Home » The Purchasing Guides » Hockey Equipment Buying Guide for Kids
Anybody taking interest in hockey should know that this sport requires a lot of equipment and supplies. Rules for minors are very strict, so young players will need even more shopping than adults. Gear shopping does not have to break the bank. We will look at the best ways to acquire the needed supplies for kids.
The bag is an item of necessity as it houses all other equipment. The hockey equipment bags vary in size and may or may not have rolling wheels.
Most little kids enjoy wheeled bags as they are easier to handle. GRIT hockey bag towers are probably the most liked because in addition to wheels they have compartments for organization.
As hockey players grow, they start using more non-wheeled bags because they are smaller to lug around. Bullying plays a role here – kids don't want to be laughed at as weak.
This item is very important for protection. Men use jocks, females – Jills. This type of underwear comes in two styles. The older versions have garter belts, while the newer is secured with Velcro tabs. The new version is winning because of added comfort.
Shin pads' purpose is to protect legs from the knee down. They need to fit snuggly to work properly.
Hockey socks are a special type of long sock that goes on top of shin pads and connect to jocks by Velcro or garter belts. Hockey tape is also used to prevent socks and pads from sliding.
Hockey pants are shorts and safeguard the legs from the knee up. They are thick and should fit just perfectly not to be falling off and not too tight.
This is the essential piece of the entire gear. They have to be very well fitted, comfortable, and correctly sharpened. The best practice is to buy them at a professional shop and get them tailored for your child.
The skates should be:
❶ - perfect size
❷ - feel good
❸ - correct width
❹ - custom heat fitted for the foot
Hockey players are inseparable from their bulging shoulder pads, and there is a great reason for that – they protect not just shoulders, but the entire upper body. Kids are recommended to wear thick shoulder pads while later in the career some players prefer smaller thin pads for better movement.
Elbow pads protect more than just elbows; they also cover areas above and below elbow. They safeguard against fall injuries and cuts from other players.
While very rare, injuries and cuts to the neck happen, so neck guard is vital.
Just like in American football, concussions are very likely in hockey, so proper head protection is essential. Helmet should be fitted to offer the best protection. Kids should definitely have their face protected by cage.
Besides face cage, the young players should use mouth protection. They wary in price from a few dollars to a few hundred, and can be acquired from a store or custom built by a dentist. Store mouth guards should be heated and then bit to customize the fit.
Team jersey will be given to a player, but sometimes it's useful to have a separate jersey just for practices and friendly training sessions.
This is another essential part of equipment and will mean a lot for the quality of the game. The hockey stick should be tailored for each player and measured by a preferred hand because that hand will do most of the guiding movements. The right length is measured by placing the stick vertically next to a child on skates. It should end right under the chin for a maximum comfort of handling.
Lots of parents feel lost when it comes to buying this huge amount of gear and supplies. Should they hunt for individual pieces of should they shop for complete kits?
A lot depends on financial situation. Collecting individual items is usually more expensive than buying in bulk and can run anywhere between $300-700.
On the other hand, some companies offer hockey kits for as low as $180. Pure Hockey offers such youth kit. Buying everything in one place will save you time and will guarantee that you'll have everything you need without spending a fortune. This kit includes all the pieces that were discussed above.
Kids grow all the time, so most of the equipment is only good for a season or two. Buying new things all the time will be expensive. A lot of parents swear by buying only used. Used items are little worn because they only serve two seasons at most and are significantly cheaper that new.
Most experts recommend buying a good quality new skates, helmet, and jock. Everything can be used and still perfect.
There are physical stores that specialize in used sports gear sales. Two examples are Recycled Sports and Play it Again Sports. Online giants like Craigslist, Ebay, Kijiji, and local Facebook marketplace offer used gear for great prices. And finally, it never hurts to ask parents of older players from the same arena.
It usually makes no difference if the gear is acquired online or in local sports stores. In fact, some online retailers might have better deals that brick and mortar stores. The only problem is to know if equipment will fit your child. Experts recommend finding and trying everything in the store, and then buying online especially if prices are better.
Skates and helmet are exceptional items because they require custom fitting, so it is best to buy those in the store of your choice, but not online.
It is very difficult to determine the exact cost of putting your child on ice. Total new equipment will cost anywhere between $300-500.
Then there is always an option to buy used, which might cost $50-200. Some people even manage to spend just $50, but such price will most likely include some free items and a few hand-me-downs.
The biggest cost comes from skates and helmet. Just skates can put you back by $500, but there is no necessity to splurge on the most expensive pair. Everything else will cost about $100, so it won't make such an impact on your wallet.
There is no need to rush into buying when your child first wants to try hockey. Most hockey associations have some equipment readily available for try outs like that.
Only if your young player decides to be serious about the sport, you should start thinking about buying everything. And even then, the buying options differ for those who pick up hockey as a hobby or choose to play in the league. Leagues have strict safety requirements, while amateur hockey supply are completely up to parents. However, be vigilant and make sure your child is well protected during those meet ups and recreational training sessions.
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