Choosing the right fit can be difficult, we want to make it easier for you...
A simple chart to follow as a rough guideline on which size blocker he/she made need.
When fitting your hand to the blocker palm we suggest that there be no more than ¼ inch (0.64 cm) between the goalie’s fingertips to the end of the finger stalls in the glove. Any more room could impede the goalies grip and can affect the goalies ability to control his/her stick.
We recommend that the goalies blocker extends 1-2 inches over the wrist of your chest and arm protector.
Regular VS Full Right
You must know what hand you hold a goal stick with! This isn’t a problem when you are in store purchasing but important while buying online.
Regular is worn on your right hand.
Full Right is worn on your left hand.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Blocker
Blocker Board Position- Is the position of the blocker board in correlation to the back of the hand. Most blocker boards come in one of two positions:
Centered: This position gives the blocker a very natural/balanced feel over your hand. It is a good choice for goalies who like to play paddle down when pucks are around the net.
Extended Forward: In this position the blocker board is positioned forward by 0.5 – 2 inches. This position gives the goalie a more extended reach feel allowing him/her to reach shots with the tip of the blocker that they otherwise would not have reached. Paddle down may be a bit more difficult with this blocker.
Curve- Blockers vary in the degree of curve at the top of the blocker which helps deflect the puck forward/upward instead of into the net. Depending on the goalie some prefer a small curve and some may prefer a larger curve. The NHL’s size regulations make most blocker curves fairly similar.
Finger protection- Blockers have different amounts of finger protection that they provide. When looking at that part of the blocker make sure it has adequate finger protection for him/her. The index finger is the most vulnerable because of the way that goalies hold their sticks. The finger padding is designed to protect the fingers while holding the stick.
Side hand protection- When in the butterfly position the blocker is regularly angled to deflect pucks into the corner exposing your wrist to pucks, because of this blockers feature an inner padded side wall that will protect the inside of the wrist as well as creates an extra blocking surface.
A simple chart to follow as a rough guideline on which size catcher he/she made need.
When fitting your hand to the catcher we suggest that there be no more than ½ inch between the goalie’s fingertips to the end of the finger stalls in the glove. If there is more room than that it may impede the goalies ability to close the catch glove and it may also cause the glove to tilt or wobble on the goalie’s hand. To check to see if the glove fits open up the back portion of the glove and check the location of the goalie’s fingers in the stalls.
Regular VS Full Right
You must know what hand you catch with! This isn’t a problem when you are in store purchasing but important while buying online.
Regular is worn on your left hand.
Full Right is worn on your right hand.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Catch Glove
Break Angle- The break is where the catch glove folds closed in order to keep the puck inside. Goalies have different preferences on break angles as some prefer a higher break referred to as a 90 degree break while some prefer a lower break referred to as a 60 degree break is where most manufactures gloves fall.
The differences in each style can be explained in the following ways:
- Higher or a 90 degree Break closes like you are making a thumbs-up sign with your fingers tips trying to touch base of the hand.
- Lower or a 60 degree Break closes like the tips of your fingers trying to touch your thumb. This type of glove closes similar to how a typical baseball glove will close
Cuff: Like a blocker catchers also have a curve cuff to help deflect puck and ramp pucks away from you and the net. The location of the curve varies on each catch glove. Curves can be found at the base of the glove closest to your forearm or some have it by your thumb or even at both locations. The reason behind the different curves and locations are because there is many different ways you can position your catcher while in your stance. Cuffs also come in either one or two piece cuff design. A one piece cuff does not have a break between the cuff and palm, while a two piece cuff has a break in between the cuff and palm. One piece cuffs tends to be more rigid and allows for a more predictable rebound. Two piece cuff is more flexible which is great for shooting and passing.
The pocket is the webbing between the thumb and index finger. Most goalies prefer a deep pocket and which is standard on most new catch gloves. There are two common pockets and other not so common such as the Anchor T from Brian’s but we will focus on the two common types.
- Single T- Is a T-shaped web that provides support for the webbing. It’s more of a traditional feel and allows you to feel the puck throughout the glove so goalie will know when the puck is in the pocket
- Double T- Features 2 smaller support pieces that run to the base of the glove. The spacing between the 2 pieces allows some give so the pocket can expand a bit when the puck hits. It helps deaden the pucks rotation to prevent pop outs.
Catch gloves can be laced with either nylon lace or a traditional cotton lace. Skate lace tends to have more give and can help prevent unwanted pop outs when the puck impacts the pocket.
Breaking In a Catch Glove
A catch glove breaks in when both heat and moisture are applied.
A few Break in methods that work pretty well.
Heating or baking the glove- If you have purchased a glove we can heat it in our skate over for 5-10 minutes to soften the leather and foams to make it easier to open and close. We can also throw it in our baseball steamer that will also moisten and heat the glove.
Hair dryer method- It works similar to the baking method except you are applying heat to both the interior and face of the glove. Do not heat a specific spot for too long as it could damage the glove. We recommend using a medium heat and take your time! Once the glove is heated up and nice and warm put the glove on and open and close the glove repeatedly.
Chest protector size is determined by the arm span (fingertip to fingertip) and height measurements to help determine what size you need. Once you have your measurements you can check the manufactures website to see which size you may need as most manufactures have a sizing chart.
SHOULDERS & NECK
The shoulders should fit under the shoulder caps comfortably and should sit square on the goalie’s shoulders. There should be enough room in the neck area to allow the unit to move a bit but not enough that the chest protector slides forward or to the side easily.
All chest protectors have a neck guard style pad that sits at the base of the neck on the chest protector. This pad is meant to help protect the clavicle/neck area but it’s not neck guard. A very common mistake amongst new goalies and their parents is that this pad should sit against the goalie‘s neck, which isn’t correct. This pad should sit a few inches below the neck so that when the goalie gets into his or hers stance it rises up into the neck area. It’s recommended that a separate neck guard is worn underneath to protect both the neck and clavicle.
Elbows should fit squarely into the elbow cups. Most chest protectors have adjustable straps to allow for adjustments for that proper fit.
The body of the chest protector should come down to the waist/belt line. This will make sure that there is adequate coverage/protection and that the chest protector will allow the goalie to move freely at the waist.
The arm portion of the chest protector should stop just before your wrist bone roughly around 1 inch. Arm pads that extend beyond your wrist bone will impede your wrist movement and pads that are too short will expose gaps in protection between the arm pad and catch glove. Some chest protectors have laced in or Velcro in the arms that will allow some lengthening and shortening of the arms to help achieve the proper fit.
A simple chart to follow as a rough guideline on which size pads he/she made need.
Before you make a decision a purchasing a pad it is important to determine what your playing style is as a goaltender.
There are 2 basic styles:
- Hybrid/Reaction style- Typically a goalie that makes reactive type saves and likes to be able to move and skate freely, prefers to catch or trap shots and likes the puck to remain in close when a rebound comes off the pad.
A goalie of this style will typically like a softer pad that has both stiff and soft foams, a tapered boot and a double or single break pad.
- Blocking/Butterfly style- Typically a goalie who doesn’t move around too much and who uses their positioning and size to stop the puck. They tend to redirect the puck into the corners and prefer a pad that launches rebounds far away from the net.
A goalie of this style will typically like a stiffer more rigid pad, squared off boot for maximum coverage, flat face pad to help with directing rebounds and a pad with either one or no breaks in it.
Properly Fitting a Goal Pad
The most important part of fitting a goalie pad is making sure the knee fits in the knee cradle or knee lock of the pad. It’s important because the amount of times a goalie goes down in a game and practice. If the pad is too big or too small it can cause the goalies knees to slide off the knee landing block or miss it completely and land directly on the ice which can cause an injury.
To fit a goalie pad and to allow for growing room the goalie’s knee should be no lower than an inch below the center of the knee landing area (block). To make sure it fits properly we recommend that you wear your skates and see where you land in the knee cradle to determine a proper fit.
How to Strap On Goal Pads
To get the most accurate fit it we recommended to wear both pants and skates while trying on pads. Minimum requirement we recommend is skates.
Note: Top portion of the pad is meant to be worn looser than the bottom. If the pad is too tight throughout the pad will not be able to rotate on the goalies leg (under rotation). If the pad is too loose throughout the pad will rotate too much while in the butterfly and the pad won’t seal the ice properly (over rotation).
Here are 5 steps on how to put on goalie pads properly.
- Lay pads flat down and make sure the buckles are to the outside, Attach the toe lace too that pad by weaving them through the holes of the skate and tying a bow on top of the skate. If a single bow it too big make a double bow as you do not want the lace getting caught underneath the goal skate.
- Run the boot strap either through the back hole of the skate or the middle (personal preference), snugging the strap off and then backing off one-two holes.
- If the pad has a Velcro calf strap do it up as tight or loose as you want (personal preference). Attach the calf straps from the bottom going up snugging them up and then backing them off 2-3 holes.
- Attach the knee strap either across the knee or below the knee (personal preference). These straps can be worn pretty loose attaching them four-five holes from being snug.
- If the pad has knee/thigh guards tighten the straps around the knee and tuck them underneath your goal pant. Note: if your pad has a flat square board it is supposed to worn outside the pant.
What does +1/+2 Mean?
+1/+2 mean how many extra inches are added to the thigh of the pad. The addition of these extra inches helps aid in sealing the five-hole. Most manufactures make there pads with a +1" sizing and +2" sizing for older and more advance goaltenders.
Goalie helmets are designed differently than a players helmet but are sized in a similar way.
Proper Sizing a Goal Helmet
Measuring the circumference is the first step in sizing a goalie helmet. Take a cloth flexible (cloth) measuring tape and place it on the hat line of the goalie’s head beginning and ending and the center of the head. The number you get is the circumference of the goalies head and check out the manufactures sizing chart to see which size mask you need.
Here is a basic sizing chart.
Proper Fit for a Goalie Helmet
Once you have chosen a mask put it on and make sure the opening of the mask is ½" above the eyebrows.
- Adjust the chin cup so it doesn’t allow any movement of helmet on the head and doesn’t allow the mask to push closer to the jaw.
- Center the skull plate and then adjust the straps so there is slight tension on the straps for a secure fit on the head. Check the forehead, temple area, cheeks and chin making sure that it fits close in all the areas so that there are no gaps between the foam and the goalies head.
- Have the goalie move their head around to make sure the helmet doesn’t slide around on the goalies head.
- Check the skull plate and make sure there is no gap larger than ½" between the skull plate and back of the mask. A proper fitting mask there should be no gap and you should not be able to see the goalies head.
Goalie pants differ from player pants as they offer more protection in the thigh, waist and groin. Goalie pants are wider as well to help cover more of the net.
Properly Fitting Goal Pants
To help properly fit a goal pant first you need to know if you tuck your chest protector on the inside of your pant or if you wear your chest protector on the outside of your pant. Knowing this you can determine what style of pant you need.
There are 2 basic types of goal pants a barrel fit and a tapered fit. If you tuck your chest protector we recommend a barrel fit. If you wear your chest protector on the outside we recommend a tapered fit.
Sizing goal pants
A starting point on determining what size goalie pant he/she needs is adding 8-10 inches to their waist. There are other factors as well to consider such as height, weight and skill level. We recommend coming in and talking to one of our goalie experts to help fit you in the right pant.
Goalie skates are designed differently than player skates.
- Most goalie skates have a protective cowling which protects the toes, inside of the foot and heel. The cowling also attaches the blade to the skate.
- Goalie skates have a longer skate blade from toe to heel with a longer blade radius (flatter). The longer radius keeps more of the blade on the ice.
- Goalie skates do not have a long tendon guard which allows for more range of movement for the goalie’s ankle.
Sizing and Fitting Goalie Skates
Goalie skates and player skates are sized in the same way. You typically go down 1 to 1 ½ sizes compared to your shoe size. If you want growing room it’s okay to go ½ size bigger.
While fitting skates we recommend wearing the socks you would normally wear while playing to help get the most accurate fit.
When you have the skate laced up walk around and check to see if your heel is lifting. If the heal is lifting it may cause blisters and reduce performance. The skate should be very snug to help provide proper support and to allow you to make pushes without your foot moving inside. It will take several skates to break in a new pair of skates.
This is when a skate is place in a specialty oven that will help in achieving a proper and form fit. It softens up the skate temporarily to allow it to conform to the goalies foot and helps with the break in process.
A goalies stick is a very important piece of goal equipment and often the most overlooked amongst the younger goalies. When measuring for correct size the paddle length is the most important.
Properly Fitting a Goal Stick
A few simple steps to help fit a goalie stick:
- We recommend wearing your goalie skates to get the best fit for your stick as is would simulate as if you were on ice. If you wear just regular shoes you will not get and accurate fit.
- Have the goalie get in their stance as if he/she was playing. A proper fitting stick will have the goalie's blocker next to his or her leg pad.
If the stick is too short the blocker will overlap the goal pad. If the stick is too big there will be a large gap between the blocker and goal pad and will also cause the toe of the stick to rise up.
Note: Paddle lengths vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Proper fitting equipment is very important in hockey to properly protect yourself. Here is a simple guide on how to fit player equipment properly.
- There should be no pressure points anywhere on the helmet.
- The helmet should not move when you shake your head.
- Look for adjustments on the sides of the helmet and make sure you choose a helmet size that is closer to your head circumference before you start adjusting it for more comfort.
- May not be the same size as the helmet.
- Your vision must not be obstructed while looking forward (eyes aligned in-between the bars).
- Your chin must be centered with the chin cup, with no more than a ½ inch space in between.
- The shoulders must be centered within the shoulder cups.
- Make sure to leave a little room between your shoulder pads and pants at the front while you are standing.
When you are on the ice you will be slightly bending forward. With the right spacing it will prevent you from feeling restricted in your movement while keeping you protected when in your regular hockey position.
The level of protection will vary as well depending of your level of play. Some models offer more protection; however, they can feel a little bit more restrictive. This is a personal preference.
Try them with your shoulder pads on and gloves as well choose a model that doesn’t restrict you from moving with as little space as possible in between.
- Tighten the straps and make sure they are the right length, so the velcro stays tied under your jersey when playing.
- They should be tightened enough to stay in place if you fall.
- The glove wrist cuff should be aligned with your wrist.
- Your fingertips should feather the end without having you to force you hand against the material in between the fingers. It should stay comfortable while moving your fingers.
Some models or brands feel looser, and others have more of an anatomical feeling. It’s really a personal preference. Grab a hockey stick and see what feels comfortable for you.
- The bottom of the pants should arrive on the kneecap or just a little bit higher.
- Try them with your shoulder pads on. There should not be any space, or very little space in between them at the back when standing. Its okay if they overlap a little bit, as you will be bent forward when you skate.
Try them with your skates to have a better idea of the length you need. The length may vary depending if you play with your skate’s tongues under your shin guards or outside. You want to be protected as much as possible.
- Once your kneecap is in place, tighten the straps and make sure they are the right length, so the velcro stays firmly tied under your hockey socks.
- Your kneecap must stay centered at all time; make sure it’s tightened enough to stay in place during the game.
- Shin guards that are too long are more likely to move and feel uncomfortable when skating.
- Your heel should not move when walking with the skates.
- Your toes should barely touch the end (ideal fit).
- For growing room leave no more than a finger width of room from the heal to the heal of the skate while your foot is pushed to the front of the skate.
- You may want to lace them all the way to the top if you are a new skater. However, advanced players will prefer more mobility on the ankle.
- There should be as minimal space as possible in the skate to avoid wasting energy.
- Most skate sizes are offered in 2 different widths: D is narrow or regular, EE is wider. Other widths are available but harder to find.
- Custom skates are available ask for details.
Depending on your feet size and width, you will want to try different model and brands to see which one is the right fit for you.