How Has Hockey Equipment Changed Over The Years? [Solved!]

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Hockey equipment has gone through many changes over the years. From pucks, to skates, to goalie gear, the game has come a long way since its inception in the 1800s. Here are some of the most significant gear updates throughout history.

Pucks

The first change to consider is the puck. In its earliest days, the puck was simply a small ball that was used to keep the puck in the hockey game. Puck sizes and shapes have changed a lot over the years, but the purpose of the ball has always remained the same. The larger the puck, the faster it can be managed by a skater. However, too large a puck can be difficult to handle for a goalie.

The case for smaller pucks is that they are much more maneuverable. The smaller the puck the better, as far as playing with it is concerned. In the 1800s, pucks were made of wood and stuffed with wool. Then, in the 1900s, plastic started to be used instead of wool. Finally, in the 2010s, nanosilica was added to the mix to create what is now known as the golden puck. This particular blend of materials allows for a tighter squeeze, which in turn makes the puck lighter. The only downside is that the friction between the puck and the ice surface is lower, which makes it easier for the puck to slip through the player’s fingers.

Boots

Boots have also changed a lot over the years. When it comes to keeping your feet protected while playing hockey, the goalie’s boot is the most important piece of gear. The main purpose of the boot is to keep the foot of the goalie relatively warm in spite of the fact that it is encased in fur. The first boots were made entirely of fur, which was originally used as a form of insulation. Later on, boots were manufactured with a variety of materials, including silk and vinyl. Some of the most important factors to keep in mind when judging a goalie’s boot are:

  • the height of the boot
  • the curve of the boot’s front
  • the lace-up type
  • the width of the heel
  • the materials used to make the boot

The standard height of a hockey goalie boot is around 40 inches. You should also be able to access the ankle without any problems. Higher or lower heights can make it more difficult for the goalie to swiftly get a good stance whenever they want to. Heels that are too high can also cause similar problems. When it comes to materials, the traditional choice is usually animal hair, especially horsehair. However, synthetic materials have made their way into the game as well. The main purpose of the boot is to protect the player’s foot from frostbite, especially in the wintertime.

Helmets And Chest Protection

The next piece of equipment that you’ll probably need is the helmet. As mentioned before, preventing frostbite is the most important role of the helmet. In addition to that, you’ll also need to protect your head from getting injured in case you fall down or are hit by a puck. The main parts of a hockey helmet are the skull cup, the forehead protector, and the ear cover. You’ll also need to consider the size of the helmet you need, depending on the size of your head. For example, if you have a large head, you will most likely need a large helmet to keep it protected.

The chest protector is another important piece of gear that you need to consider. This equipment is designed to prevent injuries to your upper chest area, which includes your heart and lungs. As with the helmet, the size of the chest protector you need will depend on your head size. The general rule of thumb is: the larger your head, the bigger the chest protector you need. Just like with the helmet, there is also the option to get a specialized chest protector for skaters who participate in contact sports.

Face Mask

The face mask is another important part of protecting your head in hockey. The main purpose of a face mask is to protect the goalie’s teeth from being chipped or knocked out by any fast-moving puck.

There are many different materials that can be used to make the face mask, including some types of plastic and cellulose. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a material for your face mask is that it should be flexible, yet strong enough to withstand constant pressure from a puck.

Shorts And Tights

While you’re at it, why not protect the important parts of your body as well? The short and tights combination is a must for any goalie’s wardrobe. When you don’t have the time to layer on your full gear, but still want to play your sport in a safe manner, shorts and tights are your best option. Just make sure that the material of the shorts is thick enough to offer some protection from the wind, as well as the snow or ice that might be sprinkled on the field. When it comes to designing the perfect short, you have to consider many different factors, including:

  • the level of comfort you are seeking
  • whether you need a high or low waist
  • the placement of the pockets
  • whether you should go for a jean or a leggings style
  • the materials used to make the garment
  • the climate you live in

Once you have your short list, it’s time to move onto the next item on your winter gear checklist, which is…

…the skates.

Once again, the skates have changed a lot over the years. The first pair of skates were made entirely of wood and metal, with some horsehair padding. The first synthetic materials that were used in skate manufacturing were nylons and polyesters. Later on, plastic was introduced to the mix, and in more recent times, materials such as carbon fiber and kevlar (parachute cord) have been used.

The materials used to make the skate affect its performance. For example, uppers made of kevlar are much lighter than those made of leather or patent leather. This makes them easier to propel through the air. However, the main thing to keep in mind is that they must be flexible enough to move comfortably whenever you want.

Jacket And Vest

The jacket and vest are two more important pieces of gear that you need to consider. These two types of clothing offer your goalie some protection from the wind and the wet snow, as well as the cold. When choosing the perfect jacket for the winter, you have to keep in mind that:

  • it should be waterproof
  • it should be windproof
  • it should be warm
  • it should allow for breathing

The most important factors to keep in mind when picking a winter jacket are:

  • the location you’ll be playing in (i.e. Will you be playing in the snow, slush, or cold rain?)
  • the materials used to make the jacket (i.e. Is it made of waterproof material?)
  • the style (i.e. Will you be going for a classy look, or a more rugged one?)
  • the color (i.e. Is it white or dark colored?)
  • the weight (i.e. How much weight can you handle?)

The best winter jacket materials are synthetic waterproof materials like neoprene or poly-blend. In addition, faux fur is also a great insulation material because it is both soft and warm. Some other good options are:

  • dry cleaning-friendly
  • fleece-lined
  • lined with a synthetic textile
  • sturdy
  • warm
  • soft
  • compressible
  • water-repellent (DWR)

The most important parts of the jacket are the hood and the collar. The hood is there to protect your head from getting cold, wet, or injured in the event of a fall. When it comes to the design of the hood, you have many options to choose from, including a bucket hat, a snowsuit-style hood, or a hybrid design that brings the best of both worlds together, the hockey helmet and the snowsuit hood.

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