Taking up ice hockey

Discussion in 'The Rink' started by Rangers_23, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. Rangers_23

    Rangers_23 Constantly rebuked and rebuffed

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    I have decided I'd like to invest in some ice equipment and learn to play on the ice.

    I was a roller guy all through high school (non-competitve parking lot hockey) and played 1 year of club level roller hockey in college.

    Due to a recent move and having access to a local ice rink and after skating there and loving it this weekend, I think I'd like to try and join the local adult rec league.

    My major questions are:

    1) Would it be a better idea for me to first take a skating class? (I've ice skated a grand total of 4 or 5 times in my life, but I seem to be okay and straightfoward skating and crossovers, due to my inline experience)

    2) Is there a good place to find cheap ice gear? Do I even want to consider Ebaying some used hockey skates? Can anyone recommend an economic pair of new skates?

    3) Would it be advisable to play drop-in hockey instead? Basically, I'm wondering if drop-in will have more advanced players that would be annoyed by a "newb" moreso than a recreational "just for fun" league.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Greeneye

    Greeneye Registered User

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    You should definitely take the skating class. Get as much ice time as you can and join a league. Most rinks have a "learn to play" type of class, that would be a good route.

    If you buy skates online make sure that they will fit you. Skates are the most important part of equipment for you. If they dont fit they will end up being a problem and will need to be replaced. Does the rink sell skates?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
  3. Rangers_23

    Rangers_23 Constantly rebuked and rebuffed

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    Yeah they sell skates but they want an arm and a leg for them. Perhaps I can con them into letting me try some on so I can better judge size. I've always heard 1 size less than your normal shoe size, is that accurate?
     
  4. sc37

    sc37 Registered User

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    Differnt brands fit differently...you really want to get to a store to get fitted especially for the first time. After that, you can cheat some since you'd have abetter idea of what you want. You can probabably guesstimate with pads and stuff (though not recommended)...but skates, don't do it.

    CLasses would be nice, but at least get out to public skates...and if you are afraid of drop-ins, as some might be cause I know I still am :P, try out the stick and puck sessions.
     
  5. sc37

    sc37 Registered User

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    I'd want to add, don't be afraid to spend $ now, cause later you find you want to get nicer stuff. I just went through one of those phases after palying a year+. I would have saved more money by spending early.
     
  6. Greeneye

    Greeneye Registered User

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    Generally skates are a size smaller than shoes. Some people prefer even smaller skates so it's best to get sized.

    One thing to note about buying used skates. They may have molded to the original owners feet. That may cause them to be uncomfortable for you.
     
  7. TBLfan

    TBLfan Registered User

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    actually it's normally a size and a half. But some prefer 2 sizes smaller, some even more. Go and try them on and make sure to walk around in them before you buy so that you can get a feel of any pressure points.
     
  8. Goalie_Gal

    Goalie_Gal Registered User

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    Thanks for posting this thread, and for the people who've answered. I've been playing roller but really want to break into ice too and am not sure exactly how.
     
  9. MikeD

    MikeD Registered User

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    Just be sure to not try to do ice and roller seasons at the same time. The differences between ice tending and roller will create havok on your roller game and make the transition to ice much more difficult than it has to be. I suggest keeping a spring and/or fall roller season and ice for the winter.

    Play it again sports is one good source for some gear but not a place to get hockey gloves. They tend to lose stitching the first time you really sweat them up. Be sure to really check out the gear your going to purchase used such from consignment at a local sports/hockey shop. Give the stitching a real pulling to look for weakness.
     
  10. EmptyNetter

    EmptyNetter Registered User

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    Agreed. I got used equipement about 3 years ago, and though it held up pretty well I realized that I bought things more for the price than for comfort and fit. If you're going to use your equipment 3 times or more during your life I'd buy new, but that's just me.

    Definitely, definitely, definitely try on your skates before you buy them and I strongly suggest you buy them new. $100 should be able to get you a decent pair. You want to make sure you have adequate ankle support and in many used skates you won't get it. Weight, balance, fit and support -- you get all these in one skate, you've got what you need to be a superstar. ;)
     
  11. Goalie_Gal

    Goalie_Gal Registered User

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    Thanks. I play 3-4 times a week now so I don't know when I'd even fit it in if i was doing both. I didn't realize it would create a problem, though I have heard it's very different. I just can't tear myself away from the groups I play with now, so this may have to be a future thing.

    As for skates yeah, after reading all this I would definitely take the plunge and get them new (especially goal skates). Everything else I have is ice-quality so those would be the only things I'd need to buy.
     
  12. RedK

    RedK Registered User

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    Ranger - skate at least a couple times in your ice gear to get comfy in it before you play. Talk to the rink managers about the drop ins. Some drop ins are much more newbie-friendly than others. You might also ask if they have any beginner leagues. Since you already know how to shoot, you will have a lot of fun in a beginner league. You will merely need to learn to skate and shoot, and how to turn. The big looping turns roller guys make when they take the ice are a dead giveaway.

    goalie_gal - one butterfly slide on fresh ice and you'll be hooked forever.
     
  13. TheLokNesMonster

    TheLokNesMonster Registered User

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    Always buy all new equipment. Used gear smells like the last guy that had the stuff on. It doesn't have to be the name brand best, just decent quality protective stuff.

    A new helmet with cage will cost you 50.00

    Gloves will run you 40.00

    Breezers/Pants 60.00

    Elbows are 40.00

    A couple of decent wood sticks will cost you 30.00 a piece

    Cup/Garters/tape/gear bag other misc accessories another 60.00

    You don't need shoulder pads.

    Skates are tricky. I wouldn't go top 'o the line, but I wouldn't skimp too much. You could get a pretty decent pair for 150.00-200.00. Do some research so you know how skates should fit. You ain't buying bedroom slippers. "Comfortable skates" is a relative term. There really is no such thing as a comfortable skate. You'll figure that out soon enough.

    You can get going for under 500.00 and this wouldn't be total crap gear either. Not cheap, but you can easily spend 15 bills for the same list of stuff I just named, just better quality/more prestigious stuff.

    Don't get your skates on-line, all the other stuff, you can probably do better on-line than the pro shops.
     
  14. crashlanding

    crashlanding Registered User

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    I just made the jump from roller to ice after I moved to an area that had an abundance of ice rinks and one roller rink an hour away. Needless to say the choice was easy. I'm in the same boat as you, I played roller for years and had only ice skated 4-5 times at open skates when I was younger.

    My transition to the ice is a little frustrating but not nearly as slow as it would be if I was starting from scratch. I've been playing 2-3 times a week for the last month and if I play with beginners I feel like an all-star but if I play with guys who grew up playing I feel every bit of my inexperience. Stopping is VERY different and I feel my lack of ability in that department is really holding me back, I can't really go all out in games because if I lose the puck I'll just fly by and have to circle back and I can't stop up to keep the defenseman off balance so he knows if I'm going forward my only move is keep going or turn. Skating backwards is another thing that will take a little more practice to get good at it. It's also strange when you skate and you actually feel the edges of the blades opposed to the wheels which feel the same whether you're going straight, turning, or stopping in roller.

    Going from 4 on 4 to 5 on 5 is a lot different too in terms of coverage. I'm out of position a lot, things look really crowded and there's a lot more board work.

    Despite all that it's a ton of fun and you should definitely go for it. You won't be Pavel Bure when you step on the ice, but you'll be able to see improvement every week.

    Noticing your questions I saw I didn't really answer any of them. My rink has a beginner/learn to play drop in, a regular drop in, and a league. I started out just doing the drop ins and just started in the league a couple of weeks ago. I say start with the skating lessons/drop in and then once you feel comfortable in the drop in join the house league.
     
  15. Greeneye

    Greeneye Registered User

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    If you haven't played ice before I would recommend getting shoulder pads. Easton Classics or Sherwood 5030's are good and small.
     
  16. Blindsided

    Blindsided Registered User

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    1) You should definately take skating lessons, they really helped improve my skating technique, balance etc. before i started playing hockey. I was basically in the same boat as you. I have been rollar blading since i could walk and it helped with ice skating but it is definately to your benefit to take skating lessons.

    2) As for equipment, i wouldnt buy skates off of ebay. I would suggest either going to a Play it again sports to get a pair that may be in good condition at a cheep price or maybe a hockey store and find some skates that are on clearance. I got a pair of Sher Wood ice skates that i picked out from a local sports store for $60 and i havent had any problems with them yet. Just look around at what options you have before purchasing anything.

    3) And i really cant answer this one for you... :(
    Hope this will help you!
     
  17. Rangers_23

    Rangers_23 Constantly rebuked and rebuffed

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    Update: I purchased a new pair of Nike Bauer S30's and so far I love them. I have a hot spot on the outside of the boot but I think getting the skate punched will take care of it. Been going to public skates at least once a week and I'm seeing some improvement, although I'm having a hell of a time trying to learn to hockey stop.

    Skating lessons will have to wait until the new class starts in January.

    I'm looking into buying all of my gear at once in order to get a good discount, but I haven't come across the right deal yet. Once I get the gear I'll start playing drop in. I guess I could start going to stick and puck sessions to get started.

    Thanks for all the responses!
     
  18. Doctor Hook

    Doctor Hook Registered User

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    We got this one dude on my beer league squad who came from a similiar roller/floor hockey background. He semi-knew how to skate already, so maybe that was an advantage, although he isn't exactly an ice dancer out there.

    However, he is actually one of our better players because of his roller background, he would try to do moves in the corners or along the boards that somebody who has been on ice all of their lives wouldn't think of. He basically plays roller hockey on ice, is fantastic at kicking pucks out of his skates to his blade, and somehow it all works.

    But the most important thing you can do when you start playing ice hockey is to just love the game and have fun, because if you don't, then you'll question why you're out there in the first place and it'll just make things worse. Good luck, I love hearing stories of people picking up the game!:clap:
     
  19. Doctor Hook

    Doctor Hook Registered User

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    You can find a good package deal of shoulder pads, shin pads, elbow pads, and sometimes even pants on sites like hockeymonkey.com hockeygiant.com, or hockeyworld.com

    Some of those package deals I've seen offer pretty good, namebrand equipment at a very fair price (200 bucks or less). I kind of wish I took advantage of those deals when I re-bought all my gear a few years ago.
     
  20. Doctor Hook

    Doctor Hook Registered User

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    Not sure what the drop-in hockey scene is like near you, but I know for my pickup games, if we had a dude come by who never played before, we'd probably be annoyed.

    I think you're better off going to the learn to skate programs, then joining up with a lower level team as a free agent. Besides, it's more fun to be on a team, and they'll help you out more with your game because you're a teammate.
     

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