Everything you need to pick up ice hockey

Hockey & Ice Skating

Every ice hockey league requires a helmet, but check your league’s rules to see if you need to wear a facemask. Most leagues require them, but many will let you choose whether you want to wear a visor or cage.

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What do you need to pick up ice hockey? 

Ice hockey is a fun team sport, but it can be expensive to pick up if you’ve never played before. If you’re thinking of getting into ice hockey, it’s a good idea to set aside a budget for gear and equipment since, unlike other sports, you’ll need certain things to protect yourself.

You don’t need to break the bank, but there are some essentials you’ll need to get started and some optional gear you can consider purchasing once you get into the swing of things.

Where to get started when buying ice hockey gear 

You’ll need a hockey stick and skates to play ice hockey, but protective gear is also crucial to avoid potential injury. Many recreational adult leagues require specific protective equipment, but rules may vary depending on your league.

Ice hockey sticks

A good stick will let you control the puck and should last you a while, even with regular use. The best ice hockey sticks are made with high-quality wood or composite materials, including fiberglass, carbon fiber and Kevlar. Composite sticks offer more flexibility, but they’re usually more expensive than wooden sticks and less durable.

Several factors determine a stick’s quality, including its kick point — the part where it bends during a shot. A stick’s kick point allows fluid energy transfer and can be located in the upper, middle or lower part of the shaft. Sticks with mid or high kick points are suitable for bigger players with powerful shots, while low kick-point sticks are ideal for playmakers.

It’s best to get a stick with a length and weight you find comfortable. Also, sticks are available for both right and left-handed players, so it’s crucial to choose a stick you can handle with relative ease.

Top ice hockey stick

CCM Junior SuperTacks AS2 Pro Ice Hockey Stick

CCM Junior SuperTacks AS2 Pro Ice Hockey Stick

What you need to know: This stick is built to endure high-impact shocks and is perfect for players at all levels.

What you’ll love: It has a solid shaft with a softer midsection for better control, flexibility and durability. It features a stiff blade for better shot control and patented X-Flow technology, which enhances performance and improves consistency.

What you should consider: It’s pricey, as there are comparable sticks at more affordable prices.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top ice hockey stick for the money

STX Ice Hockey Sturgeon RX3.1 Hockey Stick

STX Ice Hockey Sturgeon RX3.1 Hockey Stick

What you need to know: This stick has an ergonomic shape and offers superior shot control and puck handling, making it the perfect stick for beginners and intermediate players.

What you’ll love: It boasts an advanced-engineered flex point for responsive play and features stiffness in the upper shaft for maximum load capacity. It also has Silver Streak material injected into its base for optimal structural stability and durability.

What you should consider: It’s less durable than some other sticks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Ice hockey skates

Choosing the right skates is a matter of preference, but the bottom line is that they should keep your feet well protected while also letting you move quickly. They should feel snug and comfortable, so leave some wiggle room for your toes — you don’t want your feet to hurt as you skate.

Top ice hockey skates

CCM Junior Jet Speed SK440 Ice Hockey Skates

CCM Junior Jet Speed SK440 Ice Hockey Skates

What you need to know: These high-end skates offer optimal protection and advanced protection for players of all skill levels.

What you’ll love: The skates boast an ergonomic heel and ankle fit with a tapered boot cut for better balance and control. They have an injected outsole and a stiff boot design, making them excellent for speedy players who need to change direction and velocity quickly.

What you should consider: Some customers report that they fit big, so it’s better to buy a size down.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top ice hockey skates for the money

Bauer Youth Vapor X350 Ice Hockey Skates

Bauer Youth Vapor X350 Ice Hockey Skates

What you need to know: These skates emphasize comfort over everything but still offer excellent performance and high-impact protection.

What you’ll love: They contain extra foam padding for your ankles, offering additional protection against opposing sticks, shots and other abrasions. They’re also lightweight and feature microfiber lining, making them comfortable enough to wear for extended periods.

What you should consider: They’re great for beginners, but more experienced players might prefer skates offering better energy transfer for quicker boot movement.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Protective gear

There are all kinds of protective gear, and while it’s wise to protect yourself, a lot of it is optional. The most important pieces of protective equipment are helmets and gloves.

Top protective gear

CCM Senior 50 Ice Hockey Helmet Combo

CCM Senior 50 Ice Hockey Helmet Combo

What you need to know: This high-density shell helmet provides ultimate protection and is accepted by most adult recreational leagues.

What you’ll love: It features a removable cage facemask and multi-density foam liner for superior protection and comfort. It’s also lightweight, making it an excellent helmet for all kinds of leagues.

What you should consider: Some customers say it’s difficult to snap the straps due to the tightness of the buttons.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top protective gear for the money

CCM Junior Jet Speed Edge Ice Hockey Gloves

CCM Junior Jet Speed Edge Ice Hockey Gloves

What you need to know: These gloves are easy on the wallet, but they’re made with breathable, high-quality fabrics and provide superior stick control and protection.

What you’ll love: You’ll feel an improvement in your grip and stick control thanks to the padded four-segment backhand and two-piece finger design. Hand and finger movements feel responsive and natural without sacrificing shock absorption.

What you should consider: They’re excellent as starting equipment, but some customers complained of quality issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them a lot of time and money.

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