Becoming a goalie is one of the most exciting journey’s you’ll embark on. You’re playing the single most physically demanding position in sports. At the same time, I can personally assure you that you will not find a position more enjoyable. From the ups of shutouts, to the downs of giving up several goals in a row, playing goalie is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. With that being said, the goalie equipment list is extensive.
Here is every piece of goalie equipment goalies need.
So you are trying to find what you need to start playing goalie. Well, look no further, in this article I will go over what you need in order to start playing goalie. I will not be going into specifics, but instead, write about what the basic pieces are and what you should look for.
What equipment do hockey goalies wear?
Goalies wear the most equipment of any sports position. They wear a helmet, throat protector, neck guard, chest protector, special padded goalie pants (that look like padded shorts), a glove, a blocker, a jock or jill, pads on their legs, skates, and use a thick goalie stick designed to protect the “5 Hole”.
Leg pads are the pads that, you guessed it, go on your legs. There are five main brands of pads and goalie equipment; CCM, Bauer, Vaughn, Brians, and Warrior. All of these brands have different brands for different styles of play. If you are just getting into being a goalie, I would recommend going to a hockey store and checking out all the different types of pads they offer. There they will also size you up correctly to make sure that you get the best fitting pad possible.
A catching glove is the glove that you wear that does not hold onto the stick. Whatever glove you catch with influences whether you use a right or left-handed stick. Most goalies catch with their left hand, which means they use a left-handed stick. Also, say you were a player before you wanted to make the switch to goalie, don’t worry what hand you shoot as much. I myself was a right-handed shot before I became a goalie, I catch with my left hand so I had to relearn how to shoot with a different hand stick. This is much easier than trying to learn how to catch with the opposite hand. Gloves come in different variations of angles and pockets, but these are mostly chosen by your personal preference.
The blocker is the glove that you use to hold onto the stick. Blockers are very basic, where there is not much customization of the style that you wear. Most blockers are similar, I would just recommend that you chose one that matches your glove and leg pad’s design and model.
A stick is usually selected al on feel and play style. Many goalies use too long of a stick because they don’t have to bend down as far to make sure that their stick is on the ice. But too long of a stick can open up large holes when you go into the butterfly. On the flip side, if you have too short of a stick, you may have more control, but you will have a large five hole if you do not bend down to make sure your stick is flat on the ice.
A good helmet is very important. In fact, if you use a non-HECC certified helmet, you will not be able to participate in any USA Hockey or Hockey Canada events. You must also use a certified cage on your certified helmet. There are three different types of cages, certified straight bar, certified cat-eye, and non-certified cat-eye. The reason you can not use non-certified cat-eye cages is because the eye holes are so big that a stick blade could slip through. For every helmet, you must also use a plastic neck protector. These neck protectors are either manually tied to the cage or helmet.
Goalie skates are very beneficial to use compared to regular player skates. Goalie skates have flatter designed blades that are more helpful when pushing around in the crease, and, they have better shot protection. Some goalie skates have a two-piece design where the boot protector/blade holder is removable and replaceable. Many new goalie skates now just have a one-piece design. The main skate brands are Bauer, CCM, and Graf. Each different model of skate is made for a different size or shape of foot.
A chest protector is a one-piece protector that covers your arms and whole torso. A chest protector is very important if you are a beginner goalie. It is tough to learn how to use your gloves and leg pads so, at the beginning of your goaltending career, many pucks will hit you in the chest. If you have a very thin or too small chest protector, you will get hit in exposed or non-protected areas.
Goalie pants are the pads that you wear around your waist and are the same length as a pair of shorts. Player pants are okay to use as a beginner but as you progress, you will want to invest in a pair of goalie pants because of the additional padding.
Jocks and jills are the pieces of equipment that protect your pelvis area. These pieces are very important because getting hit in the pelvis or privates can really injure you if you do not have proper protection. A player jock or jill will work but again, as you progress you will want to have more protection. Goalie jocks and jills offer protection to the pelvic bone, where player jocks and jills do not.
Knee pads are not necessary to play goalie but they do protect your knees from being hit with pucks. Being hit in the knee does not feel good, trust me, it has happened to me many times; I don’t wear knee pads still just because it’s a comfortability thing. Knee pads are also known to help save your hips from getting destroyed (which has also happened to me, two hip surgeries at age 16) so I think that they would be a good investment.
- Knee pads
If you are going to be a goalie, you are going to need a bigger bag; there is just much larger equipment. I recommend for beginners to get large wheel bags because it makes toting around a lot of equipment much easier. Especially for young goalies, nobody will judge a kid goalie for wheeling around his equipment, it will also take the load off of the parent from carrying the gear to and from the rink.
I hope that this guide was helpful in preparing to either start playing goalie, or getting someone else into the position. It truly is the best position in all of sports.