As hockey players, it is important that we always bring with us to the ice all of the hockey gear and equipment that we will need to succeed during a hockey practice or game. Hockey gear is absolutely pertinent to the sport, and is necessary for any hockey player who wants to perform well.
In ice hockey, players use specialized equipment both to facilitate the play of the game and for protection as this is a sport where injuries are common, therefore, all players are encouraged to protect their bodies from bruises and severe fractures.
The hard surfaces of the ice and boards, pucks being shot at high speed, and other players maneuvering (and often intentionally colliding, also known as "checking") pose multiple safety hazards. Besides ice skates and sticks, hockey players are usually equipped with an array of safety gear to lessen their risk of serious injury. This usually includes;
Helmets are basic protective equipment and many people tend to not use them due to the fact that most are bulky and feels uncomfortable. However, helmets are important if you are engaging in sports such as inline skating, skiing, cycling, hockey and baseball. Make sure that the helmet you are wearing is meant for the particular sporting activity. Do not use a cycling helmet for hockey as they are not meant for it. The helmet must also meet their respective safety standards such as the CPSC standard. Make sure that the helmet fits snugly on your head as an ill fitting helmet can cause more harm than good in the event of an accident.
Along with a helmet, you should always make sure to wear a mouthguard during hockey practices and hockey games. A mouthguard can be worn at all times to protect your mouth, teeth and brain. Additionally, most mouthguards are unobtrusive, and won’t cause you any difficulty breathing when you are sprinting down the ice, and will still let you talk and communicate with other players on your team.
Eyewear is also an essential protection equipment that is often neglected by people. Most eyewear are made of polycarbonate which provides good impact protection for the eyes. Activities such as ice hockey and baseball requires adequate eye protection. It is important to use eyewear that is certified as non certified ones will shatter upon impact and the shrapnel will injure the eyes. If you wear glasses, make sure you purchase one that has prescription lenses.
For "skaters", a neck guard typically consists of a series of nylon or ABS plates for puncture resistance, with padding for comfort and fit and a tear-resistant nylon mesh outer covering. For goalies, the neck protector is usually a curved panel of clear lexan and hangs just underneath the mask from nylon cords, somewhat in the manner of a metal military gorget. Both are intended to reduce the potential for injury to the neck or throat by a puck, stick or skate blade.
Shoulder Pads / Chest Protector
No matter the rules of your league, hockey can become an incredibly physical sport rather quickly. Even if your league doesn’t allow checking or other forms of contact, you may still find yourself colliding with the boards at high speeds. And it is precisely in this situation that a sturdy pair of shoulder pads will help keep you protected. If you skate quickly into the boards on the side of the rink, you put yourself at risk for a broken arm or collarbone. Keep yourself safe by always wearing this type of hockey protection.
Elbow Pads provide forearm and sometimes triceps protection against pucks in addition to a reinforced elbow cup. Elbow pads are vital for all hockey players. The pads can protect the elbow joint and arm bones from bruises and prevent fractures. The elbow pads cover the elbow joint and part of the upper and lower arms. Some elbow pads do have extensions that can cover the entire upper arm. The majority of elbow pads are adjustable and are secured with velcro straps.
It may be tempting to mess around during a hockey practice without wearing any gloves, but this may not be the smartest idea. Hockey gloves are an extremely important piece of hockey gear, and for multiple reasons. For one, these gloves will protect your hands from other sticks or flying pucks, which could lead to a serious break or muscle strain. Furthermore, your gloves can keep your hands safe from being crushed during a collision or fall on the ice with another player. Never head to the rink without this necessary piece of hockey equipment.
Jock & Jill Straps
The jock is a protective cup which is designed to protect the genitals. The cup easily fits into a strap or some type of sports support. Some jock straps come with inbuilt garter belts so that one can wear long socks at the same time. Many companies now make "jock shorts" which are a jockstrap incorporated into a pair of boxer or athletic shorts, or into elastic shorts similar to "boxer briefs", which increases coverage of the garment and helps position the cup more securely against the player's anatomy without shifting. Similar garments, called "pelvic protectors" or informally "jillstraps", provide a hard shell protecting the female genitalia and the lower pelvis from impact.
These are knee-length oversized shorts, which incorporate the thigh, pelvic, hip and tailbone pads, and cinch at the waist. They are often held up by a belt or suspenders. Hockey pants may not be good enough for Batman but they will be more than adequate for you on the ice. Easily the largest piece of equipment in your bag, hockey pants play an integral role protecting an area from your kidneys to your knees. ProTip - When buying new hockey pants, bring your shin pads and shoulder pads so you know how the equipment aligns together on your body
In addition to shoulder pads, be certain to keep shin guards on your legs as well for a bit of protection. Shin guards can help protect you from serious bruises or injuries a variety of different ways. We all know hockey is a contact sport and sometimes not everyone plays fair or emotions take over, your shin guards can protect you from stick strikes while fighting for lose pucks or poor sports alike. They also offer protection from more innocent hockey situations like blocking shoots or little mix ups on the ice like falling down or colliding with other players. A good pair of shin guards will always keep you protected.
Hockey skates incorporate a rigid shell, form-fit to the player's foot using memory foam and/or heat-moldable components, often reinforced with metal mesh to prevent a skate blade cutting through. Unlike figure skates, hockey skate blades have a rounded heel and no toe picks as these can be dangerous in a "pile-up". Ice skates are essential for all hockey players. One should always try on a pair of hockey skates before buying them. Hockey skates come in many styles and sizes. The essential component of all skate is the interior boot, exterior holder and the attachable blade. Most skates have rigid toe caps and heel/Achilles ridge protectors. Typically the tongue of the skate should end at or just above the beginning of the shin guard.
The most advanced ice hockey sticks are made from graphite and are manufactured with precise flex patterns that allow for more accuracy and power when hitting the puck; however these advantages come with a flip side of increased cost and somewhat lower overall durability. Graphite sticks come in one-piece and two-piece varieties; a two-piece stick (composed of shaft and blade) allows for greater customization with reduced parts stock required of retailers, and allows for a damaged shaft or blade to be replaced without replacing the entire stick. One-piece sticks generally have better flex characteristics towards the bottom of the shaft, but if the stick breaks or becomes unusable, it is discarded entirely.