In the sport of hockey, the greatest cost of any position is that of the goalie. The cost to outfit a goalie with brand new, top-of-the-line pro-level goalie equipment is around $6,570. Don’t let the sticker price scare you away, on the low end, a goalie outfitted in entry-level gear can buy brand new equipment for less than $3,000.
If $6,570 sounds like an expensive entry price to becoming a goalie, just imagine how much it costs to outfit an NHL goalie for the season. According to St. Louis Blues Equipment Manager Joel Farnsworth, it can cost between $45,000-$55,000 to outfit an NHL goalie for an entire season.
The reason for the substantial increase in cost to equip an NHL netminder is because goalies at the NHL level can go through multiple sets of pads each year. In fact, some goalies will switch their pads up to 6 times (or more), throughout the duration of a season. The next biggest cost behind pads for NHL goalies? Sticks. NHL goalies use sticks that cost upwards of $300 each, going through dozens throughout the course of a season.
While the cost of starting from scratch with completely brand new goalie equipment scares folks, I highly recommend purchasing locally if you’re trying to save money. If you’re a first time goalie parent, don’t worry, we’ll cover ways to save money buying discounted goalie equipment later on.
The Cost of Goalie Gear
The true cost of a brand new set of goalie equipment, the same stuff your favorite NHL goalie wears, costs around $6,570 if purchased brand new, today. While this seems like a lot, for the majority of goalies, buying an entire set of brand new gear isn’t necessary. For many, saving money on goalie gear means buying used equipment, or discounted equipment. If you’re looking for clearance goalie gear, check out Pure Goalie or Goalie Monkey. Both of these retailers provide excellent closeouts 365 days of the year.
Goalie Pads: $800-$2,000
On the high end, a brand new, custom set of goalie pads can cost as much as $2,000. Keep in mind, that each manufacturer makes reduced-price versions of each model of gear they release.
A beginner goalie doesn’t necessarily need all the features of a brand new set of pads. Save a few dollars by buying a lower end model of the gear you’d like. For help choosing, we’ve written a guide to the top goalie pads.
Goalie Helmet: $600-$1000
If there’s one piece of gear that a goalie should invest heavily in, it’s the helmet. While youth goalie helmets can be purchased a bit cheaper, due to the fact that younger players do not shoot the puck as hard, it’s important to invest in the best helmet you can afford.
In the world of goalie helmets, there are typically three that we recommend.
Goalie helmets rarely go on sale, but both Pure Goalie and Goalie Monkey have options available for youth goalies that are typically on some sort of clearance sale. Outside of buying a used mask, buying a sale mask is one of the most effective ways to save money on your purchase.
Chest Protector: $200-$600
For youth goalies, buying an entry level chest protector is the way to go. Most youth chest protectors range anywhere from $100-$250. For adults, expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $600, depending on the quality of chest protector you’re buying.
Generally speaking, we recommend Vaughn chest protectors to most goalies, regardless of their age. Vaughn has consistently made one of the most popular and protective chest protectors there is, year in and year out.
Goalie Pants: $150-$350
Outside of the goalie jock / jill, goalie pants are the most affordable piece of goalie gear there is. There’s not much to a good pair of goalie pants, so we recommend buying a set you can afford. For a first year youth goalie, a regular pair of player hockey pants will suffice. Once a goalie gets more than a year of experience under their belt, it’s recommended that you invest in a real set of goalie pants, which feature upgraded padding throughout the pant itself.
When folks talk about goalie gear, the glove and blocker are not factored into the price. While a top of the line set of pads will run about $2,000 a glove is roughly 25% the cost of the pads. The same is true for the blocker, in some cases, it’s slightly less than 25% the cost of the matching pads.
The old saying “a blocker is a blocker” is true for the cost of a goalie blocker. Expect to pay 20-25% the cost of the matching pads in the blocker you choose. For pure mobility, a Bauer or Brian’s blocker cannot be beat.
Of all the categories of goalie gear, the stick has been the benefactor of the most innovation in recent years. This is due to most manufactures switching from foam core or wood sticks, to full composite sticks. A full composite stick is far superior in both performance and durability to any foam core stick.
The top end goalie sticks will run about $300, though, they’re often on sale. In fact, we highly recommend keeping an eye out for closeout goalie stick sales as most manufacturers make multiple stick lines each year. Once the new product is released, goalie equipment retailers have anywhere from 6-9 months to move the rest of the product before a new stick is released. As a rule, most retailers want all of their gear moved within a full cycle of the next gear being released.
Goalie Skates: $400-$1200
For entry level goalies, especially those trying it out for the first time, we always recommend starting with their regular hockey skates. If you want to invest in a pair of goalie skates right off the bat, go for it, there are many advantages to using goalie skates for goalies vs regular hockey skates.
In terms of innovation, goalie skates have the most updates to them in the past 5 years, right behind the goalie stick itself. Look for a pair of Bauer or True goalie skates for top of the line skates.
Jock / Jill: $80-$120
Last but certainly not least, one of the most important pieces of any hockey players equipment bag (regardless of their position) is the jock / jill. It’s also the most affordable piece of goalie gear.
Warrior makes the best goalie jock money can buy, without question.
How To Find Cheap Goalie Gear
Fortunately, buying brand new pro-level goalie equipment isn’t a necessity for playing the position. While nothing beats a brand new set of pads, most goalies use some form of previously used gear at one point or another, especially when starting out.
There are dozens of Facebook Groups for buying and selling used goalie equipment. Often times, these groups will have folks selling brand new gear that’s never been worn.
Tips for buying Goalie Gear in Facebook Groups
- Ask the seller to provide 2-3 references that are willing to vouch for them as a seller
- Ask the seller if they accept PayPal as a payment method and ask that they sell as “goods and services”, this will allow you to have basic insurance on your purchase
- Verify through photos and videos that the gear is as advertised, don’t be afraid to ask for pictures of common high wear areas of the gear
While it can seem a bit daunting to buy expensive goalie equipment through a Facebook group, having done it dozens of times myself, I can assure you it’s easier than you think. If the seller has folks inside the group willing to vouch for them and is willing to sell through PayPal, you’ll have as much insurance as buying brand new through a retailer.
eBay is one of the top places I send folks when they’re trying to save money on goalie equipment.
Tips for buying Goalie Gear on eBay
- Look for auctions of mislisted gear, where the seller may have listed the product as a lower end product (when it’s really a Pro level model of the gear)
- Look for auctions ending in the middle of the week, these auctions tend to have less bids
- Set alerts for the exact piece of gear you’re looking for
- Don’t be afraid to make an offer! Many sellers accept offers and the worst someone can say is “No”
- Don’t get caught up in bidding wars. If you’re not saving 40% or more on the gear you’re after, I’d suggest buying it on clearance from Goalie Monkey or Pure Goalie.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to find cheap goalie gear. While it’s less reliable than a Facebook group, Facebook has gone to great lengths to provide insurance for purchases done outside of your local area. If you’re having trouble finding gear close to you, expand your reach a bit. Often times, parents of goalies are simply looking to unload the gear without the hassle of listing it on eBay.
Where To Buy Goalie Gear on Clearance
Buying clearance goalie equipment is one of the easiest ways to save money on your goalie pads. In fact, with most major goalie equipment manufacturers producing multiple gear lineups each year, buying discounted models produced within the last year allows you to buy equipment that is as good as the stuff released this year, for massive discounts.
Local Hockey Associations
While your odds of finding the exact gear you want are much lower, local hockey associations are a great way to find beginner-level goalie equipment. If you need help finding the right contact, look for coaches of youth hockey teams. Coaches for Squirt, PeeWee, and Bantams will often times have a contact for a goalie they’ve worked with over the past season who may have grown out of their gear.
Other Costs Associated With Being A Goalie
Outside of gear, there are a few other costs associated with being a hockey goalie. One of the biggest is position-specific training. We’ve written extensively on the topic of training elsewhere on our site, so we won’t dive too deeply into it here.
The Cost of Hockey Goalie Training
The costs associated with goalie training are highly variable, depending on how much you train. Most professional goalies spend anywhere from $10,000-$50,000 on goalie training during the off-season. Many goalies work with mental game coaches during the season, adding to the cost. Additionally, NHL goalies often employ a nutritionist, or some sort of a nutrition coach for additional help in their meal planning and approach to eating.
The cheapest way to train is to use our goalie training app, which can be downloaded for free right to your phone. Goalies can opt for “All Access” which allows them the ability to upload training videos for our staff to review and provide analysis on.
Put a goalie coach in your pocket with the Goalie Coaches training app, built specifically for hockey goalies. The Goalie Coaches app has been used at every level of play, up to the NHL. Unlock hundreds of drills, game specific scenarios, and more inside the free app, today.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Goalie Coach?
Hiring a private goalie coach for hockey goalies can range anywhere from $50-$300 per session. If the training is 1 on 1, expect to pay upwards of $250-$300 an hour. One of the main reasons a private goalie coach is expensive is due to the cost of ice. If you’re looking to save money on goalie training, consider attending a goalie camp, or joining a group training session.
Tips for Saving Money on Goalie Training
- Download our free goalie training app
- Attend a summer goalie camp
- When you work with a goalie specific coach, ask if they have discounted group training sessions
- Read our guide on “How To Train A Hockey Goalie” for more tips on how to train yourself
How Much Does It Cost To Attend A Goalie Camp?
The cost of a goalie camp varies by the amount of time the goalie is on the ice. As a general rule, assume that at minimum, the cost for attending a goalie camp will be $50-$100 an hour. That means, if you’re on the ice for 10 hours during the week, the goalie camp cost will be anywhere from $500-$1,000. Most goalie camps employ multiple instructors, creating an excellent training environment for goalies of any age.