Before the start of a new hockey season, it’s always important for players to go through their gear, examining its condition and deciding what can be reused in the coming season, what needs to be repaired, and what needs to be replaced. This is especially important for young players, who often outgrow equipment and gear quickly.
Obviously, every piece of equipment needs to fit and fit properly. Improperly fitted safety gear can pose a serious risk to young players on the ice. Fortunately, there are some simple tips for assessing
l Make sure all safety/protective equipment, such as shoulder pads and shin pads, meet at some point or overlap. If they don’t touch, they’re too small and are leaving areas unprotected!
l Make sure shin pads are sitting slightly above the foot to allow for movement during play.
l Pants should come to the middle of the knee when standing.
l Helmets need to rest just above the eyebrows while masks need to rest on the chin and remain still when hit.
l Toes should fit comfortably in skates without cramping or curling
Obviously, there’s no cure for outgrown equipment. It will have to be replaced. Some pieces of gear, however, can simply be repaired, which is nice for parents whose budgets are already stretched to the limit! In general, any simple, small problems, such as tiny holes, missing screws on skates, or pulled threads can be fixed relatively easily. Giving gear a thorough cleaning- some professional services will even do this for you- can also liven it up and make it look better, so that your little player doesn’t have to feel embarrassed on the ice.
Trade and Sell!
As mentioned, hockey gear and equipment can get pretty pricey. That’s why it’s wise to trade and sell where you can, instead of just tossing stuff in the trash. If a piece of equipment is in good shape but has simply been outgrown, see if it fits other kids on the team. You might be able to make a nice trade with the parents. Many stores will also buy used equipment and sell it for you. There are ways to save money on gear, but not giving your child what he needs to be safe and successful should never be one of them!