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Old 11-25-2008, 02:38 PM   #1
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Ice hockey gear fitting

Let's start bottom up.
Typically, ice hockey skates are 1 size smaller than your street shoes, but with CCM's they tend to be 1 1/2 size smaller than your street shoes.
When you wear the skates to test fit them, tie them up tight and walk around the store for five minutes. Give them time to loosen up a bit.
Depending on the brand/model, some boots have a higher arch than others. If you have wide feet, ask to try on the wider boot version of the skates.
When you are walking around, if your heels move around in the boot, that is a bad thing. If your toes touch the tips of the boot, that too is bad.
Remember, do not look at price only for skates (ie. buying a size too big or a size too small because they are on sale)

Shin pads are measured in inches. Some of the common sizes are 14 inchs and longer, and different models will be wider/narrower than others. The proper length for you will depend on you whether you slide the skate tongue under the shin pad, or roll them down and wear the shin pads just over the skates.

Pants are similar to regular pants. You have small, med, lge, and xlge waist. Different brands/models offer different amounts of protection for different players.

Elbow pads come in med, lge etc... Different models/brands offer different amounts of protection. Some are the basic ones that only cover the elbow with foam padding and might have some hard plastic like roller blade elbow pads. Some of the higher end pads are long and cover part of the arm and forearm, and have more hard plastic. The elbow pads protect the parts of the arm that the shoulder pads and gloves do not cover.

Shoulder pads vary in model/brands again. As a forward, you might want something that gives you more flexability. As a D-man, you want something that is a little longer and has a bit more padding as you will be blocking more pucks than a forward. Some models look like foot ball pads or those shoulder pads minus the spikes from the Legion of Doom back in the 90's. Do not mistaken football shoulder pads for hockey shoulder pads and the padding is in different areas.

Gloves range in different sizes and lengths. Forwards like to use shorter cuffed gloves to allow better mobility to stick handle. D-men use gloves with longer cuffs for more protection. Gloves should be a little loose on your hands.

Sticks come in different lengths/sizes/stiffness. There are junior sized sticks (for kids) intermediate (for younger teens) and senior sizes (for adults) with varying stiffness. All sticks can be cut or have some length added via butt-ends. When picking out the right stiffness, think of a bow. The more you can flex it, the more "snap" you get out of it and the more power there is in the shot. How much bend you get into the stick has to do with your body mass. Also, how tall you are will affect the amount of bend you can get into the stick based on leverage. Also, forwards tend to use rounded blades where as d-men use blades that are more square.
Depending on your style, you need to find out which lie/curve you like.
Player sticks usually are between 4-8 for lie. 4 means you need to play more like Gretzkey where you play with your waist bent. 8 means you play more upright.
Different players use different types of curves. So with the same model of stick, you have different players names stamped on the stick. ie Naslund. Koivu, Jagr, iginla etc. Some have more curve, some have more twist in the blade, etc. As a beginner, I would recommend something with a little less curve and not so agressive lie. Imagine using a #4 lie but you play pretty much standing up. Expect the puck to go under the heel of your stick.

Jersery's are cut a little bigger, but you need to try them on with your shoulder pads on. You want the jersey to be a little bigger so you have more mobility. I am an lge/XL, but I wear an XL jersey without should pads and at times I find different brands to be a little on the tight side.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:16 PM   #2
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well....thats all covered.

Nothing to discuss i guess.

Did u just come from equipment shopping?
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
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Great write up!

Thanks!

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Old 11-25-2008, 03:20 PM   #4
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well....thats all covered.

Nothing to discuss i guess.

Did u just come from equipment shopping?
Pretty much.

I spent over $600 on new gear to replace some stuff that was almost 15 years old.
Things I still need include a new visor, shoulder pads (should I decide to wear them) and another stick. I've been going through a OPS every 4 months.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:22 PM   #5
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this is a good page for info....courtesy of my favorite place to go for gear:
http://www.thehockeyshop.com/SizingTips.htm#PlayerPants
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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Pretty much.

I spent over $600 on new gear to replace some stuff that was almost 15 years old.
Things I still need include a new visor, shoulder pads (should I decide to wear them) and another stick. I've been going through a OPS every 4 months.
every 4 months....???

you a heavy guy??
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:27 PM   #7
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every 4 months....???

you a heavy guy??
Gained quite a bit of weight in the last few years.
Started to play hockey again and will start going to the gym again. Damn long work hours make it hard to get motivated to go work out. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:42 PM   #8
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toes touching the front isn't necessarily a bad thing.
just grazing when knees bent is ideally the perfect fit.

other than that go on comfort with everything.
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:52 AM   #9
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Thanks a lot for the write up. I'm so pumped right now.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:30 AM   #10
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any suggestions for goalie gear?
thanks
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:28 AM   #11
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Just wanted to add a few small things (although that's tough cuz SumAznGuy's pretty damn thorough ;D)...

Skates
If you're worried about how much extra space you have in your skate, do the normal footwear fitting routine: While sitting down with the laces loose, slide your foot forward into the skate as much as possible. If there's excess space above your foot and/or your toes can curl right up the inside of the skate, you might have a skate that's too wide and/or too large. If it's feeling comfortable, see how much space you have between your heel and the boot. Anything more than a finger's width could be trouble (although experienced players play with looser or tighter skates based on what they've gotten used to or prefer).
Don't be in a rush to buy skates. Once you've got them on and laced up, stand up and walk around and stay on your feet for 5-10 minutes and see if they start to hurt or if you begin to notice excess wiggle.

Shins and Pants
Okay, these two should be fitted together if you're buying equipment for the first time. Even better if you fit them with skates.
Size shin pads when you're leg is straight and when your knee is bent nearly 90 degrees. Use the centre of the cup of the knee on the shin pad as an alignment point against your own knee.
Different cuts of pants obviously provide different protection at the expense of mobility. Look for good tailbone protection and padding around the waist if you're very concerned about safety. Pants that are too long may impede your skating, while pants that are too short will expose the area directly above your knee. With your pants on, try doing knee raises to see how much the pant legs slide, and do some hip rotations or try to touch your toes to see if the waist padding is overkill.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:03 AM   #12
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any suggestions for goalie gear?
thanks
Fitting or brand? There's a lot of great goalie gear available these days, especially if you order online (although I don't recommend that if you're sizing up for the first time), and for a pretty decent range of prices. If I had money to burn, I'd buy new equipment right now just for the hell of it, although I can't justify that as my old equipment is perfectly fine lol.

Skates
Buy goalie skates. Don't play goal on ice with player skates. Goalie skates are built quite differently from player skates. They are a bit broader, have an external cowl for added protection, have a lower boot cut for greater ankle movement, and have a lower and longer chassis and blade with a different profile than a player's blade. Try your shoe size or a size smaller and go from there; slide your foot forward all the way into the skate until your toes just graze the front, and see how much space you have between your heel and the skate... look for a finger's width.

Goal Pads
Style (fly, profly, etc --well I guess everybody's profly these days) and brand aside, fit these goal pads with your skates if possible. There are two main measurements: The size/length and the width. The width will usually be 11 or 12 inches (I think almost all adult pads are usually 12"), and the sizes for adults come in 32"+.
There are a bunch of different methods for fitting goal pads if you can't actually physically be there to strap them on. Some manufacturers/shops have size charts that correspond to the measurement between your ankle and the centre of your knee. Another method is to measure the distance from your toes to your ankle, then from your ankle to your knee along your shin, then from your knee to a third of the way up your thigh. Regardless, nothing beats trying them on!
The rule of thumb would be to ensure proper knee cap placement. The centre of your knee cap should fit into the centre of the knee cradle/roll on the inside of the pad. The easiest way to get initial alignment is to fit the pads while kneeling down into them, and then see how much they move down when you get up. If the knee fitment is good and the shin length is okay, then ensure that the toe of the pad doesn't stick out beyond the toe of your skate. Finally check to make sure the top of the pad doesn't hinder your leg movement. Remember that, due to the width of the pads, you'll be moving with your legs a fair bit apart, so if the pads stick up too far, you'll have trouble skating and butterflying. I've heard 4" as a limit to how far the pad should stick up above the knee, but it also depends on your tall you are and your proportions.

If you have no clue on how to strap on goalie pads, any good hockey shop will be able to help you, or you can search online, although it's quite simple. Lay the pad flat and exterior face down in front of you; the side roll on the face of the pad should be on the outside. Line up the toe guard of the pad with the toe of your skate blade and criss-cross the laces through your skate chassis and tie it up on top of your skate (if you have toe straps, just buckle on the strap through the first gap in your chassis). Lift the pad up onto your leg, do up any knee cradle straps, and start buckling on the rest of your straps. Leave your top two straps loose and rely on the straps around your knee to hold the pad in place. The straps on the bottom bend of your pads usually go through the skate chassis under your heel.

Pants
Like the skates, buy goalie pants if you're serious about playing goal. They look similar but are quite a bit different. The cut is lower on the top (especially in the front), so there is less waist protection but better hip padding. Good pants will also have good kidney protection around the sides and back. You'll notice that the thigh padding is thicker/harder and that the legs are a bit more flexible because there is thinner padding around the groin to accommodate the larger goalie jock/pelvic protector (although some goalie pants have segmented padding around the groin to provide both protection and mobility). Goalie pants also often have slits in on the rear of the pant legs for better movement.
Fit them with the pads if possible to see how much the pants and pads ride on each other. Too much interference will really get annoying and hinder your movement. Bend your knees and rotate your waist to see how much freedom you have. Fitting your chest protector with your pants can also be handy to see how much overlap you get around the hips. Bigger, wider pants/thighs will close up the hole between your legs, but it could also slow your skating down.

Chest Protector
Man, I'm getting tired writing this. ;P Okay, chest, shoulder and arm protector... the piece that makes you look big and buff. Like pants, these go S-M-L-XL-etc. and are usually based on a chest measurement. I think your average Joe under 6'0" will probably take a Medium, but if you're skinny, you're probably looking at a Small.
Big things here are arm length, chest fitment, and freedom of movement. Best way, of course, is to try it on... Make sure that, when you move your arms (try rotating your arms and going over your head), none of the padding digs into your neck or anywhere else. If the chest portion is billowing away from your body, you might need to go down a size. With the wrist/forearm cuffs tightened, move your arms around and make sure the arm guards don't slide around too much. Depending on how comfortable you are, slight overlap between the bottom of your chest protector and the top of your pants may or may not matter to you (some chest protectors have an extra flap that is intended to overlap your abdomen where your pants lace up, but a bit of overlap in any case is normal).

Catcher and Blocker
Don't be a hero and grab the biggest gloves you can find. Catchers and blockers should fit relatively loosely (like loose work gloves, I guess), but not so loose that they're dangling at the ends of your arms. If you tighten up all the straps and can fling the gloves off with ease, they're too big. The cuffs should overlap the padding on your arms a bit, probably one or two inches depending on your much the cuffs flare (this will determine how much mobility you have).
The catch here is that most gloves only come in Jr. or Sr. sizes... but different models and brands fit differently, so you'll have to try them on. Don't skimp on fitting the gloves: position your arms and body like you would while in your ready stance or while making a save and mimic the wrist and arm motions you make while playing to see how comfortable the gloves are. Better yet, grab a stick off the wall and see how it feels too.

Goalie Mask
Ahh everybody's favourite piece of equipment. Like headgear for almost any sport, sizing a goalie mask is done by measuring the circumference of your head, but each manufacturer usually has a different correlation chart, so either check online or ask your hockey shop to do the measurements. Otherwise, just try the masks on and see which on gets you the best fit. When adjusted, it should be snug with your chin in the chin guard and your forehead against the edge of the helmet (usually around eyebrow height, although I've seen guys play with the edge of the mask right around their eyes). If you shake your head and the mask rattles and bounces a lot, then it's too lose. Conversely, it shouldn't be so tight that it's uncomfortably squeezing your head.
If you plan to play in a league that has certain safety regulations, look for a CSA+HECC approved helmet, and avoid cat eye cages (unless you're certain your league allows them).
For added safety, you can attach a throat guard to your mask. These guards are usually curved pieces of clear plastic that dangle from cords tied to the mask. Depending on the length of the beak on your mask and how paranoid you are (or if you play with guys that load up from inside the hash marks all the time), you may find this a good safety investment.

Goalie Stick
Seems like the base price of goalie sticks keeps on rising, but admittedly they're of good quality and better materials these days, making them lighter and funner to play with. You'll be concerned mainly with the length of the paddle and blade, and the lie (ignoring brand and material). Wiki tells me that goalie sticks usually have a lie from 11-15 (compared to 5 = 135deg for a player stick), but honestly I've always just tried them out in the store to see what was comfortable. In your ready stance the blade should be positioned in front of your five-hole (obviously ;D) flat on the ice (give or take how much you like to angle your stick), and the paddle should be of the right length to suit your blocker hand position. (This is all assuming you have a good and proper stance, which is a key to getting the right stick.)

---

Okay, that's all I can think of at the moment... There are other things, like a goalie jock (bigger and has pelvic protection compared to normal), neck guard (different cut in the front to allow for better neck rotation, provides overlap chest protection, depends a lot on the model/brand), and goalie cut jersey (flared arms, wider).

As for brands, I'll let better informed people comment as I haven't bought any major gear for a long time. The usual suspects are Itech, RBK, Vaughn, TPS, NikeBauer, etc., although I honestly don't know who makes what for whom any more.

HTH.
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Last edited by absolutZERO; 11-26-2008 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Grammar errors, missing words.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:52 AM   #13
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^ wow ur my hero, Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2008, 12:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Goalie MaskIf you plan to play in a league that has certain safety regulations, look for a CSA+HECC approved helmet, and avoid cat eye cages (unless you're certain your league allows them).
For added safety, you can attach a throat guard to your mask. These guards are usually curved pieces of clear plastic that dangle from cords tied to the mask. Depending on the length of the beak on your mask and how paranoid you are (or if you play with guys that load up from inside the hash marks all the time), you may find this a good safety investment.
For those that don't know, he is talking about the cages with the big openings around the eye's like the ones that the pro's use. Most leagues/minor hockey do not allow it, but I do believe some other leagues do.
The throat guard is the clear plastic that you see goalies like Patrick Roy use to have. They are usually tied on with some skate lace.

The other option is getting a helmet with a goalie cage. This would be a bit cheaper but slightly heavier than getting a mask.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:00 PM   #15
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I'm thinking eventually if I buy the whole set, I'm forced to buy it all in one place if that's the only way I can wear all the gear at once to get a good feel. Or is that true?

I can't really tell whether for example pants and shin and body and elow guards will all fit together unless I try them all on at a store all at once. But I don't know, is it common for someone to go put on the whole hockey gear when they are hockey shopping? I've never seen a guy walking around sportchek with the full gear on. Maybe I'm just self conscious.

Anyway, I tried on some CCM skates. They weren't bad. The sales guy tried to tell me to get $200-250 ones because they had better ankle support and that skates are the one thing you can't cheap out on. I guess he does have a point, but I still rather stick to my $100 budget.

How tight are your feet supposed to be pressed together from the side? I wear size 9 shoes, and size 8 skates feel right length wise, but width wise, I like size 9 skates better. These are the 8D and 9D wider feet CCM's I'm trying on.


I have a question about sticks. Because I read about how they can be curved at the heel or at the toe. Where curve at the heel is more for defencemen and toe is more for forwards. When I look down the shaft on some sticks, I see some are just curved, while some are curved with a bit of twist (to help lift the puck on shots?) What is the difference between those blades and how can I tell whether a blade is heel curved or toe curved?
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:50 PM   #16
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For those that don't know, he is talking about the cages with the big openings around the eye's like the ones that the pro's use. Most leagues/minor hockey do not allow it, but I do believe some other leagues do.
The throat guard is the clear plastic that you see goalies like Patrick Roy use to have. They are usually tied on with some skate lace.

The other option is getting a helmet with a goalie cage. This would be a bit cheaper but slightly heavier than getting a mask.
Good point about the helmet+cage combo! Ala Hasek, plus it gives a guy an excuse to try to find one of those old opaque plastic throat guards that sit flat on the collarbone/chest haha. ;D
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:59 PM   #17
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For CCM/RBK skates, D is the standard width. E is the "wide" width. When I wear CCM skates, after lacing them up tight, the D is a little tight around my foot. I found the "E" skates to be perfect.
BAuer/Nike uses the "EE" designation for their wide boots.

As for gear, I've never worn everything at the same time to test fit them. That being said, that is me so who knows.

What I recommend is go to Sport Chek/Sport Mart and try on the gear yourself. This way you don't feem obliged to buy it from them.

Starting with skates, the pricer skates will give you better ankle support especially if you are new or a power skater. But for your first pair of skates, I say go with whatever you can afford and feels good on your feet.
And since you have the skates on, try on some shin pads. Try the shin pads with the tongue slipped up under the shin pads, and try it with the tongue pulled down under the bottom of the shin pads. This will give you a good idea of what length shin pad you need. Since you are 5'7", assuming your legs are normal length, try some 15 inch shin pads to start.

When you go to try on pants, just wear them over some sweat pants or track pants and then walk around in them. See how well you can move around in them and how the padding is. Some of the pants do not offer a lot of padding around the crotch/inner thigh area but have great mobilty. Some pants have zero padding on the back of the leg, but that area is generally not important as you should not be blocking shots with that area. Tailbone/kidney area padding is important. With the pants on, stand up and see how far down the legs the pants go. Remember, if the pants are too short, you have no protection from the top of the shin pads to the bottom of the pants. If the pants are too long, that will interfer with your skating.
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:53 PM   #18
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Anyway, I tried on some CCM skates. They weren't bad. The sales guy tried to tell me to get $200-250 ones because they had better ankle support and that skates are the one thing you can't cheap out on. I guess he does have a point, but I still rather stick to my $100 budget.
Of course its better. Higher price = Higher performance. However, considering you're new to the sport, you're type of hockey nowhere even near requires performance. Hell, unless your on the top divisions, even league players don't buy in onto the whole "expensive skates" thing.

And trust me, it may take a year or 2 before you can safely say you're too good for your skates.


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I have a question about sticks. Because I read about how they can be curved at the heel or at the toe. Where curve at the heel is more for defencemen and toe is more for forwards. When I look down the shaft on some sticks, I see some are just curved, while some are curved with a bit of twist (to help lift the puck on shots?) What is the difference between those blades and how can I tell whether a blade is heel curved or toe curved?
Good question. Blades that flare/twist out at the toe end are there to help ease in elevating the puck in their shots. Useful for people like centers, some wingers who like to stay close in the net and need to elevate their wristers as quickly as possibly as they don't have the time/space to wind up their shots in addition to flicking their wrists to attain the elevation.

However, since pucks just get airtime easily, you will need good shot control when shooting mid-range and further, or else you're shooting may go wild.

Last edited by Noir; 11-26-2008 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:38 PM   #19
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pretty good guide but something's always bothered me about sticks... are there any major differences (other than length) between junior/intermediate and senior sticks? like are junior/intermediate more flexy than senior?

ive been using senior sticks all my life and being 5'5 i have to chop off quite a bit to get the length right. but last time i went to the hockey shop and randomly tried out a junior stick i found out it was the perfect length for my height without chopping. and since im pretty sure chopping a composite is gonna make it too hard to flex, im thinking of getting an inherently shorter stick this time around.

any tips?

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:44 PM   #20
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Yes. Jr sticks typically have shorter blades and the diameter of the shaft is smaller for smaller hands. Flex is lower because of the lower weight/height.
Intermediate sticks are realitively new, and they are the in between of Jr. and Sr. sticks. Flex wise, they are stiffer than Jr's and softer than Sr. sticks.
I believe intermediate sticks have the same blades as Sr. sticks.
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:16 PM   #21
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shorter blades...? damn guess im sticking to cutting seniors then...
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:21 PM   #22
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Keep in mind that when you cut sticks, the flex goes UP. If you're accustomed to a certain flex but are short like me you might have to go lower in flex and cut away.

A little off topic, but if you're new to the sport I'd suggest a whippier stick (ie 75-80 flex). It'll help you get the puck released with less effort until you feel that it takes too long to load. That's when you move up. I see too many beginners with pro flex 102 sticks that struggle like crazy trying to shoot the puck properly.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:51 PM   #23
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Okay, so I plan to be a forward, so what kind of stick would you guys recommend for someone that's a new at ice hockey?

Wood, something with 75-80 flex, and a toe curve (with no twist) with a rounded toe?

So how do I tell the difference between a heel curver and toe curve?

I'm most likely gonna at least get minimal equipment today (thurs) so I can go stick and puck on this friday. (my only day off)
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNightmare View Post
Okay, so I plan to be a forward, so what kind of stick would you guys recommend for someone that's a new at ice hockey?

Wood, something with 75-80 flex, and a toe curve (with no twist) with a rounded toe?

So how do I tell the difference between a heel curver and toe curve?

It's tough to find a flexy wood stick unless you go intermediate. What I would suggest is an Easton S5 Shaft 80Flex (30$ at Sport Chek) and get a blade for 50% off (~50 total). You'd get a stick that's lighter than a wood stick, and more consistent in terms of flex. And IMO its better than most cheap woods, and cheap OPS which are junk.

As for the curves, a toe curve basically curls at the end of the blade. Heel Curves start to curve almost at the heel. Mid are in the middle. I don't have examples for all, but a Sakic/Naslund is a mid, where a P91(malkin)/Thornton is a heel. Toes are tough to find actually because they aren't really beginner curves.

I'd suggest going to the HockeyMonkey website, and under replacement blades theres pictures of all the curves from different stick-makers. Check it out
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:12 AM   #25
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Okay, I'll check the site out for the designs. I've never actually played ice hockey before though, so I'm not sure about spending $50 on a stick, especially if I have to put the shaft and blade together. I'm not really even sure the procedures on how to melt the glue and stuff. I will proably just stick to a $20-30 wooden stick.
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