Youth Ice Hockey Equipment

Updated on August 21, 2012
Youth ice hockey
Youth ice hockey | Source

Hockey Equipment for Kids

Ice hockey is truly a fantastic team sport for kids. One of the most important steps in making it a positive experience for the youth player is to make sure they have the appropriate equipment and that it is accurately sized.

Hockey is a hard-core, physically demanding sport. All you have to do is observe the hard surfaces of ice with pucks flying at high speeds and body checking to realize that your child needs to be fully equipped with protective gear to lesson the risk of serious injury.

Selecting an Ice Hockey Helmet

The helmet is the most important piece of gear you can purchase for your child. Current research indicates concussions in prepubescent children can have longer lasting effects, so make sure to get a good fitting helmet. My favorite is the Mark Messer project by Cascade Sports. The company’s patented Seven Technology has been tested for maximum compression performance.

When purchasing a helmet, find one that fits snugly, but not so tight as to give a headache. There are several adjustments that can be made on a helmet that are not intuitive. Be sure to have a hockey gear expert assist you in obtaining the proper fit. You will also want your player to have a cage and a chin cup on the helmet to protect his face. Also, once a player has incurred a concussion, the helmet should be replaced. A helmet can only absorb so many hits before it starts losing its effectiveness. Buying a used helmet is like buying a used car without Carfax or having a mechanic check it out. Bottom line, don’t do it. There is no way to know how many times the helmet has already crashed into the boards.

Source

Youth Ice Hockey Skates

The second most important piece of gear for new hockey kids is the skates. Along with the helmet, it is also one of the first pieces of equipment they will need to begin skating lessons. Once you have made the commitment to begin lessons or “rink rat” sessions, rental skates are not a good option. It is important to have a good pair of skates that provide the support new skaters need, as well as good blades that allow the kids to find their edges. Second hand sporting stores are a good place to shop if you are confident in knowing how to obtain the proper fit.

Generally hockey skates fit about a size smaller than shoes. Do not make the mistake of buying them too big. When trying on skates, your player should wear hockey socks, or very thin socks. The heel should fit in the back of the skates without too much wiggle room. The widest part of the foot should feel snug without pinching. The front toe should have just a smidge of room (quarter inch) between the front of the skate. Next, lace the skates up and stand up. Tap the heel to the back of the skate, and stand normal putting equal weight on both feet. If the toes hit the front, they are too small and you need to go up a size. The skate should feel snug, but comfortable. Wearing skates that do not fit properly or that apply excessive pressure on the heel bone is the main cause of Haglund’s Deformity or the Bauer Bump, a common issue with hockey players. If you are purchasing at a pro shop, the skates can be baked to fit your child’s foot like a glove.

Shoulder Pads, Shin Guards and Elbow Pads

Shoulder pads, shin guards and elbow pads are designed to provide protection in areas of high impact while maintaining optimal mobility. When players are young, you may be able to get two seasons out of this equipment. Once they become preteens, the growth is more rapid. Keep in mind when buying these items to purchase with a reasonable amount of growing room. If you have a defenseman, good shoulder pads are imperative. A player’s shoulder pads protect not only the shoulders, but also the chest and back as well. NHL.com indicates you should check for gaps between the shoulder pads and the elbow pads when looking for a good fit. Elbow pads provide necessary protection for the elbow and the rest of the lower arm. A player’s elbow pads should reach the top of the glove since that is an area likely to receive a slash. Shin guards protect the shins, knees and sometimes the back of a player’s leg. NHL.com recommends wearing shin guards that provide coverage to the top of the skate.

Shin guards, shoulder pads and elbow pads are all sold with padding featuring Velcro strips. This is highly important when selecting equipment because it allows you to detach the pads from the gear for washing. See How to Get Rid of Hockey Equipment Smell for more information.

Source

Sizing a Youth Ice Hockey Stick

When sizing an ice hockey stick, the top of the stick should generally come between the players nose and chin. The hockey stick is an extension of the player’s arm, so it is an important piece of equipment to have sized correctly. Most hockey sticks come in junior, intermediate and senior size sticks, but they can all be trimmed so it is a custom fit. It is very difficult for a player to control an undersized or oversized stick, so the length of the stick must be correct for the player’s height. The angle of the blade portion of the stick is a personal preference. However, for new players, their dominant hand most often determines this. The strongest hand should go on top of the stick to give the player greater control in stick handling. The bottom hand determines which handed stick you are using (ex: left hand down means left-handed stick).

Another consideration when selecting an ice hockey stick is the flex. Younger players do not need to worry too much about this because they are still learning the fundamentals of shooting. Sticks have a flex rating of 40-110. The higher the number, the less flex in the stick. Most youth sticks are in the 40 range; intermediate 60-75 and the pros use 110+. Often players overestimate their strength and select too stiff of a stick. This effects their shooting ability because you need to have flex to whip the puck.

Purchasing Hockey Pants

Hockey pants protect the player’s tailbone, hips, thighs, ribs and kidneys. Hockey pants should come to the top of the player’s knees in length. The color of the pants is usually determined by the league, so be sure to check out any requirements before purchasing.

Youth Ice Hockey Gloves

Enjoy these while they are new. They quickly become the smelliest piece of equipment you could ever imagine! Gloves should offer a combination of comfort and performance while protecting the skater from skate blades, pucks and sticks. Gloves come in youth, junior and senior sizes. Like all hockey gear, it is best to try it on first before purchasing. There are two basic type of gloves: a long cuff of a short cuff. The longer cuff offers more protection, but less mobility in the wrist. As far as materials, a synthetic leather and nylon construction is the best because it offer durability and is lighter and more breathable.

Don't Forget the Undergarments

Hockey players require a lot of special gear underneath their equipment too. Long sleeve or short sleeve dry fit shirts are good to wear under hockey jerseys. For boys, hockey shorts with a built in cup offer good protection. For girls, a similar undergarment is also available to provide protection in the pelvic area. Thin, hockey socks are also needed. Don’t forget a neck guard. It’s a small thing, but the only piece of equipment to protect against the blade of a skate coming in contact with a player’s neck. Lastly, mouth guards are a requirement for many hockey leagues. They come in various sizes and can even accommodate braces.

Ice Hockey Equipment Checklist

 
New
Used
Gloves
 
x
Stick
x
x
Shoulder Pads
 
x
Hockey Pants
 
x
Shin Guards
 
x
Elbow Guards
 
x
Ice Hockey Skates (skate guards)
 
x
Helmet
x
 
Neck Protector
x
 
Equipment Bag
 
x
Mouthguard
x
 
Dry-fit undershirts
x
 
Undershorts (for boys and girls)
x
 
Hockey socks
x
 
A Guide to Buying New vs. Used Hockey Equipment

Getting the Hockey Bug

Hockey Moms are a rare breed. They have to be to survive all the early mornings, expensive equipment, freezing temperatures and long seasons. It is the sparkle in the eye and the smile on their child's face that makes it all worth it. Once a child starts playing hockey they get hooked quickly. So go ahead and buy the gear. No doubt it will be a worthwhile investment.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • nicolasbesch profile image

        nicolasbesch 5 years ago from French

        Excellent work for ice hockey to the sport. Good hub!

        http://www.hockeystream.net/

      • SimeyC profile image

        Simon Cook 6 years ago from NJ, USA

        Very thorough advice - will be using this when my grandson is old enough!

      • Judi Bee profile image

        Judith Hancock 6 years ago from UK

        Excellent advice for newcomers to the sport. Good hub!

        Voted up etc

      • theraggededge profile image

        Bev G 6 years ago from Wales, UK

        Expert advice. Thank you for the information.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)