Hockey goalie gear is hefty. Not just because of all the metal in the protective gear, but because of all the accessories that come with the job. Between the helmet, the padding, and the gloves, you’re gonna need a lot of room to store all your gear. Most NHL players will carry a bag for their gear during games. That’s a lot of weight. So if you want to be a successful hockey goalie, you need to make sure you’re prepared physically for the game. Especially since you’ll be at the mercy of the elements the whole game. You’ll need to work on your stamina as well to keep playing for the length of the game. Let’s take a look at how much weight you should expect to carry around with you:
The Goalie’s Uniform
Apart from the gear you’ll use on the ice, you’ll need full gear for practices. That means a full practice uniform. Which, as we said, is hefty. It usually consists of a long-sleeved t-shirt, a long johns, a tight fitting top, and a padded jacket. The uniform is padded to reduce the impact when you’re sliding on the ice. In general, these are the parts you’ll need to bring to every practice and game. If you want to be successful, you cannot skimp out on these pieces. You also need to consider the style. Most goaltenders prefer a vintage look, simple but stylish. The padding is essential and should go well with the design of your sweater. Your practice equipment should be comfortable, cool, and of high quality. In addition, you’ll need warm-up dresses and tights. The same goes for your equipment for special teams. For example, a full set of pads for your goalie or a blocker.
The helmet is the most important part of your gear. Aside from the padding and the head strap, which you won’t be using every day, you need to make sure that the helmet is safe and comfortable for long minutes on the ice. You’ll also need to consider the style when choosing your new helmet. Some goaltenders prefer the classic look while others like lighter models. There are also different shapes and sizes to choose from. To simplify your search, enter the circumference of your head in the search bar of your favorite helmet store. The circumference of your head is the measurement of the helmet’s brim around your head. It’s used to determine the volume of the ear holes. Smaller circumference equals smaller ear holes and vice versa. So when shopping for a new helmet, make sure that the ear holes are neither too big nor too small.
Your face mask is used to protect your face from injuries. Most NHL players prefer to use a face mask to protect their vision while playing. They rely on their peripheral sight to inform them of the direction of the puck. This is why so many players prefer to stay well behind their net. Checking plays are the bane of many a hockey player’s existence. Checking is when you try to hit the other team’s players with your stick. It is an accepted part of the game and some hockey players even prefer to check from the front. Checking is important, but you should limit it to clean checks. Which means no high sticking or head hunting. These are the parts you’ll need to choose carefully, depending on the style of play. Some face masks are fitted to the player’s head while others are completely adjustable. Regardless of the style, make sure that the face mask is snug enough so that it doesn’t move around while you’re playing and so that it doesn’t hurt when you’re taking it off. Face masks are also used to protect the goalies’ vision. However, this is not an everyday piece of equipment for most goalies. They use glasses instead.
The jacket is, again, used for protection. Whether you choose a windproof or waterproof jacket is up to you. But most goalies prefer a combination of the two. The main purpose of the jacket is to provide insulation against the cold and to reduce the feeling of dampness on the skin. When you play in wet conditions, the jacket helps to keep you at the right temperature. Which is why most goaltenders wear them in combination with other parts of their uniform. The jacket protects your torso from injuries and it also provides an additional layer between your skin and the ice. When the wind is blowing cold, the windproof jacket will keep you from feeling the bite of the wind on your cheeks. When the sun is beating down and you need that little extra something to keep you cool, the waterproof jacket will come in handy.
Besides all the protective gear mentioned so far, you’ll also need some cushioning in the form of elbow, knee, and neck pads. The padding protects you from injuries and it reduces the shock when you’re sliding on the ice. For example, the knee pads protect your knees from getting hurt from banging into the corner boards. Most NHL players wear some type of knee pad on the right side only. This is to keep the position of their kneecap when playing and to prevent injuries to the internal organs. On the other hand, the elbow pads protect your elbows from getting injured when blocking shots or hitting opponents. Like with the knee pads, most goalies wear only one set of elbow pads to keep the position of their elbow steady while playing. As for the neck pads, they protect your neck from getting hurt when blocking a shot or checking an opponent. This is also where most players get their wind knocked out during games. When choosing these pieces of equipment, make sure that they’re comfortable and that they fit well. Not just to reduce injuries, but also to have the full range of motion when playing. Some players use special cushions inside the gear to reduce pressure on important areas like the eyes and ears. This makes skating easier for them and reduces the chances of serious injury.
Bibs are essential for any activity that involves splashing water or eating wet food. That’s because they’re constantly getting ruined. Especially when playing in the rain or swimming in lakes or ponds, the water will get everywhere. Wet bibs are almost impossible to clean. This is why most players wear a double-layer of bibs. While some prefer the traditional look, others like the style that has an elastic waistband so that they can tighten the fit when needed. The most important thing about the bibs is that they keep the rider’s head dry. It’s always a battle to keep your head dry during games, even when playing in the rain. Keeping your head dry reduces the chances of getting headaches. This is particularly important for the goalie, who plays with his head a lot. It’s also important to constantly check for water inside the helmet when arriving at your destination. Even if it’s just a small puddle, you cannot be too careful after a long day of playing sports. In addition to being a pain in the neck when it comes to cleaning, wet bibs also make you an easy target for infections. Especially if you’re in a cold climate, there will be a lot of germs around, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to multiply and cause problems.
Your gloves are, first and foremost, protective. Like your shoes, your gloves are used to protect your knuckles from getting injured when hitting an opponent or the ice. In addition, you’ll need leather or vinyl gloves if you play in wet conditions. When choosing your new gloves, make sure that they’re comfortable. Especially since you’ll be playing with your hands a whole lot. Like with the other gear, you need to choose the right style. Most goalies prefer a simple but classic look. In addition, you want to be sure to have comfortable, thick leather or vinyl for the long games. Thicker gloves will keep your hands from getting too cold. After a hard day of playing, it’s important to let your hands relax. A good pair of gloves will do just that. In addition to being protective, your gloves can also be used to good effect. For example, some players use their gloves to grip the puck. Others use them to protect their eyes from getting irritated by the bright lights during games. Like with the other gear, you can find many different styles of gloves, so it’s important to try on a few pairs before making a choice. When it comes to choosing a pair of gloves, it’s all about fit. Try on at least a few pairs and make sure that the knuckles are not pinched or that the fingers are sliding around freely when putting on and taking off the gloves. This is also why, when choosing your gloves, you need to be mindful of the overall feel and the style. Like with the other gear, you may need a vintage pair of gloves if you play in a vintage hockey jersey. For more information about buying quality gloves, read our guide on the subject.