How to Put on Hockey Equipment

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Hockey is a fun, fast, and dangerous sport. By playing safely, aggressively and wearing adequate protection, you can greatly reduce your chance of injury. Knowing how to properly wear and use all that equipment is an essential part of being a good hockey player. After enough repetition this process will become as routine as brushing your teeth.

Things You'll Need

  • Athletic cup
  • Garter belt
  • Shin-guards
  • Socks
  • Skates
  • Hockey tape (optional)
  • Hockey pants
  • Suspenders
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Jersey
  • Gloves
  • Mouthguard
  • Helmet
  • Put on your athletic cup by stepping through the elastic waistband and thigh straps with both feet. It should fit snugly and comfortably around the groin area.

  • Put on your garter belt so that it is slightly above your athletic cup.

  • Put on your shin-guards, making sure they leave enough space near your ankles for your skates. Some shin-guards have straps which are secured around the calves. Others need to be secured with hockey socks.

  • Put your hockey socks on over the shin-guards. Secure them at the top with the garter belt. Some players like to put hockey tape around their socks to keep their shin-guards extra secured. Other players find that it saves time to put their shin-guards inside their socks before putting them on.

  • Attach your suspenders to your hockey pants and put on your hockey pants. Tighten your pants with the belt and secure the suspenders so that the pants fit comfortably but provide for adequate flexibility.

  • Put on your skates. Make sure that your laces are very tight but that you are not cutting off circulation to your feet. Some younger players may want to use a "lace wrench", which is a small piece of hooked metal, to tighten the laces closest to the toes. Some players also prefer to tape the skates near the ankle for added support.

  • Put on your shoulder pads by putting your head through the middle hole and putting your arms through the arm bands which are underneath the shoulder plate. Most models have additional straps that secure around the torso and hook into the front of the pads on the breast plate. The shoulder pads should be secure but allow adequate range of motion.

  • Secure your elbow pads by placing the padded part over your elbow and attaching the straps around your arms. Some elbow pads are the "slip-on" version that do not have straps. For these models place the padded part over the elbow as well.

  • Put on your jersey over your shoulder and elbow pads. Most players do not tuck the jersey into the pants.

  • Put your mouth-guard into your mouth. This can be removed if you are not playing and it is best to buy a mouth-guard that can attach to a part of the helmet so that when it comes out it does not go far.

  • Put on your helmet. Secure the helmet under the chin with the straps that clip onto the sides of the helmet. Put on your gloves, grab your stick, and have some fun.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is often a good idea to wear spandex or compression shorts underneath your equipment. Make sure you are wearing socks underneath your equipment that are comfortable and breathable. Hockey is an expensive sport. Consider buying second-hand equipment or renting equipment.
  • Even though you may wear all the equipment properly, injuries and accidents can still happen.

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  • Photo Credit Robbie Ayers
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