It's time to gear up

Hockey Equipment 101

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As your child embarks on their exciting journey into the world of hockey, it's essential to ensure they have the right equipment to stay safe and perform their best on the ice. In this guide, we will walk you through all the necessary gear, from head to toe, explaining their importance and providing helpful tips along the way. From helmets and shoulder pads to skates and sticks, we'll cover everything you need to know about selecting, fitting, and maintaining the equipment, ensuring your child's comfort, protection, and enjoyment in this incredible sport. Let's dive in and equip your young athlete for success on the ice!

We have loaner hockey equipment for 4-6 year olds who skate in our Intro-to-Hockey program. These packages include almost everything you need to get started, except for skates.


Considering whether to buy new or used youth hockey equipment?

Let's explore the benefits and challenges of purchasing pre-owned gear. Investing in new hockey gear ensures peak condition and longevity for multiple seasons. Plus, if you have multiple young hockey players, you can pass down your investment. However, finding the right fit is the main challenge when it comes to used equipment. Sacrificing comfort, protection, or proper fit for a few dollars is a drawback, especially with the crucial hockey helmet.

Whatever your situation, fitting and sizing guides are available to ease the process. Research is key, and don't forget to tap into the wisdom of experienced hockey parents—they can offer invaluable practical advice. Your young hockey player deserves the best equipment, so make an informed decision that balances quality, affordability, and a perfect fit.

For used equipment, check out Play It Again Sports located at 3333 W Henrietta Rd, Rochester, NY 14623



Hockey Sticks

When it comes to hockey equipment, the first item your child will need is a hockey stick. These sticks come in a wide range of materials, flexes, lengths, and options for right- or left-handed players. You'll also find sticks available at different price points, with higher-priced models often incorporating more carbon fiber for a lighter and stiffer performance. When starting out a junior size hockey stick for $50 is sufficient.

Considering a used stick can be a smart choice, provided it matches your child's required length. Ideally, the stick should reach your child's chin when they're wearing skates. As for determining the proper hand placement, most often, the dominant hand goes on top. For instance, if your child is right-handed, they'll shoot from the left side, and vice versa. However, it's important to note that some youngsters may opt for what feels natural to them, even if it means placing the dominant hand at the bottom.

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Hockey Skates

When it comes to youth skates, you'll find a diverse range of fits and prices. The higher-end skates offer young aspiring skaters many of the same features as those worn by their NHL heroes. However, if your child is just starting out or new to the sport, you can find reliable and sturdy hockey skates at a more affordable cost. Keep in mind that quality often correlates with price. Premium skates provide top-notch protection and comfort, but whether your eight-year-old needs those features is a decision for you to make.

Like with any other gear, getting the right fit is crucial. During the skate fitting, make sure your child wears the same socks they'll wear on the ice and laces and ties the skates as if they're about to hit the rink. Initially, the skates might feel a bit uncomfortable and stiff, but with time, they will break in. While hockey skates are designed to be firm, much of the internal padding on new skates will mold to your child's natural foot and ankle contours, providing a comfortable fit and feel.

It's important to note that goalie skates differ from player skates, so be sure to choose accordingly.

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Youth hockey helmets and cages are essential for safety. High-end models offer advanced protection and comfort, while affordable options still ensure reliable safety. A proper fit is crucial: the helmet should be snug, with a secure chin strap and no movement. Cages, providing full-face protection, or visors, covering the upper face, must be chosen based on league requirements and personal preference. Regularly check for wear and replace as needed. Investing in a quality helmet and cage is investing in your child's safety on the ice.

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Hockey shoulder pads are a vital component designed to provide comprehensive protection for your child's shoulders, chest, back, and biceps. They act as a shield against impacts from falls, sticks, pucks, the boards, and other players during the game. Some shoulder pads even extend to cover the stomach and lower back, offering enhanced coverage and peace of mind.

While shoulder pads become especially crucial as your child progresses to levels that involve checking, it is advisable for them to wear shoulder pads whenever playing with other kids. These pads ensure their safety on the ice and instill good habits from an early age.

When selecting shoulder pads, it's important to find the right balance between mobility and protection. Smaller pads provide increased maneuverability, allowing your child to move freely. On the other hand, larger pads offer greater protection, although they may slightly limit movement.

Investing in properly fitted shoulder pads ensures that your child is equipped with the necessary armor to confidently navigate the game. Prioritize their safety and choose shoulder pads that strike the right balance between mobility and protection, allowing them to excel while staying protected on the ice.

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Hockey gloves serve a dual purpose: keeping your young skater's hands comfortable and warm while providing essential protection against slashes and stray pucks. Available in a wide range of options, these gloves offer varying levels of both comfort and protection, catering to different preferences and budgets. Thankfully, new youth hockey gloves are highly affordable, making them accessible to all.

Constructed primarily from synthetic leather and nylons, hockey gloves are designed to withstand the rigors of the game. However, over time, wear may occur, particularly on the palm and the insides of the thumb and index finger. It's important to note that a distinctive odor, aptly known as "rink stink," is inevitable. To combat this, some gloves feature liner materials infused with bacteria-reducing agents, helping to mitigate the unpleasant smell.

Investing in a quality pair of hockey gloves ensures that your child's hands are protected while providing them with the comfort they need to handle their stick with precision. With a variety of options available, find the perfect gloves that strike the right balance between protection, durability, and comfort for your young skater.

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When it comes to your child's safety on the ice, elbow pads are an essential component that complements the protection provided by shoulder pads. Designed to safeguard the lower tricep to the upper forearm, these pads play a vital role in preventing injuries during the game. It's important to note that elbow pads designed for other sports like skateboarding are not suitable for ice hockey.

Hockey-specific elbow pads are purpose-built to withstand the rigors of the sport, offering targeted protection against falls, hooks, slashes, and impacts with the boards. They are typically designed specifically for either the left or right arm, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.

Investing in high-quality hockey elbow pads ensures that your child's arms are shielded from potential injuries while allowing for unrestricted movement on the ice. Prioritize their safety by selecting pads that are designed explicitly for the demands of ice hockey, providing them with the confidence and protection they need to excel in the game.



We understand that calling them "pants" may seem unusual since they don't extend below the knee, but in the world of hockey, they are indeed referred to as pants. Hockey pants play a vital role in safeguarding the groin, thigh, and hip areas. Ensuring a proper fit is essential for your child's comfort and protection. Look for pants that strike the right balance—not overly loose to the point of sagging, yet not too tight, leaving a noticeable gap between the cuff and the shin guard.

Finding the right size will provide optimal coverage, minimizing any exposed areas. It's crucial to prioritize both flexibility and protection when selecting hockey pants for your child. With the ideal pair, they can move freely on the ice while having confidence in their safety.

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When it comes to your child's safety on the ice, every precaution counts. One crucial piece of protective equipment that greatly reduces the risk of serious injury is the neck guard. Designed to prevent potential cuts to the throat from skate or stick blades, the neck guard is a vital addition to your child's gear. While the chances of such an injury occurring are already remarkably low, most organized leagues require the use of a neck guard for added protection. The cost of a neck guard is well worth the peace of mind it provides, and it's one of the more affordable items on our list. Available in youth, intermediate, and adult sizes, the neck guard shirt is the recommended option for optimal safety.

Rochester Ice Center Proshop

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Rochester Ice Center is a full service Pro Shop that can satisfy all your hockey and figure skating needs from protective equipment, sticks, accessories, figure skating apparel & skates. They also offer quality services such as expert skate sharpening & skate mounting and repairs.



An essential piece of equipment for both boys and girls is the jock (or jill) that provides crucial protection. Traditionally, jocks came in garter-style models, but now you can opt for modern alternatives like compression shorts or pants. These newer options often include an integrated protective cup for added convenience. Regardless of the style you choose, most leagues have made jocks mandatory for players. Once your child grasps the significance of this vital protection, they will gladly wear it with pride. For enhanced functionality, consider integrated jock shorts with Velcro attachments that securely hold socks in place, ensuring a better fit and minimizing distractions during play. Prioritize your child's safety and comfort by investing in a reliable jock or jill that meets league requirements.



When it comes to protecting your child's legs on the ice, properly sized shin guards are a crucial component of their hockey gear. These guards should extend from above the top of their skate to above the knee, providing comprehensive coverage that includes knee protection. Constructed with a combination of durable plastics, foams, and a comfortable lining, shin guards are an indispensable part of the complete safety package.

It's worth noting that shin guards are often designed specifically for the right or left leg, so be sure to pay attention to these details when making a purchase. To simplify the process and eliminate guesswork, you can also opt for a shin guard-and-pant combination. This convenient option ensures a seamless fit and maximizes your child's protection on the ice.

Investing in properly fitted shin guards is an investment in your child's safety and performance. Choose wisely and provide them with the peace of mind and confidence they need to excel in the game.



Youth hockey socks are specially designed "sleeves" that are generously sized to fit over the shin guards, providing an added layer of protection and completing the player's uniform. Depending on the team or club, you may receive a pair of color-specific socks along with the jersey, while in other cases, you will need to purchase them separately. These socks are notably long, ensuring ample coverage and a professional look on the ice.

To keep the socks securely in place, there are a few options. Traditional garters are commonly used to attach the socks to the jock or jill. Alternatively, modern compression shorts often feature velcro attachments that securely hold the socks up. Some players also opt to wrap their socks with hockey tape for added stability and a customized fit.

No matter the method chosen, properly fitting and well-maintained hockey socks add the finishing touch to your child's hockey gear, ensuring they're fully prepared to hit the ice with confidence and style.



When it comes to choosing the perfect hockey bag to carry all of your child's gear, we highly recommend opting for a duffle-style bag, especially for young kids. These bags offer a practical and versatile solution that is ideal for hockey equipment.

Duffle bags provide ample space to accommodate all the necessary gear, from skates and helmet to pads and jerseys. Their spacious main compartment allows for easy organization and quick access to items. Additionally, duffle bags often come with exterior pockets or compartments for storing smaller accessories, such as mouthguards or tape.

Unlike wheeled bags, which can be cumbersome for young players, duffle bags are designed for easy carrying. They can be comfortably slung over the shoulder or carried by the handles, enabling your child to take ownership of their gear and develop a sense of responsibility.

Investing in a high-quality duffle-style hockey bag ensures that your child's equipment remains organized, protected, and easily transportable to and from the rink. Choose a durable and appropriately sized bag that suits their needs, and watch as they take pride in carrying their gear like a true hockey player.