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Been There, Done That: Six Mistakes to Avoid with Your Hockey Equipment

1. Buying gear two sizes too big and hoping you'll grow into it.

 

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This is a great idea…until it’s not. Trust us, we’ve all been there (Mom/Dad pushing to buy oversized gear to cut down on costs). But when a left winger slams you into the side of the boards, you’ll be wishing you had bought the right size. We know it’s a fair chunk of change, but in order for protective gear to do its job, it’s gotta fit precisely to your form and physique. 

(Looking for the gear that’ll protect you no matter what comes your way on the ice? Check out the Stallion HPR Protective line, and make sure to get the right size!)

2. Buying the most $$$ gear just because.

This is the other extreme…just because it’s the most expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best or the best fit for you. Take your time and try out a few different pieces to find the most comfortable fit. When you’re on the ice, the dollar signs won’t matter. It’s all about finding the gear that feels like the most natural extension of you to create easy, fluid movements. 

(Major deal alert! Grab the STX Surgeon RX2 Stick on sale now, which will give you the best bang for your buck! PS…your parents will thank you for this.)

3. Taking the old school approach to determine your stick flex. #whenhockeymeetsmath #Ijustwannaplayhockeynotdomath

 

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“Body weight/2 ” used to be the go-to for determining stick flex, and while that’s still a good starting point, your game isn’t as simple as a math equation. In the end, it all comes down to the amount of power behind your movements and the flex that can support and sustain those movements. It’s important to test out several different levels – you might find that a flex that’s a little off base from the standard is more suited to your playing style. In a nutshell – stay flexible with your flex.

(Make sure to #PlayHuge when you hit the ice like NHL All-Star Vincent Trocheck with his Surgeon 500 gloves.)

4. Using a stick that's meant for a giant or your younger sibling...

 

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While there are different ways to evaluate stick length, it’s really about what’s going to help you glide across the ice with smooth, controlled motion. Depending on your position, you may want a slightly shorter or longer stick. As a forward or winger, a shorter stick can help you get shots off quickly in the heat of an intense play. As a defender, a slightly longer stick lets you check your attacker from further away. 

(Need some stick inspiration? Check out the STX Stallion HPR Stick that New York Rangers defender Anthony DeAngelo uses to protect his net!)

5. Shoving your gear in the car instead of treating it like the treasure it is. #respectthegear

 

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After practice you’re probably sweaty and exhausted (if you’re not, did you even go to practice??)…let’s be real, the last thing on your mind is taking care for how you store your equipment. But as a guy who’s totally been there, here me out – rather than just throwing everything in your bag (which can cause bacteria to grow #gross, take a couple extra minutes to lay out your equipment so it can dry. This helps protect your gear from bacteria and extend its lifespan. 

(Carrying around all that equipment can be tough #Ionlyhavetwohands. After giving your equipment proper time to dry, make sure to store it in your STX Premium Bag with waterproof polyvinyl construction to prevent unwanted moisture from getting to your gear.)

6. Going for the lightweights for the sake of speed.

 

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Hockey gear is no joke. It’s CRAZY heavy to the point where suiting up feels like a workout…and worst of all, it slows you down. But while having lighter gear may seem like the perfect solution, the extra speed that lighter gear provides isn’t typically significant. Always prioritize protection over weight and speed — it’s better to move a little slower and be well-protected than to have an edge on speed and increase your risk of injury.

(Need some extra speed without sacrificing protection? Check out the Surgeon 500 Shoulder Pads designed with a sleeker fit profile to minimize weight and bulk without forfeiting protection.)

Having your hands smell like your gloves is just one of the struggles you face as a hockey athlete... check out our full list of struggles you know if hockey is life.

Planning to grab a new set of gloves? Check out our #GearHack to help break them in before you hit the ice!