ARKANSAS SKATIUM

Equipment and Sizing Guides

What do equipment do I need to play hockey?
You may click on any of these to see equipment information and sizing.
  • Stick
  • Stick Tape


  • What about goalies?
    For information on goalie equipment, click
    here.

    So tell me about all this equipment!

    The most important thing about equipment is that it should fit properly in order to allow maximum comfort and protection. The following information is for general purposes only and may or may not provide you with a perfect fit. However, it will give you a basic idea of where to start.

    Helmet
    Helmets should be HECC certified, as shown by a sticker on the helmet. Helmets should fit snugly to prevent them from slipping about while playing. However, they should not be uncomfortably tight. When fastened, the chinstrap should just touch under the chin. Helmets are generally adjustable. When fitting a helmet, adjust it to its largest setting and place it on your hand so that the rim is about a finger width above your eyebrow.
    To measure for a helmet, you can either measure your circumference by measuring your head around your forehead, or determine your hat size by measuring over the top of your head from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear.
    Helmets sizing is generally as follows:
    Hat SizeCircumferenceHelmet Size
    6 1/2 - 7 1/820 1/2 - 22 1/2 inchesSmall
    6 7/8 - 7 1/221 1/2 - 23 1/2 inchesMedium
    7 1/8 - 8 3/422 1/2 - 24 1/2 inchesLarge
    7 3/4 - 8 1/424 1/2 - 26 1/2 inchesX-Large

    Back to Top


    Facemask
    Facemasks can be purchased with or without the helmet. They are generally design so that the size of the facemask goes with the size of the helmet.
    Your chin should fit snugly and comfortably into the chin cup of the facemask.

    Back to Top


    Mouth Guard
    Mouth guards are essential, even if you wear a face mask or cage. They should always be worn while playing hockey. They:
    • Protect the brain from concussion by absorbing the shock of a blow to the lower jaw.
    • Protect the jaw from dislocation and other injury by supporting and cushioning the lower jaw.
    • Protect the jaw from fractures by cushioning between the upper and lower jaw.
    • Protect the teeth against breaks, chips, and nerve damage by absorbing and deflecting the force of a blow and preventing the upper and lower teeth from contacting each other.
    • Protect oral tissues from cuts by shielding the lips, tongue, cheeks and gums.
    Mouth guards come in adult and children's sizes. They are generally heat and bite, so that an impression is formed of your teeth for added protection and placement. Follow the instructions that come with the guard. Mouthguards can also be fitted by your dentist for a more perfect fit. These offer even better protection, although they are quite a bit more expensive.

    Back to Top


    Neck Protector
    Neck guards protect against cuts and blows to the neck, but are not designed to protect against spinal cord injury.
    The neck guard should be snug, but not uncomfortably tight. It should completely cover the throat.
    Measure around your neck using a tape measure and find your size below.
    11-14 inchesJunior
    14-18 inchesSenior

    Back to Top


    Shoulder Pads
    Shoulder pads protect your shoulders from injury. They also incorporate a chest and back protector to protect those areas. Your shoulders should be fit directly into the center of the shoulder caps. They should not be too restrictive and should allow full range of motion. If you raise your arms above your head, they should not be uncomfortably around your neck. There should be no gap between the bicep pads (of the shoulder pads) and the elbow pads, but they should not overlap. Generally, defenseman wear shoulder pads with more protection, and forwards wear lighter pads, but it is a matter of personal preference.
    To measure for shoulder pads, have someone measure around the widest part of your chest just underneath your armpits, using a tape measure.
    Junior SizesSenior Sizes
    Chest MeasurementSizeChest MeasurementSize
    (inches) (inches) 
    20-22XS30-34S
    22-24S34-38M
    24-28M38-42L
    28-30L42-44XL

    Back to Top


    Elbow Pads
    With elbow pads on, you should not be restricted in the movement of your elbow. Your elbow should fit securely in the cup of the pad.
    The top of the elbow pad should meet, but not overlap with, the bottom of the arm of the shoulder pad. The bottom of the elbow pad should meet the cuff of your glove. If you use a short-cuffed glove, you will need a longer elbow pad.
    Have someone measure the length between your shoulder pad and your glove.
    InchesSize
    7 1/2Youth Small
    8 1/2Youth Medium
    9 1/2Youth Large
    10 1/2Junior Small
    11 1/2Junior Medium
    12 1/2Junior Large
    13 1/2Senior Small
    14 1/2Senior Medium
    15 1/2 and aboveSenior Large

    Back to Top


    Gloves
    Gloves should come up to the bottom of the elbow pad so that there is no gap. They should fit comfortably. Your fingers should not be all the way to the end of the fingertips of the glove, as this allows them to be exposed to an injury from an opponent's slash. However, if gloves are too loose, they can also lose their protective value. The thumb should be dense, so that it does not allow your thumb to be bent backwards. Leather gloves are more expensive, but offer more protection and are generally more comfortable.
    As different manufactures sometimes size gloves differently, here are two different charts:
    Measuring the distance from your fingertips to the crease of your elbow (with your forearm bent):
    InchesSize
    9Small
    11-13Medium
    14-15Large
    16-17X-Large
    Measuring the distance from your fingertips halfway up your forearm:
    InchesSize
    9-10Youth
    11-13Junior
    14-16Senior

    Back to Top


    Jersey
    Jerseys should be loose enough to fit over all your equipment, but not so loose that they inhibit your movement or your ability to control your stick (your stick shouldn't get caught up in your jersey). They come in practice weight, which is a thinner, more breathable material, and pro-weight, which is a much thicker and more durable material, often with reinforced elbow areas.

    Back to Top


    Pelvic protectors (cups), Garters, and Hockey Jocs
    Athletic supporters and cups are designed to protect the pelvic area from injury. They are sometimes incorporated into the garter belt, or may be in a Hockey Joc.
    Garter belts hold up your hockey socks by using clips or hooks. It fits around your waist and is fitted according to your waist size.
    Hockey Jocs are loose shorts or Spandex-type material that hold a pelvic protector in place. They also have Velcro patches that hold your socks up.
    Which style you use depends on personal preference.
    Women's styles (Jills) are also available, and should be worn by all females playing hockey.

    Back to Top


    Hockey Pants (Breezers)
    Hockey Pants should also fit comfortably. The top should extend up to cover your kidneys and lower ribs. The bottom should overlap the shinpad kneecaps by about 1-2 inches. This protects you in a kneeling position. The moulded pads in the pants should protect your hips, tailbone, and kidneys.
    To measure your waist size, wrap the measuring tape around your waist so that it intersects at your navel.
    Waist SizeApprox.EuropeanStandard
    (inches)HeightSizeSize
    17-193'4" to 3'7"Jr 100-110Youth X-Small
    20-233'8" to 4'3"Jr 120-130Youth Small
    24-264'4" to 4'11"Jr 140-150Youth Medium
    27-295'0" to 5'5"Jr 160-180Youth Large
    29-305'6"Sr 46Senior Small
    31-325'6" to 5'8"Sr 48Senior Small
    32-335'8"Sr 50Senior Medium
    34-355'10"Sr 52Senior Medium
    36-386'0"Sr 54Senior Large
    39-426'2"Sr 56Senior XL
    42-446'2"Sr 58Senior XL
    44-466'4" and overSr 60Senior XXL

    Back to Top


    Suspenders
    Suspenders are used to hold up beltless pants, and hook onto the pants via the suspender buttons. They may also be worn in addition to the belt. They are fitted according to body height.

    Back to Top


    Shin Guards
    Shin guards protect your knees when you fall or collide with another player, and protect your shins from pucks, sticks, skates, and other hazards. The kneecap of the shin guard should fit squarely on your kneecap. The bottom of the guard should come to the top of your skate boot or 1 inch above your inside ankle. If you get a shin guard that is too long, your skate can push it out of position and you will lose protection. If it is too short, it will also not protect you completely. The calf padding of the shin guard should wrap around your lower leg. Many shin guards come with elastic and Velcro straps that wrap around your leg to hold them in place. You can also purchase shin straps separately or use tape to hold them. It is a matter of personal preference.
    To measure for shin guards, be seated with your leg at a 90 degree angle. Measure from the center of your kneecap to the ledge above the top eyelet of your skate boot. Many shinguards have this measurement in inches and centimeters noted on the guard itself, but here is a sizing chart:
    InchesSize
    7Youth Small
    8Youth Medium
    9Youth Large
    10Junior Small
    11Junior Medium
    12Junior Large
    14Senior Small
    15Senior Medium
    16Senior Large
    17Senior X-Large

    Back to Top


    Hockey Socks
    Socks come in Junior and Senior sizes and should not be too loose or too tight.

    Back to Top


    Shin Straps and Tape
    Shin straps are used if your shin pads don't have built in straps. They come in Junior and Senior sizes.
    Tape: Tape can be used on the outside of your socks (to avoid hair pulling and skin irritation) to hold your shin guards in place. Pad tape is generally plastic.
    There is also stick tape, generally made of cloth. You can use it to tape your stick blade to provide some cushioning for the puck and also to either camoflage the puck or make it easier to see. You can also tape the top of your stick to provide a better grip.

    Back to Top


    Skates
    • Fitting skates is generally based on your shoe size. However, it is not necessarily the same as your shoe size.
    • Brands and Sizes: Different companies size their skates differently. Here is a generalization on these companies sizing:
      • Bauer: fits 1 to 1 1/2 sizes smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 skate)
      • CCM: fits 1 1/2 to 2 sizes smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 6 1/2 skate)
      • Easton: fits 1 1/2 sizes smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 6 1/2 skate)
      • Graf: fits 1 size smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 skate)
      • Jackson: fits 1 size smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 skate)
      • Mission: fits the same as shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 8 skate)
      • Nexed: fits 1 size smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 skate)
      • Nike: fits 1/2 size smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 1/2 skate)
      • Roces: fits 1 size smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 skate)
      • Sherwood: fits 1 size smaller than shoe size (a size 8 shoe would be a size 7 skate)
      Bauer skates tend to be narrow.
      CCM skates tend to be wider. If you have wide feet, CCMs are likely to be more comfortable for you. If you have narrow feet, you may feel that they are too loose.
    • Women: Women's skates are generally 2 sizes above men's skates (a 7 women's skate is equivalent to a 5 men's skate).
    • Children: Although some room for growth should be given, do not fit their skates too large. At most, they should only be a half size larger than the child measures. There should only be about 1/2 inch between the child's heel and the boot when his foot is pushed up as far as it can go into an unlaced boot.
      Helpful hint: Buy them as close to the beginning of the season as possible.
    • Trying on skates:
      • When trying on skates, wear the socks that you will wear when you are skating.
      • When you put the skates on, press the ends of the toes against the front of the skate. You should be able to place one finger between the heel of your foot and the inside of your boot. Then kick your heel into the very back of the boot. When you stretch your toes out, you should barely be able to feel the toe cap. If your toes curl or are right up against the toe cap, the skates are too small.
      • As you lace the boot up, kick your heel back so that it stays against the back of the boot. Laces should be snug but not too tight.
      • Lacing: Generally, you should have looser lacing over the foot itself, tighter lacing around the ankle, and slightly looser lacing around the top. When your boot is completely laced, the eyelets should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. If they are further, you would likely be better with a wider boot. If they are closer, try a narrower boot.
      • When your skates are laced up, walk around. Your heels should stay firmly against the back of your skate. Your foot should be comfortable, and your toes should be able to lie flat without pushing on the toe cap.
      • Take the skates off completely and try them on again before making a final decision.
      • If you have any pressure points or red areas on your feet, the skate does not fit properly.
    • Breaking your skates in: Some skates come with instructions to heat mold the skates to your feet. For other skates, you can help break them in by just wearing them around your house (be sure to wear skate guards to protect your skate blades and your floor!). Wearing them will help your feet get used to your skates and your skates mold to your feet.

    Back to Top


    Sticks
    Sticks also are a personal preference. To fit a stick stand on a flat surface without skates in your sock feet. Place the toe of your stick on the ground between your feet. Hold the stick straight up and down so that the handle of the stick touches the tip of your nose. Mark the stick where it touches your nose and cut it there. When standing in your skates, the stick should come up to your chin or lips.
    Options with sticks:
    • Length:Defensemen may want a slightly longer stick in order to be able to poke the puck away from opposing players. Forwards may want a shorter stick for better stickhandling.
    • Curve: Some stick blades are straight, while others have various curves. Curved blades are slightly harder to play with (harder to control the puck) and always favor left or right shooting. To determine which shot you are, test sticks with both curves and see which you are more comfortable with. Being right or left handed does not necessarily determine which shot you will be.
    • Wood vs. Composite:Wood sticks are generally heavier than composite sticks. They are a good value, with an average cost around $25. However, they have poor consistency and generally break more easily than composite sticks. Composite sticks are lighter and come in all kinds of shapes, weights and flexes. They are the most expensive, with an average cost of around $90 for a high end shaft with blade.
    • Flex: If the shaft is too flexible or too stiff, it will lessen your shot accuracy, provide less "feel" for the puck, and slow the puck speed on shots. When choosing a shaft, you should be able to bend the shaft with a moderate effort. Generally, an average stiffness or flex will work for most players. Some players, like finesse players, prefer more flexible and light shafts for stickhandling and accuracy. Heavier, more durable, and stiffer shafts are usually preferred by aggressive or defensive players to use for slap shots and stick checking.

    Back to Top


    Stick Tape
    Stick tape is generally made of cloth. You can use it to tape your stick blade to provide some cushioning for the puck and also to either camoflage the puck or make it easier to see. You can also tape the top of your stick to provide a better grip.

    Back to Top


    Return to our Proshop page.