Want to be an excellent Ice Hockey player? Then you must have detailed idea about the game first. But before jumping on straight to the game rules, you must be familiar with all the ice hockey equipment. Its’ because ice hockey involves a lot of gears and you have to carry them while playing.
Though 12 players skate behind a small 3-inch puck, it’s a tough game. It’s the ice makes the game rough because there’s a little friction between the ice and the skate. So a higher risk of serious injuries by slipping over the ice is present. That’s why you’ll be required some protective guards along with other sports equipment.
One of the core protective equipment is a helmet. It comes with a face cage and a few straps. The face cage protects face while the straps help to adjust it with your head. Some old designs also come with fastening or loosening screws either at the back or at the side.
Most of the helmets are of rigid thermoplastic materials usually ABS or nylon. But inside it has a firm foam padding of vinyl nitrile to absorb shocks. The size and the face masks differ from helmet to helmet. The cage may be of plastic or wire. The face cage won’t block the vision.
Playing ice hockey involves neck injuries every now and then. It may be a flying puck or a blow of your opponent’s stick that can lead to a serious injury. The neck guard below your helmet will minimize the risk.
A series of ABS or nylon plates consist of the neck protector. The plates keep it safe from puncture. A nylon mesh covers the outer which works as a tear-resistant covering. The padding inside provides comfort to the neck while playing.
3. Elbow Pads
Whether it’s a low-skill league or a professional league, elbow pads are the must to wear. The pads cover the elbows along with the forearm and the triceps and protect them from pucks and falling. It mainly protects the arm bone as well as the joints from fractures and bruises.
Most of the elbow pads come with adjustable Velcro straps. Besides, the pads are available in different sizes from junior to adult. Some pads have an extension that covers the entire area of the upper arm.
4. Shin Guards
The chance of falling is high in ice hockey. That’s why shin pads are one of the vital elements. It protects the kneecaps as well as the frontal bones against falling and flying pucks, or sticks.
The correct size of the shin guard matters. If the shin guard doesn’t fit your knee joint, then it’ll fail to protect the patella which can lead to injury. Again, if it’s too long, it’ll prevent the movement of the ankle. So, pick the right size. But how to check?
For that, first, bend the knee at 90-degree angle. Now measure the length from your knee-cap center to the top of the skate boot. The length of the shin guard must match it.
5. Hockey Gloves
Gloves provide protection to the outer part of the hand. They also prevent the thumb from backward bending. Very thin leather is used in the palm and fingers so that you can grip the stick better. But the gloves have padding on the outside of the hand.
For protecting the genital parts, men use jockstrap while women use pelvic protectors.
A Jockstrap is a cup that comes with a strap. One that comes with a garter belt (inbuilt) allows you to wear a long sock.
The pelvic protector consists of a hard shell that protects the female genital.
Jersey is the identification of a player that contains the color code of the team and a number for the player.
8. Hockey Pants
Hockey pants cover the waist, hip, thigh and the pelvic area. The tailbone padding provides cushioning around the thighs. Stiff plastic is inserted for withstanding any impact. Perfect Hockey pants also protect the kidney. A belt is often used for holding the pant.
9. Ice Skates
The components of an ice hockey skate are an exterior holder, the boot, and an attachable blade. Maximum skate boots have heel ridge protectors and toe caps. For player’s comfort, it’s made of heat moldable compounds such as memory foam. The blades have a round heel with no toe picks. Some hockey skates have extra features to support the ankle.
The shin guard must end at the beginning of the tongue of the skate. Skates of different size and styles are available. Before buying one, make sure that it fits you well. Wear it and Check whether the ankle is stable.
10. Hockey Stick
Hockey sticks are made of either wood or composite materials. Wood is cheaper. Ash, willow, and birch are commonly used. But nowadays, most of the players use either carbon fiber or graphite sticks.
Graphite sticks come with flex patterns those ensure more power while hitting. But this is more costly but less durable. A graphite stick may be one piece or two-piece.
One piece shows better flex but once it breaks, becomes unusable. On the other hand, a two-piece stick has a blade and a shaft. So it allows for better customization. Also, you can replace the damaged part (shaft or blade) without replacing the whole stick.
Different size and styles are also available. The correct size would be when you are standing in your boots; the height of the stick must reach your nose.
11. Hockey Puck
Playing ice hockey needs a small 3’’ diameter puck. It has a thickness of 1’’ and weight around 170 gm.
12. Shoulder Pads
Shoulder pads protect the shoulder blade, chest, rib cage and the upper torso. It consists of a passed vest, some Velcro straps, and shoulder caps. Some of them also have arm pads attached to them. The vest has both back and front panels and the straps ensure proper closure. You can omit this if you’re only practicing. It’s an optional element.
13. Mouth guard
It’s an optional element for protecting your teeth and jaws from injury. But nowadays almost every player uses a mouth guard while playing. It also makes the blows on the face soft and thus prevents the fracture on jaws.
There are variations regarding the compound. A standard mouth guard is of plastic. Again, there are moldable mouth guards wearing those you can speak easily.
Not all of the ice hockey equipment mentioned above is essential. Some are also optional. You can use this article as a checklist of your equipment list. So choose according to your need. But don’t compromise your safety.
Best of luck!
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