Equipment (or gear) available for children age 11 and under first entering the sport or just coming to try it out.
The Club can provide, on a loan basis, all needed equipment (except skates) to children just starting in the sport. This equipment includes helmets, elbow pads, knee/shin pads, player gloves and hockey sticks There is no charge for this while the child stays in our programme. The Club regularly has second hand equipment available from time to time, including skates
Once a player is ready to participate in league games, the Club will provide a playing jersey at no cost and a pair of playing pants (a necessary part of the playing uniform) with a deposit payable on the pants of $50 to cover the costs of repairs from general wear and tear. The pants have replaceable knee sections and can be repaired when needed. Practice jerseys and pants are also available from the Club These items can be purchased for very little cost
The Club maintains a regular supply of spare parts such as boot laces, wheels, bearings, spacers, stick tape, pant or leg tape, blades for 2-piece sticks.
For any purchases of new equipment, please contact the Director of Coaching. Assistance can be provided in purchasing advice, brand recognition and the acquisition of needed equipment either in New Zealand or from overseas.
Obviously skates are the most important thing to a hockey player because they are what makes our sport unique. The major differences between hockey skates and a roller blade are vast. Hockey skates are made with a hard exterior for better protection and support. This prevents injury to yourself and also adds life to your skate because it is a very durable structure. Often roller blades (or recreational skates) have a plastic shell on the outside and a soft boot that you slide your foot into. Similarly, the chassis on inline skates are made of metal for durability, while on recreational skates they’re plastic. Most hockey skates will have smaller wheels at the front. This puts your bodyweight towards your toes and allows you to accelerate a lot quicker. It’s important to make sure your skates are stiff around the ankle for optimum performance and comfort. Other differences between hockey skates and recreational skates are that hockey skates only have laces, whereas recreational skates usually have buckles at the top. Buckles would break very quickly or come undone in a serious game of hockey.
While commonly known simply as shin guards, in hockey your shin guards protect the front of your whole lower leg and your knee. Considering the puck can move around at a pretty quick speed shin guards would probably be the piece of protective equipment that takes the most blows in inline hockey. A lot of shin guards these days also include soft padding to protect the back of your leg too.
Elbow guards might not get as much use as other pieces of protective equipment, but when they do protect you it is in important situations. As your elbow is an outer point of your body often if you fall down (especially backwards) the elbow tends to be the first thing to hit the ground. That’s a lot of force! But the elbow guards are there to absorb the blow. Most elbow guards also protect your forearms and triceps from sticks and pucks.
Hockey gloves are specifically designed to prevent injury and give you a wide range of movements with your hands and wrists. It’s a common complaint from new players that their gloves feel too big, but this is normal. Hockey gloves are worn unlike gloves in other sports – loose fitting, because in hockey your wrists need the freedom to move around. On the protection side of things, hockey gloves are designed in such a way that if you fall forwards onto your gloves the fingers ‘lock in’ backwards to prevent your own fingers from bending the wrong way.
The safety issues surrounding helmets are pretty obvious. Since inline hockey is a fast sport that is played on skates it is inevitable that occasionally spills will happen so your head needs to be protected for when you fall. The hard outer shell of the helmet is very durable and protective, while the soft padding on the inside will prevent shock to your head. The helmet also protects you in the rare instances where sticks and pucks come up at head height.
The face cage will ensure that your face stays nice and safe. It will completely prevent pucks and sticks from hitting you in the face because the bars are designed so a puck or a stick blade cannot fit through. It is rare for sticks and pucks to come through at this height, but the face cage is an important feature in protecting some the most important assets of your body.
The jersey makes you easily identifiable to the referees. Whenever a goal gets scored the ref will need to go and record the goal scorer and the assist getters (the people who passed to the goal scorer) so on your jersey you will have a number to make this task nice and easy. Jerseys are usually very loose fitting so you get a good range of movements, especially where your elbow pads sit.
Pants are good for covering your undies, but in inline hockey they do more than that. They are built very tough and protect the life of your shin guards, as well as covering all parts of your leg. An important and often understated function of pants is that they help keep your shin guards on. Sometimes there may be loose bits of Velcro on your shin pads and your pants stop them from catching on anything and coming undone.
A gear bag is an easy and convenient way to carry all of your equipment around. Most bags have different pockets to make it easy for you, for example a lot of bags have a separate compartment for skates, while the end pockets can be used for storing smaller things, such as your jersey and pants. Some bags come with wheels so you can slide them around, while others are built like large back packs. The most common design is a typical sports bag with straps to hang over one shoulder.
In inline hockey the stick blades are curved. This allows you to get better control of the puck and velocity on your shots. It also defines who is left handed and right handed. Unlike field hockey, in inline hockey you are allowed to use either side of your stick. There are different curves to suit the style of shooter you are, for example if you like doing wrist shots then you might have a very round curve or if you like backhand shots you would use a flatter stick blade. Typically when you’re on skates you want your hockey stick to go somewhere between your nose and chin. Big shooters usually use tall sticks and quick puckhandlers will opt for a shorter stick. There are many different materials that sticks are made out of. Traditionally they are made of wood, but these days ‘composite’ sticks are becoming more common place. These sticks are hollow and made out of things like graphite or Kevlar for durability and lightweight.