. Stick Tape: Currently my son has Camo, American Flags & purple. Its used to wrap and protect the stick from damage because kids hit them hard!
16. Sex wax: I know what you are thinking but NO! You apply the wax over the tape on the Hockey Stick.
17. Hockey Skate guards: These help the blade stay sharp when walking around and prevent the blades from rusting (when used properly)!
18. Hockey Bag: If you are just starting out... I recommend one with wheels although a duffel bag will work just as good!
19. Water bottle: Everyone has a "preference" I personally suggest the one with a straw (pictured above). I have seen little kids spray water everywhere, drop bottles, dump water bottles....never had an issue with his bottle so I recommend.
Junior Hockey Player Skating
I have linked several places you can find these items if you are in the market for equipment. I would also like to mention you should stay clear of buying Hockey pads on Amazon or Ebay. Many companies do not state whether they are for Street or Ice hockey. TRUST ME, it matters when it comes to protecting yourself from flying pucks!! That is why I suggested Hockey stores above for these such purchases. I hope you found this post helpful and continue to follow along our Hockey journey!!
What Hockey Equipment would you recommend first time Hockey players?
What age did your Player start? Let us know in the Comments!!
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