Getting the Right Gear for the Game
For a hockey player, the equipment will set the tone for the game. The wrong equipment can not only ruin the day, but feel uncomfortable or break when you need it the most. There are key components that every player needs, and then there are other pieces that only certain players need. Knowing which is which is the key before you decide on which brands you want to choose from.
Also since brands are something that stick out in a person’s mind, getting the best value for the brand is just as essential. Just because you like a particular brand and that store happens to carry it, don’t be afraid to shop around for a better price. You can find many places online that will have better prices, and if you don’t mind used gear, you can often find them through auction sites such as E-bay, and online retailers like Amazon. Those stores that do carry the merchandise in the store are great because you can try them on to get your right size before making a purchase.
The Top Brands in the Market
- True – Not a well-known brand when it comes to hockey, but they do make some quality products. These items tend to top the least expensive brand since it is not known as well as the others. They make mostly sticks, and many kinds of them. From solid one piece, to composite, to blade and stick separately they make it all. They also make some of the protective pads such as gloves and elbow and knee pads too.
- Warrior – This is another brand of hockey equipment whose prime focus are the sticks. They have a nice finish and the name makes them stand out a bit. Their quality is great, but since they have so many competitors for space they often get little show space in comparison. You will find this brand in clearance in some locations, which is too bad since they make great stuff. Other Warrior items will include helmets, gloves, and hockey pants. They have a variety of other gear available, but searching through stores there is little to find.
- Easton – A long standing brand of hockey equipment and one that fills in the middle of the top five. Easton is a company with great gear, at a decent price. They are not overly priced, nor are they on the cheap side either. I’ve often used Easton as my go to for equipment, especially if you are on a budget, but willing to spend a little more for a little better quality. Their equipment is durable and they make just about everything you can think of for Hockey. They of course have competition, but you will often find them right next to each other in the store, leaving you with a choice to make. Depending on where you go to get your gear (As some areas don’t carry equipment in the store, but online only) will determine how much of the merchandise you will find.
- CCM – Another big name in the hockey industry, yet when you ask people randomly it is not the first one that comes to mind. (It should be though since it is one of the official sponsors of the NHL, and many players wear their gear.) It tops out the second spot since you will often see minor and major league players using their equipment. When you do a web search of these names that are listed, this one has its own official site that you can see everything they make and produce. If it’s hockey gear they have it. (When I played the sport half of my gear was from this brand, making me well familiar with it. My favorite was their sticks as they were strong and durable, and rarely if ever broke on me.) They are considered to be high performance gear and it stands out in their name and their slogans. With this company, you will not only find quality gear, but you can purchase complete sets and not just piece by piece. This makes it easy to get a complete suit all from the same place, either directly through their site of from a vendor.
- Bauer – One of the biggest names in Hockey equipment to date. They have some of the best gear around, and since it is the main supplier to the NHL, has become the best-known names in the business. They make everything from skates to pucks and do so for inline hockey and ice hockey. It’s is the most commonly known name in the industry and every store that carries Hockey equipment will carry their product. While their prices are not always the best, if you are truly looking for durable gear, that will last through more than a season, this is the stuff to buy. You can find their name in the rinks, and professionals are always endorsing their gear.
While there are many more names and brands to be considered such as: Nike, Itech, Eagle, Franklin, Eddy, Black Biscuit, Jossa, Rey, Jackson, Battram, Brown, Reebok, Miklin, Miller, Cycko, Force, Hyper, Vaugn, McKenney, Don Simmons, Sher-Wood to name just a few of the many that are available. Some of them specialize only in goal-tender gear while others are only for sticks, skates, or pads specifically. Franklin has more in line skate gear than they do for ice skating gear.
As for where to find these items, look at all hockey shops for the top five. For anything else on the list, you might have to go to a major hockey retailer or online. Suggestions would include Hockey Giant, Hockey Pro, E-bay, Amazon, or you could type in the name of the item you are looking for into a search engine and see what ends up being close to you.
The most important thing about the gear is not the name, but whether it serves you well in the game.