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Old 11-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
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Questions about getting into Hockey

I've been a huge hockey fan for as long as I can remember, and have always said I wanted to get back into playing (played when i was quite young, had to choose skiing or hockey, and went with skiing.)

Now I'm looking to try and get back into playing the game, instead of just watching it!

I'm looking for any tips you guys might have, in terms of gear, and mainly what I can do to start playing the game. Are there leagues suited to people looking to build skill and fitness that are in a similar position as I am?

I'd love to find something in coquitlam/burnaby area, I played div1 soccer that almost every game was in west van, living in poco it was a huge drag to make it out to every game.

Thanks!
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
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What's your budget for gear? Do you have any pieces of gear already?

ASHL @ Burnaby 8 Rinks is probably the best league out there... the competition's still pretty decent even at the lower divs so I would suggest taking some power skating lessons at 8 Rinks first.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:27 AM   #3
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In terms of gear:

As a beginner, you do not need to spend a lot of money in this dept. You can buy all the low end equipment since considering you're skill level, you won't have the skills to even appreciate what makes high end equipment, high end.

It's better to upgrade over time. As time goes and you grow further into the sport, you'll be in a better position to understand what you individually need and which higher-end equipment that satisfies that.

(this should also somewhat soften the shock factor, regarding the start-up costs of the sport)




As for opportunities to play:

Other than your typical stick and puck, the best avenues to start having your game experience is through pick-up games. The hard part is finding a group that's relatively chill and beginner friendly (as some groups can be quite intermediate - advanced). The only one I'm aware of that is best welcoming to beginners is Keroleen's pick up from Revscene. Just PM Keroleen (at least that's what I think her screen name is).

From pick-up groups, is also one of the best avenues to play organized league games for the following reasons:

1. You're getting invited to a team where you may already know a few players rather than starting in a locker room where you feel like a stranger (may be quite intimidating for people who are of low skill level). Basically, getting comfortable with your team is quicker this route.

2. If you are able to joing a league team via pick-up-game connections/friends, it's also less pressure on you since they are already familiar your skill level. Vice-versa, they will also know how to play with you.

3. In every league I've played at, no team ever keeps their roster 100% season after season. There's always spots opening up when some people leave so there are always teams that are looking to fill roster just so they can meet league fee requirements. The more people you know, the more of these avenues/opportunities you open up for you.



If not, and the above is not happening for you, the best beginner friendly league I can suggest is VACHL; so beginner friendly, slapshots are illegal. The drawbacks are:

1. Since it's the only local league that is actually TARGETED towards the "beginner" niche, it usually fills up fast. That means you gotta sign up @ the beginning of summer or else, you're out of luck and you'll have to wait 1 full season for a shot inside the league.

2. It only runs on winter, whereas other leagues are year round.




But seriously, it's just a networking thing. From pickup groups, you'll meet people in other pickup groups and you'll have more pick-up game opportunities, and from there also league team opportunities from many differing leagues. You just need to start and get your feet wet and you'll be surprised how much it grows from there.
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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ask ur friends to join with ya... Thats what i did. My experienced buddy encouraged us to play ice hockey and taught us the basics during stick n puck and from there on... Us newbs know the positions very well now.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice!

Any suggestions for gear and where to pick it up? Places like sport check or more specialized stores? I don't even have skates anymore lol. I had continued skating for a while after playing hockey, mainly shinny with the fam. on my grandpa's dugout in winter lol.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delerious View Post
Thanks for the advice!

Any suggestions for gear and where to pick it up? Places like sport check or more specialized stores? I don't even have skates anymore lol. I had continued skating for a while after playing hockey, mainly shinny with the fam. on my grandpa's dugout in winter lol.
They're all good. Gear is gear but my recommendation is either Cyclone Taylor Sports or The Hockey Shop (Surrey).

Reason being, I've never bought gear from general sports store like Sportcheck, Sportmart, or to an extent Canadian Tire but when I bought my starters in The Hockey Shop, you can get package deals for buying full gear; can't quote me but Cyclone Taylor MAY offer the same or similar cost negating methods.

However, I just came across this on Off-Topic:
http://www.revscene.net/forums/65682...ounts-%2A.html


Honourable Mention also to Burrard Sports Exchange. They've got some good deals individually but I don't know if you'll get a special deal when buying in bulk (full gear). So you may have to factor if all those individual deals can outmatch the other store's package deal



That being said, looks like you've got some homework to do, and quite the running around. Good thing hockey shopping is fun though.




edit:
(here's a crude and brief overview of aformentioned stores)

Burrard Sports Exchange - Best prices for gear
Cyclone Taylor - Best service out of all stores (although no slight to The Hockey Shop; but I'd rank Cyclone a tad higher)
The Hockey Shop - Best selection out of all stores. Biggest store out of the 3, and nicest one too considering their new loc.

Last edited by Noir; 11-06-2011 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:07 PM   #7
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What level of hockey did you play up to as a kid? And how much shinny did you play on the farm? Would you say you are a competent skater or still a weak skater?

Personally, if you can skate at a decent level without wobbling too much, then try looking at some of the middle of the line gear.

Sports Check would be a good place to start. Some of the specialized stores are good if you know what you are looking for as I have found that some stores do up sell where they can.

The reason i suggest mid level gear is because entry level gear sucks and tend to wear out quite quickly with poor protection.

ie a $50 regular priced stick is $50 for a reason. A mid-level $80 stick for $50 is a much better purchase and will perform better.

But if you are a total noob and skate on your ankles, then save your money and work on your skating skills first.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:07 AM   #8
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sportchek for sure.... sign up for the "team assist program" which is absolutely free... took like <2weeks to deliver to my house... u get stacks of coupons.... %20 off any item! is the best coupon of them alll... rest is like apparel/footwear etc %25... still good tho.
refer to this
https://team.sportchek.ca/pages/form.jsp

for me i have really low end gear... shoulders,pants,shin guards, gloves skates...stick
$30 vic shoulder pads
$30 on sale warrior bentley
$30 vic guards
$69.99 +%20 discount S11 gloves... (just like the feel of it even tho i get massive blisters)
$120 rbk 4k on sale
$<50 low end(heavy) >80(medium-light) >150(light) sticks

imo if u have a good stamina and vision of the ice... go for low end just to save lots of money..

but if ure scared of getting hit from the puck go for high or mid level gear at cost

if u cant afford practicing skating everyday on ice...
try rollerblading outside even people may say it will mess up ur habit but doesnt hurt to try.... cuz i made a transition from inline to ice and it was fine for me... + a great way to save money and workin on conditioning.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:15 AM   #9
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Others can probably expand on this, but don't cheap out on your skates. In general, the staff at specialized hockey stores will do better with skate-fitting.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:42 AM   #10
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hockeymonkey.com is great if you already know what you're getting
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Others can probably expand on this, but don't cheap out on your skates. In general, the staff at specialized hockey stores will do better with skate-fitting.
OMG totally agree. When i upgraded from "female" ice hockey skates to high end (at that time), you can totally tell the difference
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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Others can probably expand on this, but don't cheap out on your skates. In general, the staff at specialized hockey stores will do better with skate-fitting.
Yeah but for adult skates, entry level is like $100 - $200. Mid-level alone is $400 - $500 ish... and high level is is like $700 - $900.

The discrepancy is quite huge.

The key IMO is fitment; and sometimes baking really only goes so far. I guess to meet you half-way in your comment is that don't just buy the cheapest skates out there, but if better fitment means tacking another $50 - $100 to your cost, it's well worth the investment.

But by no means I think, should you break the bank for it. That being said that Fitment is the absolute key, if you don't know your way around hockey equipment, here is where service becomes paramount when shopping; even if it comes at a bit of a cost.





Keroleen you don't count. You've been playing for years, and almost at an average of 4 games per week (barring injury). Just the amount alone that you demand of your skates pretty much warrants higher end skates.

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Old 11-07-2011, 02:34 PM   #13
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Yeah but for adult skates, entry level is like $100 - $200. Mid-level alone is $400 - $500 ish... and high level is is like $700 - $900.

The discrepancy is quite huge.

The key IMO is fitment; and sometimes baking really only goes so far. I guess to meet you half-way in your comment is that don't just buy the cheapest skates out there, but if better fitment means tacking another $50 - $100 to your cost, it's well worth the investment.

But by no means I think, should you break the bank for it. That being said that Fitment is the absolute key, if you don't know your way around hockey equipment, here is where service becomes paramount when shopping; even if it comes at a bit of a cost.
If OP is more towards a newbie than someone who can skate properly, I would recommend a mid-level $300ish skates.
I've seen some of the lower end $150-200 skates and guys who skate on their ankles tend to wearout the boots on their skates quite quickly.

But of course, fitment is definately #1.

Of course, buying last years mid-level gear is probably the best, if you can't find it cheaper online.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
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Yeah but for adult skates, entry level is like $100 - $200. Mid-level alone is $400 - $500 ish... and high level is is like $700 - $900.

The discrepancy is quite huge.

The key IMO is fitment; and sometimes baking really only goes so far. I guess to meet you half-way in your comment is that don't just buy the cheapest skates out there, but if better fitment means tacking another $50 - $100 to your cost, it's well worth the investment.
See - that's why I said "others can expand on this"!

You can get away with having crappy gear, but "crappy" skates will definitely hold you back.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:44 PM   #15
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Man you guys are great!

It has been a while, but I was a very confident skater when I was doing it, had no problem stopping and starting, skating backwards was fine, but transitioning got more and more iffy the less I skated. I'm not nearly close to the shape I was in as a kid and teen, which is what i'm hoping to get back to by getting into this.


For some reason I heard people budgeting 1k+ for gear, but I guess that's for the high end stuff? I do remember my skates ALWAYS hurting my feet, I don't know if that was fitment issues, or just me having weird feet (although regular shoes fit and feel fine)

I don't mind at all about buying 'last year's stuff', although I think I'll shy away from buying online to start with, better to test fit everything before buying it!

Thanks for that sport check coupon program thing, I'll definitely check that out!!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #16
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Gearing up in new high end stuff will probably put you around $2500 haaha
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:45 AM   #17
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definitely spend some time for the perfect fitting skate
i went to the hockey shop with a buddy for about 4 hours trying at least 4 pairs of skates. got a couple baked and even did laps around the isles with them to make sure they were comfortable. all the skates i tried on prior to the last all hurt though.

the guy who helped me knew his stuff through and through. and at no point did he try to push me. turns out my feet have some weird protrusions, so i had to get about 2 holes punched per skate. it fit like a dream afterwards. i also lucked out as i got one95's at half price and they were the boots that could hold the punch according to him.

i spent about 1k bearing in mind that my skates were half price. everything else was just off hockeymonkey and ebay. my sticks are high ends from guys on RS and craigslist
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:47 AM   #18
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Gearing up in new high end stuff will probably put you around $2500 haaha
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I'd go pro stock/returns over high end retail. Pro gear tends to be cheaper to buy up front and it holds it's resale value better over time.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:13 AM   #19
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Honestly, the sportchek DSC private sales nite will be your best bet.
Save 25% off your entire purchase.....that will be a big chunk if you want to go after the higher end stuff.

Hope to see you there!
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