As the hockey season begins this year, everyone is trying to get into shape to be prepared for their teams. What many people don't know is that having the right gear also helps you have a better time on the ice.
Hockey Accessories- Hockey Gloves
The first thing I would recommend acquiring before you hit any arena or rink is a pair of gloves. Hockey gloves are the most tactile piece of equipment. They allow you to feel the puck and help provide a more solid grip on your hockey stick or other accessories.
One thing that new players tend to do is purchase only one pair, thinking that one will be enough for all of their needs. This can be a mistake, as having two pairs helps you to be able to rotate and extend the life of both pairs.
Another important aspect of gloves is fit. It is important to get a glove that fits right, as it will hinder your game if you can't feel all of your fingers. If you find yourself on the smaller end of the scale, I would recommend checking out children's gloves, because they are cheaper and provide a better fit than junior sizes. For those of you on the larger end, I would recommend adult gloves because they provide more space and grip.
The next thing to pay attention to is the material. Hockey gloves are available in a variety of materials, from leather to synthetic, but I personally prefer leather as it provides a better grip and longevity. However, for those of you looking to save a little bit of dough, synthetics are a good way to go.
One thing to take into consideration when purchasing hockey gloves is whether or not you will be shooting the puck often during a game. If you plan on shooting a lot, I would recommend getting a glove with a slightly looser cuff to allow for maximum wrist action without fear of the cuff catching on the stick.
Hockey Accessories- Hockey Pads
The next piece of equipment is not nearly as important as gloves but can certainly be beneficial nonetheless. Shin pads are another one of those pieces that most new players overlook. Shin pads are not necessary to play the game of hockey, but they do help you with your stride and agility on the ice.
Hockey shin pads can also be helpful if you ever take a slap shot or fall awkwardly as they provide extra padding for your shins. You might also want to consider buying them because everyone looks cooler with them on!
There is a wide variety of price points and materials when it comes to shin pads, so you can buy what best fits your budget. Junior sizes work well for those who are just starting or those with smaller legs. I would recommend adult sizes for those who want something that will last past their first year playing hockey.
Hockey Accessories- Hockey Sticks
Hockey sticks come in an assortment of materials that each have their own benefits. Wood sticks are typically more durable while also being the most expensive option. Composite/graphite sticks are more fragile but provide a greater range of motion and can help increase shot speed. I would recommend wooden sticks for beginners because they will stand up to repeated usage better than graphite sticks.
Hockey Accessories- Hockey Stick Tape
Hockey stick tape is also a vital component of equipment. When you grip your ice hockey sticks, it is common to have slippage in the tape, which will hinder your performance. VukGripz hockey stick tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to express yourself on the ice while providing a better hold. Hockey stick tape is great when it comes to improving control over your hockey stick. This added control can greatly improve your hockey game skills.
Hockey Accessories- Hockey Stick Tape
Hockey socks are another component that can help improve your play. I would recommend getting a pair of wool/synthetic blend socks because they provide breathability, which will keep your feet from getting too sweaty.
Hockey Accessories- Hockey Equipment Bag
You should also consider buying a hockey bag to carry all of your gear to practice and games. Hockey bags come in an array of sizes, but I would recommend getting the largest one you can afford for use during travel. It is important that you get a bag with wheels because it will be much easier to lug around on a bus or in a trunk.