Flyers Youth: Equipment

Proper fitting equipment is essential for the
players' safety and comfort.
If you have any questions regarding equipment feel free to get expert advice from the GearZone Staff.

Da Da Da

Sizing Skates
Normal sizing for skates is typically 1-1.5 sizes smaller than your show size. While wearing the sock that will be worn when skating, slip your foot into the skate and gently let you toes touch the front of the skate. For a proper fit you should be able to place one finger between the inside of the boot and your heel. Walk 10-15 minutes in the skates checking comfort.

Any experienced Pro Shop will be happy to answer any questions on proper fit.

There are exceptions to this rule:

Bauer/Nike Skates run 1 to 1 1/2 sizes larger than shoe sizes. You should purchase skates that are 1 to 1 1/2 sizes smaller than your shoe size. (1 size smaller for feet that are still growing) Size 9 Shoes = Size 7 1/2 Skates (Approximately)

CCM Skates run 1 1/2 shoe sizes larger than shoe size. You should purchase skates that are 1 1/2 sizes smaller than your shoe size. (1 size smaller for feet that are still growing) Size 9 Shoes = Size 7 1/2 Skates (Approximately)

Koho Skates run 1 to 1 1/2 sizes larger than shoe sizes. You should purchase skates that are 1 to 1 1/2 sizes smaller than your shoe size. (1 size smaller for feet that are still growing) Size 9 Shoes = Size 7 1/2 Skates (Approximately)

Mission Skates run true to shoe size. You should purchase skates that are the same as your typical shoe size. (1 size larger for feet that are still growing) Size 9 Shoes = Size 9 Skates (Approximately)

Graf Skates run 1 1/2 shoe sizes larger than shoe size. Therefore you should purchase skates that are 1 1/2 sizes smaller than your shoe size. (1 size smaller for feet that are still growing) Size 9 Shoes = Size 7 1/2 Skates (Approximately)

Breaking in New Skates
A good, clean way to break in skates is to lace them up at home.
You can wear your skates while you're doing your homework, reading or watching television. Make sure to walk around in them and always wear your skate guards. If you do this for a few hours it should help your feet feel better when you first skate.

Shin Pads
The importance of a quality pair of shin pads cannot be overstated. The lower leg is an extremely high contact area which must be shielded against injuries caused by collisions with sticks, pucks and skates.

The kneecap of the player is the starting point when sizing a shin pad. A player's kneecap should fit directly into the center of the kneecap cup of the shin pad. The shin pad should then extend down the full length of the lower leg. It's important to make sure the shin pad isn't too long. If so, the skate would push it up and the kneecap would be out of position. It's always a good idea to have a skate available when fitting a shinpad.

Most shin pads provide protective foam which wraps around the lower leg to cover the back of the calf. Many also provide a strap which wraps around the leg to hold the shin pad in position. Although many people remove this strap, instead preferring to anchor the shin pad with tape, it is important to leave it attached. Using it will secure the shin pad in its proper place. If at anytime the shin pad becomes cracked or dented the shin pad has lost its protection and should be replaced at once!

To measure the exact size of shin pad be seated in a chair with a skate on your foot, knee bent at 90 degrees. Measure from the ledge just above the top eyelet on your skate all the way up to the center of the kneecap

Shoulder Pads
Quality protection is para-mount in a shoulder pad for a collision sport like hockey. It is very important that the center of the player's shoulders lines up directly with the center of the shoulder cups. These cups are designed to protect the shoulder joints from receiving direct impacts.

The remainder of the shoulder pads have adjustable straps and can be adjusted to fit properly as long as the shoulders and shoulder cups line up correctly. Good shoulder pads will provide protection for the collar bone, chest, ribs, back and upper arms. This is accomplished by using a combination of foam and hard plastic. It is important that the shoulder pads achieve this protection while still allowing a full range of motion. For example, lifting the arms above the head should not push the shoulder pads uncomfortably high around the player's neck.

Take your measurement from just under the arm pits around the widest part of the chest.

Elbow Pads
Elbow pads are one of the easiest pieces of equipment to fit. A good elbow pad will have some form of a suspension system to cup the elbow and prevent a direct impact. The players elbow should fit comfortably into the center of elbow pad cup. Also, a good elbow pad will provide forearm protection which extends down to bear the cuff of the player's hockey glove.

Sometimes choosing the correct size of hockey pants can get a little confusing because of the different sizing systems. While the fit should be loose and comfortable the pants should have the ability to be secured firmly by a belt around the waist. Approximately 90% of all players will be able to use their waist size as their guide for choosing the correct size pants. Make sure you check the length of the pant legs to insure a proper fit. The bottom of the pants need to overlap the top of the shin pad kneecaps by 1 or 2 inches. This will insure proper protection even when in a kneeling position. The leg length is very important. Sometimes a taller player will have to purchase a pair of pants which is one size too big in the waist in order to achieve the proper leg length. There are pants made specifically for tall people but they are not easily attained except by custom order.

Measure around your waist as you would for street clothes.

The areas to consider when choosing a helmet are protection, comfort and fit. There are several acceptable brands of helmets which offer quality protection and these may be recognized by the Canadian Standard Association (CSA)or HECC sticker they carry.

You should always look for equipment that feels comfortable. Although most helmets are lined with a protective foam, some do feel better then others. The helmet should be adjusted to fit snug to prevent any shifting and maximize protection. It is important that the helmet is not too tight, so it remains comfortable. Make sure the chinstrap is adjusted so it gently makes contact under the chin when fastened. Again, it should not be too tight or create any other discomfort. If the helmet is ever dented or cracked it must be replaced. In addition, it is good practice to change the foam padding inside the helmet every 2 to 3 years.

To obtain the correct head size measure around your head with a flexible tape measure directly where a sweat band would rest. Use the following inch conversions to match the helmet manufacturer sizing:
21 1/4" = 6 3/4, 21 5/8" =7 5/8, 22" =7, 22 3/8" =7 1/8, 22 3/4" = 7 1/4, 23 1/8" = 7 3/8, 23 1/2" =7 1/2, 23 7/8" =7 5/8 ,
24 1/4" =7 3/4

Face Mask or Sheild?
Both types provide excellent protection for the face and chin from sticks, pucks and virtually every body part and piece of equipment on the ice.The traditional screen face mask is strong and durable and provides excellent ventilation for cooling and breathing, and adequate vision.

The face shield provides excellent straight ahead and peripheral vision, but does not provide as good of air flow as the screen. Full face shields are virtually fog resistant, but do collect sweat and moisture which needs to be wiped off occasionally. To insure that you are purchasing a good quality mask, be sure that your mask is HECC approved when purchasing it. If the face mask or shield becomes dented or cracked the mask has lost its strength and must be changed immediately.


Did you know a hockey puck can reach speeds of 50 to 90 miles per hour in recreational play? Did you know the maximum impact force of an air-borne puck at its highest velocity is 1250 pounds? Collisions with flying pucks or with other team-mates are inevitable on the ice. However, even though injuries are part of the game, the risk and occurrence of injuries can be drastically reduced by wearing an athletic mouthguard.

Athletic mouthguards are an essential piece of safety equipment that should never be overlooked. Mouthguards not only significantly reduce the incidence and severity of injuries to the teeth and mouth, but they also act as a shock absorber against more serious injuries like concussions and jaw fractures.A good mouthguard will offer the following five-way protection.
Protect the brain from concussion by absorbing and dissipating the shock of a blow to the lower jaw.
Protect the temporomandibular (jaw) joint from dislocation and other injury by supporting and cushioning the lower jaw.
Protect the jaw from fractures by providing a cushion between the upper and lower jaw.
Protect against broken, chipped, lost or nerve-damaged teeth by absorbing and deflecting the force of a blow.
Protect oral tissues from laceration by shielding the lips, tongue, cheeks and gums.

The main concern with the fit of a glove is making sure the gap between the glove and the elbow pad is minimal. The hand and foreman are often subject to slashes and therefore need to be protected. The tightness or looseness of a glove is an individual preference. However if the glove is too loose it may turn on the player's hand and reduce the gloves protective ability. Also, it is important that the fingers of the gloves are not too short. The tip of the fingers should not go completely to the end of the glove. If they do, they may be exposed to injury by a slash from a opponent's stick.

Always check the glove to see if it provides adequate protection. The back of the glove should be lined with both foam and hard plastic. The glove should also feature a lock thumb system which will protect the thumb from being bent backwards

Stick Selection
A good way to measure your stick is to stand, without skates in your stocking feet, on a flat surface. Place the toe of your stick on the ground between your feet. Lean the stick straight up-and-down so the han-dle of the stick touches the tip of your nose. (See Illustration) A general rule is to mark and cut the handle of your stick where it touches the tip of your nose. Then when standing on your skates, the stick should come up to your chin or just below it.

Also, a defenseman may want to use a longer stick to give them a longer reach for poking the puck away and a forward may want to use a shorter stick to help them stickhandle better. This is an individual preference for each player.

Flex is the most important aspect when choosing a shaft. If the shaft is too flexible or too stiff it will lessen the players shot accuracy, dampen the puck speed on shots and provide less feel for the puck. The correct flex allows the shooter to "bend" the shaft on wrist shots as well as slap shots.When choosing a shaft in a store you should be able to bend the shaft with a moderate effort. Finesse style players generally prefer flexible and light shafts for wrist/snap shots, stick handling and shot accuracy. Aggressive/ Defensive players generally prefer a heavier, durable and stiff stick for slap shots and stick checking. General hockey players prefer average stiffness and weight for wrist shots and slap shots.These are usually wingers and rushing defensemen.

The bottom of your current stick will tell if the lie is correct. The wear should be on the center of the bottom of the blade. When there is excessive wear on the heel, which is too common, a lower lie number is needed to put all of the blade on the ice... where the puck is. Usually, younger and shorter players require a lower number lie; taller players can use a higher number lie. The lie can be different for each player. A player who maintains a lower skating stance has a different lie than one with a more erect stance. Individual preferences for a longer or shorter stick also change the lie. Check your stick to determine what is right for you


How to Tape a Stick
Howies Tape
From Howie's Hockey Tape