Your Guide to buying Hockey Equipment Online

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by Jeremy Rupke on December 10, 2013

Since Christmas is only a few weeks away I thought it would be fitting to write an article on how to get good deals on hockey equipment. From my own experience and the feedback from many hockey players throughout USA and Canada I have compiled a list of good places to buy hockey equipment online.

Looking for a bargain? Where to Find Cheap Hockey Equipment

Hockey Monkeycheap-hockey-sticks

One of the first places I look is Hockey Monkey, more specifically the Hockey Monkey clearance section. If I’m just looking for a good deal on something, I will check the clearance section. If you are looking for newer hockey sticks the pro stock section of sticks is a good place to save money on the newer models.

Total hockey

total-hockeyTotal hockey is another popular online hockey store and they have a lot of great promotions. If you visit their homepage you will see their most recent promotions (like free shipping, or special sales) and I also recommend you visit their sales page. If you visit that page you will see all their products, sorted by best deals!

Pure Hockey

Pure hockey has a clearance section that has some great deals. Just like every clearance the selection is usually limited, so if you find the exact size / and colour you like at a clearance price, consider yourself lucky!

List of Online Hockey Equipment Stores

There are a few popular sites that you might want to visit to look for deals, here is a list of the most popular hockey equipment stores

  1. Hockey Monkeyonline-hockey-equipment – Good selection and prices
  2. Pure Hockey – Low prices and fast shipping
  3. Total Hockey
  4. Ice Warehouse
  5. Hockey Giant
  6. Hockey Supremacy (for Canadians)
  7. Pro hockey Life (for Canadians)

Warning to Canadians: many of the major retail brands like Easton, Bauer, CCM, and Reebok will NOT ship from the USA to Canada. If you live in Canada you pretty much can not order hockey equipment online unless it is from a Canadian retailer. Your best bet is to shop in stores or use some of the tips below

Buying Used Hockey Equipment Online

used-hockey-equipmentBuying used hockey equipment is a great way to save money, especially if you are new to the game and don’t want to spend too much money. Another tip I got from a friend who lives in the city is to buy used hockey sticks. He said he gets brand new sticks for cheaper than retail and doesn’t pay tax. Here are some places to look

In your local area

  • Craigslist (for Americans)
  • Kijiji (for Canadians)
  • Play it Again Sports – They have locations all over Canada and USA, new and used equipment with a good selection
  • Ask around your arena – If you need some gear ask other players on your team, or if you are just starting put an ad up at your local arena. Hockey players always have extra equipment laying around that they haven’t bothered to sell.

Online

  • Ebay – This is a good spot to look for higher end gear that people bought and then didn’t like. If you are buying expensive skates make sure you’ve tried them on in the store first and know they fit properly

What should you buy new and what should be bought used?

cat-hockey-pantsThis largely depends on how picky you are, but I think we can all agree that you should buy your jock new :)  The important part of buying hockey equipment is finding the right fit. If you can find used hockey equipment that fits right then almost everything can be bought used.

I prefer buying helmets new because they are protecting your head so you should get the best fit and protection you can afford. Old helmets may not perform as well as they did when they were new and with used equipment you might not find the right fit for your noggin.

Tips for Buying Hockey Equipment Online

sizing-chartIf you are going to buy online you want to make sure that your equipment will fit properly first. Most stores like Hockey Monkey and Total Hockey have sizing charts, consult those for figuring out what equipment will fit you. It helps if you know your chest size, waist size, arm length, and so on.

Another recommendation is to try equipment on in stores first. This is especially true if you are a newer player. I strongly recommend trying on hockey skates before you buy them as proper fit and comfort is very important. You can always try them on in stores and then shop around online. For equipment like shoulder pads, and pants, sticks, jerseys, jocks, and neck guards you should have no problem figuring out your size online. I’m particular about gloves, skates, and helmet so I would try those on in the store first

(edit – The tip to try on equipment in stores is mostly for the new players who don’t know how things feel and fit. I wouldn’t recommend a new player buy gear online until they have tried some on and know what they like and don’t like in general. Go to a store, pick stuff up, squeeze it, feel it, flex it, try it on, get a feel for what you like. Buy it if you like it, but it gives you buying power and more confidence when shopping either in the store OR online!)

  • If you can, get familiar with the equipment in the stores first so you know how the gear feels
  • If you know what brands you like you can use sizing charts online to ensure you get the right size
  • Shop around for the best price, if you want newer hockey sticks look for pro-stock sticks at good discounts

What if it Doesn’t Fit Right?does-not-fit

Most companies do have a pretty good return policy. If you get a piece of equipment that does not fit right you can send it back right away for a refund, or for the proper size.

The only exception for this is with some of the clearance and sale items. If you are making a big purchase then be sure to check the return policy before you check out so you know the conditions.

Did I miss anything?

If you have any tips please leave them in the comments section.

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Jeremy Rupke

Coach
Hi my name is Jeremy. I LOVE hockey and I am passionate about improving and helping others improve. My goal is to break every hockey skill down into easy to understand articles and videos. I explain everything step-by-step to help others improve. If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

TK May 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

I want to warn others by passing along my experience with Total Hockey. I placed two orders in the past couple of months and they were both a disaster. It took them two weeks to ship items that are listed as “Normally ships same or next business day.” All their customer service people told me was “it should ship soon,” but they didn’t help get the stuff shipped in a reasonable time.

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WJ December 19, 2013 at 8:13 am

Tight skates = happy feet. Usually buy 1/2 size smaller than your normal shoe size.

BTW, I was having a really tough time with my correctly-sized skates which were causing blisters which were further causing bone spurs and bunions. So I went to an orthopedist who told me I had flat feet and needed inserts and wanted to recommend a $700 custom deal!!! Instead I went to Walmart and went on their measuring machine and ended up paying $18 for correctly fitting inserts which have made me a happy camper.

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WJ December 19, 2013 at 8:06 am

I find that Perani’s Hockey World has some great deals as well. It is best to start your search on Google shopping, and be sure to specify stick brand, model, hand, blade and age group if you are buying a stick. I have heard that Hockey Monkey has poor return policies– for example you can no longer buy online and return in-store. I have been shorted items on my orders with Total Hockey twice, so check you boxes!!! That being said, I called up and told them, and they were happy to send me the missing items (stick wax and tape). They were also good about crediting a new bag which had it’s handle break withing a week of purchase.

My favorite strategy for buying sticks is to get the top-of-the-line Bauer stick (TotalOne or Nexus 1000) when they are in clearance (usually 2 years after initial release). This cuts the price of a junior stick from $200 when 1st issued to approximately $90-110. Of course you will have to hunt for deals if you are leftie or use an obscure blade. This strategy also works with pads, shin guards, gloves. etc. My two kids combined usually break a stick a year, so the key is to buy equipment when you want it (at clearance), not when you need it (when it breaks), because an online purchase takes about a week to arrive.

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John Payson December 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Online shopping can be valuable, especially if there are no full service stores in reasonable distance. But as to going to your local store, trying on skates, gloves, and what not, and then ordering elsewhere to save a couple of dollars, I find that unethical. Those couple of dollars the store charges were what it takes to pay the guy or gal who helped you try on the skates for free. Explain how this isn’t stealing– subtle, but stealing none the less. If you aren’t sure about exactly which skate you need— you order several on your credit card, keep the ones that fit right and send the others back. If the online retailer has a “restocking charge” don’t buy there. Returns due to fit are part of the business, and if the online store won’t take new stuff back, they aren’t a good
store.

About the supposedly unbreakable sticks. (Colt?). When the aluminum shafts first came out, those broke too, but not as much as the composites now. There are reasons for that, but suffice to say we asked the stick maker rep (Drolet, who was at the time selling the Busch stick along with their wooden Sher-Woods) why they weren’t stronger and “break proof”. He told us that they were supposed to break, that there was even testing done at NHL— and sticks that were “too strong” were considered a hazard to players because bones would be broken instead— and they would rather break the stick. Maybe it was a line– but it made sense at the time.

Composites do seem to break sometimes easily and catastrophically though. I think it’s because all of the strength is in a thin layer on the shell. In the same way as a scratch on a pain of glass becomes the point where it breaks (that’s how a glass cutter works) also a a simple, and to yours and my eyes an insignificant appearing tiny chip or scratch on the shell becomes the point where the stick will break in a slap-shot. I almost think if I were an NHL Pro and HAD to use the Comp stick, I would at least use a brand new one every period, and the minimum every game. Every chip, every spot that might have hit a skate blade, every “over flex” that might have occurred when jamming on the boards will be the start of the break that will come by surprise at the least convenient moment.

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WJ December 19, 2013 at 8:23 am

I disagree with the “theft” argument. Show-rooming is a phenomena all over the world in all product categories, not just sporting goods. Retailers must face up to the fact that a customer can check the price of a product on their phone. The retailers who can provide good service AND be price competitive will be the ones who survive. That is how you build true brand loyalty. Otherwise, brick-and-mortar hockey retail will be reduced to skate sharpening, and immediately replacing broken sticks and helmet buckles.

TJ December 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I try to patronize Ice Warehouse as much as I can, because I have gained a lot from their demo videos. That said, I usually buy new stuff that’s last year’s (or the year before’s) model, and – while the price really isn’t that different (at least in Dallas) between local and online (particularly once shipping is factored in), the selection of older “new” gear online is almost always a lot better.

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Bob December 12, 2013 at 1:51 am

I’m going to disagree with you about the recommendation to try gear on in a local store and then buy it online, That’s sleazy.

I _DO_ buy some gear online, if it’s a really good clearance deal or something that simply isn’t available locally. (For example, my regular hockey shop of about 20 years of my patronage does not carry adult goalie gear, and I am both goalie and “skater.”) But if your local shop has the same item you are considering from an online merchant such that you can try it on, just buy it there and support the local business. If everyone did what you suggest, the store might not remain in business long, and then where would you try on gear as you are shopping?? It’s more important to support the local merchants to help assure that they stick around than it is to save that few bucks on a piece of gear.

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Jeremy Rupke December 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm

That tip is mostly for the new players who don’t know how things feel and fit. I wouldn’t recommend a new player buy gear online until they have tried some on and know what they like and don’t like. That is why I suggest going to the store first and looking at gear, trying stuff on, sure by some things if it makes sense.

Manu December 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hi, Thanks for the post! Very useful!

I would add an extra online site (cheap prices!!) for European guys like me ==> Hockey Office (based in Germany). I am french and I’m buying pretty much everything there at cheap price, good quality and fast delivery.

Cheers,
Manu

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MA December 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

Quick note regarding helmets. Agreed you should always buy new since you can not be sure of age or condition with used. BUT, you do not need to buy the most expensive helmet you can afford. As long as you purchase a helmet that has been properly certified (i.e. HECC certification, etc ..) they all offer the same level of protection as far as I know. Just something to consider from everything I have read. Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer nor am I an expert in helmets but his seems to be the general rule.

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Mike December 16, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Certification just means that they meet a MINIMUM requirement. Just because two helmets carry the same certification does NOT mean that they offer the same protection, fit, or technology… Spending a little more on a helmet almost always means you are getting more. Deciding what factors are important to you is absolutely a personal preference, but to say all certified helmets provide the same amount of protection is inaccurate at best.

John Durland December 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Just got a smokin deal on Bauer XR3 inline skates from Hockey Giant. I of course knew my skate size from the on ice versions, but living in the south US I have to buy everything online if I want a decent selection at an affordable price. I suggest having patience and check back often for deals.
Props to Jeremy for talking about inlines as an off ice training tool. Love H2H!

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Jason December 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

What do you think about the new colt hockey stick? Is it really “unbreakable”?

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Jeremy Rupke December 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Good question Jason, I was able to try it briefly off the ice and it looks pretty solid however I have not managed to get my hands on one to actually test and try to break.

Andrew December 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Jeremy,
Would you recommend trying on skates after you’ve worked out or gone running, when your feet are a bit swollen so you don’t end up having really tight skates?

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Chip December 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Good pointers….I basically stick to Hockey Monkey, Ice Warehouse, Total Hockey, and Hockey Giant (in that order). There are the others (like Pure Hockey, Perani’s, Great Skate, etc) that are good, but not in the same category as the top four.

And as much as I love Hockey Monkey, it isn’t perfect. The shipping is always going to be between $10-15, and you have to be careful about the clearance stuff. They seem to have gotten less rigid for the holidays, but they have always had a ‘zero return’ policy on all clearance items. So if you get a bad fit or wind up not liking something, you’re out of luck.

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Jeremy Rupke December 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Thanks Chip, good to know!

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