Shopping Guide

Buying Guide

In today’s fast-paced game, hockey equipment must be as protective as possible, while still allowing for quick and athletic movements.  Below are some key things to consider when making purchases for new equipment.

Sticks

When choosing a stick for ice or inline hockey, there are three options to consider: a one-piece composite stick, a wood stick or a shaft and blade combination. For more information on the shaft and blade combinations, please see the "Shafts and Blades" section below.

  • Sizing: Sizing is integral to your game. If the size and flex of your stick is not correct, the risk for failure in performance is much greater. If the stick is too small or not stiff enough, it could break easily. On the other hand, if the stick is too big or too stiff, it can hinder stick handling, passing and shooting. All of these are common problems when purchasing sticks for younger players. To ensure a proper fit, please view the Sticks section in our Fitting Guide.
  • Materials: Sticks are composed of a variety of materials including: wood, wood and fiberglass, carbon and fiberglass, graphite and Kevlar.

Sizing: Sizing is integral to your game. If the size and flex of your stick is not correct, the risk for failure in performance is much greater. If the stick is too small or not stiff enough, it could break easily. On the other hand, if the stick is too big or too stiff, it can hinder stick handling, passing and shooting. All of these are common problems when purchasing sticks for younger players. To ensure a proper fit, please view the Sticks section in our Fitting Guide.

Materials: Sticks are composed of a variety of materials including: wood, wood and fiberglass, carbon and fiberglass, graphite and Kevlar.

Wood Sticks vs. One-Piece Composite Sticks: Before deciding which stick is best for your game, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you using the stick for practicing in the garage or for street hockey?
  2. Are you new to the game?
  3. Is this your first stick?
  4. Are you coming back to playing after a long break from the game?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, a wood stick or a shaft and blade combination would best fit your current game. These sticks will be slightly heavier than the one-piece composite sticks, but they will provide you with a better feel for the puck. The weight will help your shot during practice and give you more confidence when you are stick handling, passing or shooting on the ice.

Wood sticks are more durable, so they are appropriate for street hockey. Wood sticks are also great for first-time players who are just getting acclimated to the game, as well as for easing in returning players who are transitioning back into the game.

  1. Are you a player looking to take your game to the next level?

If you answered yes, one-piece composite sticks are the best choice for you. One-piece composite sticks are made of either carbon and fiberglass or graphite and Kevlar. Both of these provide a higher level of performance with your stick. The more expensive a stick costs, the higher quality of materials it’s composed of. These high-end materials produce lighter sticks, which create a faster energy transfer for higher velocity shots and passes. Although wood sticks still provide the best feel for the puck, manufacturers have developed the technology to incorporate materials in the blade of a composite stick that has dramatically improved the feel in recent years, making it an easier transition from wood to composite sticks.

Flex: Flex can be broken down in to four categories: youth, junior, intermediate and senior. Youth sticks feature a 40 flex. Junior features a flex 50 – 52. Intermediate flex ranges between 65 – 67. For youth, junior and intermediate sticks, the flex is standard among all manufacturers. Please note that flex will change slightly if the stick has to be cut down to fit the size of the player. Although it is not an exact science, it is generally believed that each inch cut off the shaft causes a 10% increase in stiffness. Senior sticks have the widest range of flex, from 75 – 110. The lower the flex the stick has, the higher its elasticity. The higher the flex, the less elasticity the stick has. As a general rule, the taller and heavier a player is, the higher flex the player will need.

Grip vs. Non-Grip: Sticks can have either a smooth surface (Non-Grip) or a textured sticky surface (Grip). The surface of a non-grip stick is smooth, allowing the bottom hand to easily move up and down the shaft for stick handling, passing and shooting. However, during a game it is possible for the gloves to become slick because of sweat, hindering a player’s performance. If that is the case, a Grip stick might be the better option for you. Some grips cover the entire stick, while other grips are only featured on the main area of the shaft where the player’s hands are located. The grip can also be a coating or it could be incorporated in the texture of the stick. The main purpose of grip is to provide increased control if the player’s gloves are wet. If the gloves are not wet, it may be more difficult for the player to move his/her bottom hand. Ultimately, the choice of grip or non-grip comes down to personal preference.

Kick point: Kick point is the place on the stick that gives off the flex when you pass and shoot. What kind of player are you? Are you the defenseman with the booming slap shot from the point or the forward taking the one-timer past the goalie? A mid- to low- kick point would be better for either of these players because these players have a more powerful shot. Or are you the playmaker that stickhandles, makes tape to tape passes, and takes wrist shots and snap shots over slap shots? If so, a low kick point is the right choice for you because it allows for a quicker release.

Patterns: Patterns or curves of a blade can be used for different types of players. Please view our Pattern Guide to see the different specs and pattern names for different curves from various manufacturers. Stick pattern is almost entirely player preference.

Shafts and Blades

When choosing a shaft and blade combination for ice or inline, there are a variety of things to consider. The shaft and blade option allows you to choose different combinations of blades and shafts than what may be typically available in a one-piece composite stick.  This also allows you to replace the blades when needed, instead of having to completely replace the entire stick. Since blades tend to wear out faster than shafts, some players prefer shaft and blade combination because blade replacements allow you to get a longer life out of your stick.

Shafts

Sizing: Sizing is integral to your game. If the size and flex of your stick is not correct, the risk for failure in performance is much greater. If the stick is too small or not stiff enough, it could break easily. On the other hand, if the stick is too big or too stiff, it can hinder stick handling, passing and shooting. All of these are common problems when purchasing sticks for younger players. To ensure a proper fit, please view the Sticks section in our Fitting Guide.

Materials: Shaft materials can vary greatly, ranging from carbon and fiberglass to graphite and Kevlar. More expensive shafts are composed of higher quality materials. These high-end materials produce lighter weight sticks with better energy transfer for higher velocity shots.

Flex: Flex can be broken down in to four categories: youth, junior, intermediate and senior.  Youth sticks feature a 40 flex. Junior features a flex 50 – 52. Intermediate flex ranges between 65 – 67. For youth, junior and intermediate sticks, the flex is standard among all manufacturers. Please note that flex will change slightly if the shaft has to be cut down to fit the size of the player. Although it is not an exact science, it is generally believed that each inch cut off the shaft causes a 10% increase in stiffness.

Senior shafts have the widest range of flex from 75 – 110. The lower the flex the shaft has, the higher its elasticity. The higher the flex, the less elasticity the shaft has. As a general rule, the taller and heavier a player is, the higher flex the player will need.

Grip vs. Non-Grip: Shafts can have either a smooth surface (Non-Grip) or a textured sticky surface (Grip). The surface of a non-grip shaft is smooth, allowing the bottom hand to easily move up and down the shaft for stick handling, passing and shooting. However, during a game it is possible for the gloves to become slick because of sweat, hindering a player’s performance. If that is the case, a grip shaft might be the better option for you. Some grips cover the entire shaft, while other grips are only featured on the main area of the shaft where the player’s hands are located. The grip can also be a coating or it could be incorporated in the texture of the shaft. The main purpose of grip is to provide increased control if the player’s gloves are wet. If the gloves are not wet, it may be more difficult for the player to move his/her bottom hand. Ultimately, the choice of grip or non-grip comes down to personal preference.

Standard vs. Tapered A standard shaft is uniform in size throughout the entire shaft and allows standard blades to be inserted in the hosel of the shaft.  Tapered shafts get smaller as it moves down closer to the blade. Tapered shafts can only use tapered blades in its hosel. In addition, tapered shafts are capable of producing lower kick points, much like many of the one-piece composite sticks.

Kick point: Kick point is the place on the shaft that gives off the flex when you pass and shoot. What kind of player are you? Are you the defenseman with the booming slap shot from the point or the forward taking the one-timer past the goalie? A mid- to low- kick point would be better for either of these players because these players have a more powerful shot. Or are you the playmaker that stickhandles, makes tape to tape passes, and takes wrist shots and snap shots over slap shots? If so, a low kick point is the right choice for you because it allows for a quicker release.

Blades

Patterns: Patterns or curves of a blade can be used for different types of players. Please view our Pattern Guide to see the different specs and pattern names for different curves from various manufacturers. Stick pattern is almost entirely player preference.

Sizing: It is important that the blade you insert in the hosel matches the shaft type, meaning junior shafts use junior blades, intermediate shafts use intermediate blades and senior shafts use senior blades. Please view the Fitting Guide to determine the correct type of shaft and blade is appropriate for your size and age.

Composite vs. Wood and Hybrid: Before selecting a blade, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I using this blade to practice in the garage?
  2. Is the primary purpose of this blade to play street hockey with?

If the answer is yes to either of these, then a hybrid or a wood blade would best suit your needs. Wood blades allow you the greatest feel for the puck, at remaining a durable and reliable option for your game. Hybrid blades provide you with the best of both worlds in that they are very light but also a very similar feel as a wood blade. Hybrid blades are also very durable.

  1. Are you getting back in the game after some significant time off?

Wood blades may be the best choice for you since they will help you re-acclimate yourself to the game, making the transition easier to composite blades.

  1. Are you a seasoned player looking for optimum performance from your blade?

A composite blade is the best choice for you and your game. Composite blades are stronger and lighter, allowing you to maximize your performance on the ice.

Standard vs. Tapered: It is important to pair your blades and shafts according to their type. Standard blades fit standard shafts and tapered blades fit into tapered shafts. Mixing the two types will damage the shaft and blade.

Skates

Whether you are playing ice or inline hockey, your skates are argued to be the most important piece of equipment you have. It is imperative that they fit your foot properly. Poor fitting skates will hinder your performance. On the other hand, properly fitted skates will not only make your game more comfortable, but also maximize your game.

When considering a new pair of skates, there are many personal preferences to take into consideration. Age, weight, playing style and skill level are all important factors. Age affects skate sizes. Please reference the Skates section of our Fitting Guide when selecting your appropriate size. It is important to note the special considerations of selecting skates to allow room for growth for youth players. Weight is an important factor to keep in mind in that the more weight the skate supports, the sturdier it needs to be. Determining playing style is especially important for players who tend to play harder or a more physical game. The skate needs to be able to accommodate these expectations. Finally, skill level is a key factor to consider when purchasing a skate. Players that have a higher skill level tend to spend more time on their skates each week. This demands a skate that is more durable and can withstand this high level of wear-and-tear.

Skate Construction: There are several aspects of skate construction that are important when considering which pair to buy. Skate manufactures use a variety of materials throughout their skate line.  These material differences represent the majority of the differences in price of a skate.  The most important aspects include the quarter package, the tongue, the outsole and the blade/holder or wheel/chassis

Quarter Package: This is a term used to describe the largest portion of the skate. It is the piece of the boot that extends from the toe cap to your heel and up the ankle.  Many consumers do not realize that the quarter package is one piece of material that is formed around a last (a last is a hard plastic piece in the shape of a foot).  This makes the quarter package the largest component of the skate.  High-end skates (for highly skilled or larger players) incorporate both stronger and more lightweight materials.  Lower-end skates (for younger players, recreational players or smaller players) typically use materials that have less strength and durability. Oftentimes this creates a boot that is also slightly heavier.

Tongue: The tongue is another important aspect of any skate. The two most popular tongue styles are felt and foam. The foam-based tongue is generally more lightweight and is incorporated by manufacturers to lessen the overall weight of the skate. Felt tongues are slightly heavier than foam, but are also more traditional. Selecting a tongue comes down to personal preference in terms of overall comfort.

Outsole: The outsole is the piece of bottom of the boot where the blade/holder or wheel/chassis connects. High-end skates are made with a composite outsole. This is a more expensive material, but it is very light weight and very rigid.  The rigidity helps minimize the torque of the boot when the player is in stride. Mid-range skates often use a hybrid of carbon and plastic materials, while lower-end skates usually feature a plastic outsole. Both of these materials weigh more and are less rigid; however, they are the perfect fit for lighter weight or recreational players.

Blade and Blade Holder: These are located on the bottom of the skate. The biggest difference among blades is the type of metal used in its composition. High-end skates are composed of stainless steel, a strong metal that maintains its composition best when in contact with ice and water. Lower-end steel requires more attention to ensure the blades dry well to avoid rusting. Another important feature when considering steel is that higher-end skates allow you to replace only the steel when it wears down from sharpening. Some lower-end skates feature the holder and steel fused together as one piece, meaning that if the steel ever needs to be replaced, you will have to replace both the steel and the holder.

Inline Skate Chassis: Many of the same characteristics hold true for an inline skate chassis as for the ice skate blade and holder. The higher-end skates use a higher quality material to construct the chassis.  These materials allow for a lighter weight and more rigidity. Players will notice when chassis are not correlated correctly to their size.

Inline Wheels: Wheels come in many different colors and sizes. It is very important to know what size wheels you need for your skates. If you do not know, it is best to bring your skates into a Pure Hockey / Total Hockey store so that you receive properly sized wheels. Wheels are composed of a material called urethane.

Durometer: The durometer of a wheel measures the hardness of a wheel. The hardness of a wheel varies among different makes and models. The degree of hardness you need depends on the typical surface you will be skating. For instance, if you will be inline hockey at an indoor rink, your game calls for softer wheels than if you were skating outdoors on asphalt. The softest durometer is 74a and is typically used on an indoor sport court surface. 84a is an extremely hard wheel and is typically used on an outdoor surface.

There are a few other factors to take into account when selecting wheels. First, consider the size of the person. A lighter person (160 lbs or less) generally uses an extra soft wheel to achieve better grip. A heavier person (160 lbs or more) would want to use a soft wheel.

Wheel Size: Wheel size is based on the circumference of the wheel and is measured in millimeters. The size of the wheel is printed on all wheels. Smaller wheels (46mm to 59mm) are typically used for youth and goalie skates. Junior skates generally use 59mm to 72mm size wheels. Senior skates feature 68mm to 80mm size wheels.

Hubs: There are two types of hubs in wheels: standard and mini. The Standard hub features an opening about the size of a nickel, while the Mini hub is about the size of a dime. The mini hub was created to decrease the weight of the wheel.

To get the most out of your wheels and extend their life, you can rotate and flip their position. Rotating wheels means moving the position of the wheel. This extends the life of the wheels because different wheel positions receive varying degrees of wear. By rotating the wheels, you help even out the wear of all the wheels.

                                                 |           |                                  |          |

 

                                      inside  |          |  outside         inside  \         |   outside

 

                                        edge   |           |    edge           edge     \        |     edge

                                                   \____/                                       \__/

 

                                              New wheel                          Worn wheel

Wheel Bearings: The ABEC rating system consists of 1,3,5,7, and 9. The higher the ABEC rating, the tighter their tolerances. High precision and small tolerances are required for bearings to function at very high RPM, in products like high speed routers that must spin at 20 to 30,000 RPM. In an application like this, an ABEC 7 or 9 bearing rating may be appropriate. However, a skate with 59mm wheels turning 20,000 RPM will be traveling about 127 MPH! Since virtually all skating is less than 30 MPH, the realistic maximum RPM your skate bearings will see is about 4,700 RPM and probably 90% of skating occurs under 2,000 RPM. Thus, very high precision is not required at skating speeds.

The dimensions and tolerances controlled by the ABEC standards include the diameters and widths of the raceways, their shapes to some extent and the smoothness of the running surfaces. The ABEC rating system ignores side loading, impact resistance, materials selection and grade, appropriateness of lubrication, ball retainer type, grade of ball, the clearance between the balls and the races, installation requirements, and the need for maintenance and cleaning. All these bearing design requirements are very important to the performance of your skate bearing, even though the ABEC rating says nothing about them.

WARNING!

Do not continue to use bearings that don’t spin freely on your skate. If you continue to ride very dirty or un-lubricated bearings, you run the risk of permanently damaging them and/or yourself. Dirt in your bearings will cause pitting of your ball bearings and races, increase friction, cause extra heat, and can eventually cause the bearing to “freeze up” or stop rolling. If this happens to your bearings, the skate will stop abruptly, causing you to fall and be injured. Keep bearings clean, dry and lubricated with Speed Cream.

Gloves

When purchasing new gloves, there are many stylistic and functional options to consider. A good way to begin on your venture of finding the perfect glove is to compare fabrics, design, materials and functionality aspects of a variety of gloves. Deciding what aspects are most important to the player will assist in choosing a pair of gloves that best fits the player’s specific needs.

Materials: The materials used in gloves provide the player with options in durability as well as comfort. The basic exterior of the glove can be constructed of leather or a variety of different nylon materials. Each offers unique qualities.  Underlying the material choice are specific needs of the player: weight, maneuverability, comfort and durability.

One way to easily narrow down glove choice is to determine if the gloves will be used more for inline or ice hockey. Ice hockey conditions tend to lead to more wear and tear on the glove. Leather gloves typically provide the player with a higher level of durability. At the same time, leather gloves are heavier than most Nylon materials, so many inline players’ games benefit from the lighter Nylon gloves. Some gloves offer a hybrid of both materials, which could offer the player the best of both worlds.

There are also multiple material options for palm of the glove. Higher-end gloves feature higher quality materials. A flexible material not only provides comfort but also enhances the player’s range of motion. Other palm materials offer a double overlay to increase durability of the gloves.

Design: The design of the glove offers the player an infinite amount of possibilities in personal fit and performance. On the other hand, the design of the glove will offer a player infinite possibilities in personal fit and performance.

Narrow vs. Wide Fit: Gloves can feature a narrow or a wide fit. Narrow fitting gloves decrease the negative space and provide the player with better overall glove control. A wide fitting glove, on the other hand, can provide the player with more comfort and less constriction. Not all manufacturers offer all models of gloves in narrow and wide. However, this option can help the player find a comfortable glove.

Cuff: The cuff of the glove can be angled for increased wrist mobility. Some gloves provide an adjustable cuff flap for a more customized fit.  This can also enhance the overall fit of the glove and offer better wrist protection.

Protection: High-end gloves offer options for improved protection. Plastic inserts can be used in the roll and fingers of the gloves, as well as on top of the foam construction to optimize protection. Thumb locks are also utilized in many gloves. This mechanism helps prevent hyperextension of the thumb.

Color: While appearance of gloves shouldn’t be the main feature a player looks for, it is definitely an important one for many players. Color and style options allow the player to match their team colors or show some personal flair.  Most loves will come in a vast assortment of color schemes. If you cannot find the perfect look, many manufacturers have custom glove programs, providing players the opportunity to create exactly what they want.

Shoulder Pads

Since the sole purpose of protective gear is to protect the player, manufacturers utilize a variety of strong materials to create a light, yet durable piece of equipment. All shoulder pads provide integral protection for your collarbone, upper chest, back, upper arms and shoulders.

Lower Back: Most shoulder pads feature extra lower-back protection in one of two ways: an extension of padding or an attachment pad. Since both options provide similar protection, it comes down to player preference.

Rib and Stomach Guards: Some shoulder pads have removable rib and stomach guards. While this extra layer of protection may not be necessary for all players, it is essential for some. If you are a player who is in direct contact with the puck or other players for most of the game, rib and stomach guards are key elements in achieving full protection as well as absorbing the impact.

Elbow Pads

Elbow pads protect sensitive areas of the player’s elbow. Most elbow pads are adjustable with Velcro straps, allowing the player to secure the pads and achieve a comfortable fit. Be careful not to adjust the elbow pads too loose because the pads will move during your game and not provide proper protection; on the other hand tightening the elbow pads too snugly will constrict your mobility, ultimately hindering your game.

Shin Guards

Shin guards protect your legs from the puck and the opponent's stick. Most shin guards are adjustable with Velcro straps, allowing the player to tighten or loosen the straps to a desirable fit. Depending on your skill level and position, there are different types of shin guards to choose from. The defensive player needs a shin guard that offers the highest level of protection and padding that will absorb the impact of blocking shots. Forwards tend to prefer lighter shin guards because they allow for more flexibility and speed.

Helmets

When purchasing a helmet, a correctly-sized helmet is essential, but it is also important to look at other features as well as the types of materials used in its creation. Experts recommend that the padding in the helmet should be at least 5/8” thick. Most helmets are made of a polycarbonate material, which is a lightweight plastic.

One-Piece vs. Two-piece helmet: While both helmet styles offer proper protection, the two-piece helmet provides the player with a more customized fit, allowing the player to get the exact fit he/she desires. Many two-piece helmets feature tool-less adjustment tabs on the outside of the helmet. This is an easy way to help the player achieve the perfect fit.

Ear protection: Most new models of helmets offer protection for the ears, in addition to the head.

HECC-certified helmets: Most hockey leagues of all ages require players to wear HECC certified helmets in the United States. Canadian leagues require CSA certification. These certifications are simply used to inform the customer that this helmet has been tested and certified for proper protection. All HECC and CSA certified helmets feature a sticker indicating this certification along with an expiration date. Do not remove this sticker.

Face Masks/Shields

All ice hockey players, from the mite to minor and including college-level, are required to wear a face mask on their helmets. Masks can be purchased as part of the helmet or separately. There are three kinds of masks: wire cage, face shield and combination.

Hockey Wire Cage: A wire cage consists of a metal or composite wire shield that covers the entire face and jaw area. Some models come with a chin cup for added protection. Wire cages provide more protection and do not fog up like face shields, but they are generally heavier. Metal cages are made of several types of tubing: steel, Stainless Steel, Titanium, painted and chrome. To increase vision, there are also options for tubing types. These include two-tone paint, dual finish, oval and box.

Hockey Shield: Hockey shields are composed of a high impact-resistant, anti-scratch clear plastic. There are full face shields and half shields. Full shields cover the entire face, while half shields cover the top half of the face to right below the nose. Some players prefer shields over wire masks because they offer better overall vision and no wires to hinder your vision. However, shields do tend to fog up during use. Many modern shields are made with fog-resistant coatings. There are also a variety of de-fogging sprays that help decrease this.

Shield Tints: One advantage of the shield is the variety of options for the visor. The most popular colors are clear and smoke. Smoke provides the player with a slight tint that helps cut down on the glare. Amber shields help brighten a dark rink. A mirrored shield also helps decrease the glare.

Combination Hockey Mask: A combination hockey mask utilizes the components of both the wire cage and the shield. The top half features a plastic shield while the bottom features the wire cage. This option provides the desired airflow and protection of the wire cage paired with the visibility of the hockey shield.

Player Pants

Hockey pants are designed to protect the spine, tailbone, kidneys, thighs and hips. Most hockey pants are made primarily of Nylon with foam and polyurethane padding inserts.

Adjustments: There are a variety of adjustment options on pants that provide the player with fitting options.

Zippers: Some hockey pants feature zippers on the inside leg to allow for easier dressing and removal. The player can also opt to open the zippers part way to allow for more mobility while playing.

Belt: Most pants feature an adjustable belt that allows the player tighten or loosen the pants to a desirable fit. This feature helps accommodate the different types of padding the player wears.

Suspenders: Some pants offer an attachment feature that allows the player to attach suspenders to the pants. Some players prefer suspenders because they can adjust the waist belt to a looser fit.

Styles: There are two styles of hockey pants: European and North American. European-style pants generally have a little a little less padding, but are slightly longer than North American-style hockey pants. Tackla and Graf are European-style manufacturers. Players with more speed tend to wear the European models because they offer more flexibility and freedom of movement. More physical players tend to prefer the extra padding North American pants provide.

Women's pants: Women's hockey pants are specifically designed to fit a woman’s body shape. For proper protection and game enhancement, women should wear these pants.

Goalie pants: Goalie pants provide a more complete sense of protection than player pants because of the degree of contact the goalie has with the puck. This makes goal pants appear much bulkier than player pants. This size not only offers more padding and protection, but also provides the goaltender with a larger blocking surface. Some goal pants feature knee pads on the inside of the pants. For other knee pad options, please see the Goalie Buying Guide.

Inline Pants

Inline pants are very different than ice hockey pants. Inline pants are full length from waist to ankle. They are made from different types of nylon materials that incorporate different features such as weight, durability, and breathability. The basic inline pant features a lightweight mesh material throughout the entire pant to increase breathability. The knee area features thicker padding to enhance durability. Inline pants also typically feature an adjustable waistband. When shopping for your next pair of inline pants there are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. How often do I play? Different models of inline pants offer more durability than others. If you play several times a week, look for pants that feature reinforced fabric. Typically, the most wear-and-tear occurs on the front of the shins and knees, so if you play frequently, look for pants that incorporate very durable materials in these areas.

     
  2. Are there any convenience features I am looking for? When shopping for inline pants, it is important to consider these features: the type of waistband or belt, breathable materials in the back of the leg and shin guard straps or slings. More basic pants only use an elastic waistband, much like athletic shorts. Higher-end pants feature adjustable waistbands and belts to offer the player better fit and comfort. Some pants also incorporate shin guard straps or slings on the inside, allowing the player to secure the shin guards without using tape.

     
  3. Do you wear a girdle under your inline pants?  Not all inline players choose to wear a protective girdle under their pants. Those players who do wear a girdle will need to take this into account when deciding the correct pant size.

In addition to the functional aspects of inline pants, there is also a style dimension. Inline pants come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing each player the option to select a pant that fits his/her personal preference.

Base Layers

Many of today’s leading manufacturers make base layer garments to wear under your equipment. Most base layer clothing fits like a second skin and helps moderate your body temperature. Snug-fitting base layers will help improve the fit of your pads as well as increase mobility. Base layers that bunch or gather in any area will not help enhance your performance; rather it will help hinder it. Some base layers include rubber grip pads that help keep your shoulder and elbow pads in place and prevent them from slipping up and down your arm. Most base layers are made of light-weight fabrics that do not hold moisture and weigh you down. Depending on personal preference, you can choose between long and short base layers in tops and bottoms.

Mouth Guards

A mouth guard may be one of the smallest and most inexpensive pieces of hockey equipment, but certainly one of the most important. A mouth guard can help prevent concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, unconsciousness, jaw fractures and neck injuries.

Mouth guards come in general sizes to fit youths, teenagers and adults. There are also available in a variety of colors. Many officials recommend color mouth guards so that they can be easily spotted in the event of an accident.

Mouth guards come pre-formed, but will mold to the mouth during use. You can speed up the molding process by boiling the mouth guard in water, placing it in your mouth and biting down on the softened mouth guard to mold to your teeth. Dentists can create a custom mouth guard for you as well.

There are different types of mouth guards to fit the various needs of individual players. Shock Doctor is a mouth guard manufacturer that provides the player with a variety of options. They offer a popular model made specifically for braces. Shock Doctor also utilizes Gel Max lining, which custom molds the mouth guard to the teeth for a tight, yet comfortable fit. The Shock Doctors Gravity Fit helps the player speak and breathe easier.