Many Albertans have an emotional connection to hockey—and a financial one too. Every fall, parents and players flock to sports stores to spend hundreds on equipment that may only be used one season. Outfitting your little hockey players can get pricey. Stick to your budget by following these equipment-buying tips.
Ask friends and neighbours.
Kids grow quickly, so ask friends with older children if they have equipment they no longer need. Young players typically aren't very hard on their equipment, so this is a great place to start if you're outfitting a young child.
Check out used sports stores or swap boards.
Your minor hockey association should have details about sites in your area.
Buy kits from the bigger hockey stores.
If you're starting from scratch, consider buying a complete kit from a big hockey store. These kits include almost everything a young player will need, except for a helmet and skates.
Research online classifieds like Kijiji.
Think of these sites as online garage sales—you can find some great bargains if you practice buyer beware.
Visit online equipment sites.
These sites can save you lots of money, but make sure you order the right size. It'll be tough for your kid to make practice if their skates are being mailed back to Montreal.
While price is important, safety should be your number one priority when purchasing hockey equipment.
Keep these rules in mind when you're shopping:
- Avoid buying a used helmet, but if you must, make sure it has a CSA sticker and is less than six years old.
- Ensure everything fits properly. Sure, kids will grow into it, but a too-big helmet or loose skates are dangerous on the ice.
- Don't forget about mouth guards. They protect young teeth and help prevent concussions. You can buy one at a sports store, order online, or get your child fitted at the family dentist.
- Get a list of the required equipment from your local hockey association. Young players probably don't need top-of-the-line wheelie bags or graphite sticks.
By following these shopping and budgeting tips, you can help your little hockey player take to the ice without breaking the bank.