Ice hockey is a tremendously fun sport to play but it requires a huge commitment in time and gear to get started. This article will cover all of the basic equipment that you will need to play ice hockey to help you get started.
Start with a good pair of hockey skates. My recommendation is to visit your local hockey shop and try on every pair that they have in your size and pick the ones that are most comfortable. If you end up with skates that don’t fit well, you will not enjoy skating in them. To play ice hockey, you need to be decent on your skates. Learn to start, stop, go forward and turn in both directions before trying to actually play hockey. A lot of people use think skates when they use rental skate but this is not what you want when you are performance skating. Thin socks will allow you to feel and control the skates better than a thick sock will.
Hockey isn’t hockey without a hockey stick. Ice hockey sticks come in a very large range of choices. Start off with a wood hockey stick and a relatively mild curve on the blade. You don’t want a big curve on your blade when you are first starting out because it makes receiving a pass backhanded very difficult and you won’t learn the proper shooting techniques. For stick number one it is all about getting a basic model and then growing your skills before choosing your second stick.
Flying pucks hurt if they hit you where you don’t have protection. Falling on the ice also hurts when you land on it. This is why the protective hockey gear is so important. You will need a hockey helmet, should pads, elbow pads, hockey pants and shin guards to protect most of your body. Throw in a good pair of hockey gloves and a hockey jill or jock and you will be good to go for protective gear.
Clothing comes next and there are under garments and outer layers to get. The under garments include skate socks, a hockey jock or jill, and an under shirt. Outer clothing include hockey sock that go over then shin guards and a hockey jersey. It is pretty standard to need both a white jersey and a dark jersey so players are easily dividable into teams.
There are a bunch of extra accessories that you will also need. First there are two kinds of hockey tape. Shin guard tape goes around your shin guards to hold them firmly in place. The second tape is cloth tape that is used to wrap you hockey stick blade for a better grip on the puck and to make a better grip and the handle end of your hockey stick. Other accessory items include hockey pucks, a mouth guard, a hockey bag for all of your equipment and a water bottle.
Once you have all of your gear and you start using it you will soon realize that it gets wet and smelly very quickly. Best practice for keeping your gear clean is to take it out of your hockey bag and air dry it after every game. Many rinks also have special hockey gear washing machines. Use them! If you don’t take proper care of your gear it becomes a breeding ground for germs and bacterial. Get into the habit of good gear maintenance right from the beginning and you won’t have to fight bigger problems down the road.
As you can see, there is a large number of items that are required to play ice hockey. Most of these items are for your protection. Don’t skip wearing any of them, especially when you are first starting out and playing with other brand new hockey players. The other very important thing to do is to get equipment that fits properly. If you have any doubts ask the folks at your local hockey shop and they will get you set up properly. Good gear will keep you safe and in the game for a long time to come.
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