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The Gear Required to play Ice Hockey

by Luke Wilson September 24, 2021 4 min read

What equipment or gear do I need to start playing Ice Hockey?

At Willies, one of our most frequently asked questions by parents and new starters is what equipment do you actually need to start playing Ice Hockey…

Below we list everything a junior or a senior player needs to get started.

  • Helmet
  • Neck Guard
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Gloves
  • Jock or Jill
  • Shorts or Pants
  • Shin Pads
  • Ice Skates
  • Ice Hockey Stick
  • Ice Hockey Socks and a Jersey


For me this is the most important piece of protective equipment. Ice Hockey is a fast full contact sport and it is vital to protect the head.

The key things to look at when getting a helmet are:

  1. That it fits correctly
  2. That it is comfortable as it must remain on the players head at all times whilst playing or on the bench.

All helmets are adjustable to aid in getting the perfect fit, and our team are on hand to ensure the correct adjustments are made.

For junior players up to 18 years of age, and ladies playing in the women’s league, full facial protection is mandatory, so players must have either a full face cage or full visor attached to their helmet

For Senior players, a visor is allowed, but we do recommend that new players consider full facial protection to begin with!

Neck Guard

These are mandatory for Under 18’s, and we highly recommend them to senior players also. These protect your neck from pucks, skate blades and flailing sticks.

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads should protect not only the shoulders, but the collarbone, chest, upper arms, ribcage, belly, upper back and spine. It is important that the pad integrates well with the shorts and elbow pads.

The key things to look at when getting shoulder pads are:

  1. It protects the key areas mentioned above
  2. It doesn’t feel too tight or too loose
  3. It doesn’t hinder the players movement

Elbow Pads

Elbow pads protect not only the elbows, but the forearm and a portion of the upper arm, it is important they integrate well with the shoulder pads and the gloves.

The Key things to look at when getting shoulder pads are:

  1. They protect the key areas mentioned above.
  2. They don’t slide up and down the arm.
  3. They don’t hinder movement, especially stick handling


Gloves obviously protect the hands, but it is also important that they feel good in regards to gripping the stick. Gloves come in a variety of different styles and the pair that feel right are completely personal preference.

With gloves the key things to look at are:

  1. Ensuring they protect the hands and integrate well with elbow pads
  2. Do they feel good for a customer when they are holding a stick
  3. Do they feel not too tight, and not too loose?
  4. Are the tips of the fingers away from the end of the gloves just enough to keep them protected?

Shorts / Pants

Next are the hockey pants, the pants are designed to protect your thighs, kidneys, bottom and lower back. They should integrate well with the shoulder pads and the shin pads.

The key things to look at with hockey pants are

  1. They are comfortable fitting, and not too loose
  2. They do not hinder movement
  3. They marry well with the shoulder back, especially at the belly and lower back points.

Jock or Jill

A jock or Jill protects, well your private parts and anyone who has ever taken a puck or stick there will tell you this is a crucial bit of kit.

Shin Pads

Shin pads are designed to not only protect the shins but the knees as well, it important they fit well with the shorts and don’t hinder the skates!

The key things to look at with shin pads are

  1. They are comfortable
  2. They don’t hinder skating
  3. They fit well, both in length and width.

Ice Skates

Next up are skates, skates should be fit to your size and foot shape, comfortable and protective enough for the level you play. We recommend hockey players wherever possible look to purchase boots with changeable blades and thermoformability for added fit. They should be sharpened to a radius of hollow that suits.

Skates should

  1. Be comfortable to skate in.
  2. Be suitable for your level of play.
  3. Sharpened to suit your playstyle.

Ice Hockey Stick

Finally is a stick. A stick should be long enough to reach your nose when not on skates, or lips when you are on skates, though personal preference allows players to go longer or shorter if necessary. The stick should have a curve that suits the player, and a flex that the player finds easy to use. With sticks, feel is king!

Sticks should be

  1. The right height.
  2. The right flex.
  3. The right curve.
  4. The right kick point for your playstyle.

Ice Hockey Socks and a Jersey

Ice Hockey Socks go over the shin pads and help to hold them in place. The jersey as you would expect is worn as a top over the shoulder pads and helps keep straps secure and everything in place.

Additional items

  • Hockey Bag- To keep all your stuff in!
  • Base layer or Sweats- to wear under your kit.
  • Hockey Leg and Stick tape- to keep shin pads in place and to protect/provide grips to sticks.

And that is a breakdown into all the kit you need to start playing the great game!

If you have any more questions or would like to discuss your equipment needs - Contact a member of our expert team who will gladly talk you through things in more detail.


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