Introduction: A How to - Gearing Up for Hockey
I have played hockey ever since I can remember and getting ready to hit the ice is second nature to me. If you are new to the sport there are some things you need to know before you show up to the rink to play. Before you even get to the rink you are going to need to get some gear. You can borrow some from a friend or you can buy some from a second hand sports store for fairly cheap. Once you have your equipment you are going to need to know how to put it on. This intractable will guide you through the steps to correctly put on your hockey equipment. Some hockey players get ready in many different ways, but this is my method and it works just as well as any other method of getting dressed for hockey.
Step 1: Getting Things Ready
Before you go to the rink with all you new or borrowed equipment there are a few things that you need to get ready first. First you should check to make sure that your skates are sharp. To do this you can flip you skates upside down and rub the back side of your finger nail on the blade. If your blades are sharp it should shave off a little bit of your fingernail. If your skates are dull you are going to need to get them sharpened. Sometimes they sharpen skated at the hockey rinks but if this is not the case you are going to need to take your skates to a sports store that sharpen skates. Sharpening your skates will normally cost around 5 dollars and will only take a couple of minutes.
You are also going to need to tape your hockey stick. You can get hockey tape from most sports stores. To do this you start at the heal (see picture) of your blade and wrap the tape all the way to the toe of the blade.
Step 2: Jock Strap
The first step of getting dressed for hockey is to put on your jock strap. It is normal to just underwear underneath. You put this piece of equipment on just like a pair of shorts. There are two different types of jock straps available. The one shown in the picture and the other kind are a bit different. The jock strap shown in the picture has a cup built into the shorts and Velcro to hold up your hockey socks. The other type of jock strap available has the cup separate from the straps that are used to hold up your hockey socks.
Step 3: Shin Pads
After you have your jock strap on the next step is to put on your shin pads. Some shin pads can go on either leg but most have a left pad and a right pad. To put these on just put them on your shin and strap them around your calf. It is important to make sure that you strap your shin pads on tight; if they are loose, the shin pads will have a tendency to spin on your legs leaving your knees and shins unprotected.
Step 4: Hockey Socks
Next you put on your Hockey Socks. Hockey socks are used to cover your shin pads. You slide the socks over your shin pads and attach the top to the Velcro piece on the front and backs of your jockstrap to keep them from falling down.
Step 5: Breezers
Next you put on your breezers. Breezers are padded shorts that have a plastic shell that protects your hips and thighs. These slide on just like a pair of pants. After you have them on pull the strap around your waist tight so your Breezers do not fall down. Breezers should fit so that they are loose enough that your legs are free to move and they should go down to just around your knees.
Step 6: Skates
After your breezers are on it is time to put on and tie your skates. It is important to tie the skates tight enough to give yourself plenty of ankle support. To do this start from the bottom laces and work your way up to the top of the skate tightening each lace along the way. Some people chose to wear socks in their skates and some people feel it is more comfortable to not wear any socks. It is up to you to wear socks or not, whichever way you feel more comfortable will work fine.
Step 7: Shoulder Pads
After you have the bottom half of your gear on it is time put on the top. First you put on your shoulder pads. There is a strap for each arm that goes around your bicep you should tighten this so that you can move your arms freely. There are also straps on your left and right sides that go around your stomach; as you tighten these straps make sure that they are not too tight so that you can breathe easily. Your shoulder pads should be big enough to cover your shoulder completely.
Step 8: Elbow Pads
Next you put on your elbow pads there is a left and right pad so it is important to put them on the correct arm. You can slide them over your elbow and tight the straps enough so they will not slide around on your arms but you can still freely bend your arms. Elbow pads should cover your entire elbow and about 5 or 6 inches of your forearms. This forearm pad protects your arms from other people slashing you with their sticks.
Step 9: Jersey
Next is time to put on your jersey. This is done just like putting on a t-shirt. A hockey jersey should be big enough that it does not restrict any movement and small enough that it does not get in the way of you trying to handle your hockey stick.
Step 10: Helmet, Gloves and Stick
Last, before you hit the ice, you put on your helmet by strapping the buttons on both sides and one strap under your chin. Your helmet should fit snug on your head and it should not wiggle around when you shake your head. The straps on your helmet should be tight enough so that the mask is tight against your chin. After your helmet you put on your gloves on each hand, grab your stick, and you are ready to play hockey.