Hockey Gear Costs
Youth hockey is a fun sport for children to play. But the costs of all the equipment is never fun for the parents.
The average cost of youth hockey equipment for a new player can range from $280-$1,000. But aside from equipment fees, you will also have to pay for team fees. This can vary by location and can cost anywhere from $400 or higher.
Today, we’re going to look at the average cost of youth hockey equipment so you can determine how much money you need to spend. We’ll also discuss the types of equipment, prices, and easy ways to save a few bucks. Get ready to learn everything you need to know.
When it comes to youth hockey, the list of equipment your child will need is hefty. With such a full-contact sport, it makes sense that you’ll need a lot of safety gear to keep them protected.
If your young child is just starting out playing hockey, the best way to save money is to buy some of your supplies secondhand. It’s smart to wait until you’re sure your child enjoys playing hockey before you start spending big money on top of the line products.
But there are some things you will want to buy as new. Safety equipment that you will need to buy for your child to play youth hockey include:
- Mouthguard - buy new ($10-$40)
- Neck guard - new or used ($15-$50)
- Elbow pads - new or used ($15-$70)
- Gloves - new or used ($30-$70)
- Helmet - new ($50-$249)
- Shoulder pads - new or used ($13-$70)
- Shin guards - new or used ($22-$70)
- Jocks/Jill straps - buy new ($20+)
Buying all new gear does give you the advantage of knowing that the products are up to the latest safety standards. If you buy second hand, do your research to see how old the equipment is, so you can be sure the items offer the highest safety features.
You may also need equipment with specific ratings or standards, depending on your league’s rules and regulations. You should always check with your child’s coach before purchasing any equipment.
The price of gear that you have to buy new won’t hurt your pocketbook as much as trying to purchase everything new. Helmets should always be purchased new so you can be sure they’re the latest model.
Besides the protective gear your child will need, there’s also their wardrobe to consider. Some hockey leagues will provide your child with their uniform. The cost is often included in the registration fee. But your child will still need practice gear, including:
- Pants ($35)
- Socks ($10)
- Practice jersey ($14)
Given the low cost of these items, buy new when possible. Having your child share clothing and undergarments that have been worn by other children can be unsanitary and unhygienic.
If you buy used, give them proper cleaning and sanitizing before allowing your child to wear it. Socks are best when new to prevent transferring athlete’s foot or other fungus transfers.
When playing hockey, there is some gear your child will need. Some of these items can be bought, used, or for a lower price. Types of gear you will need to purchase for youth hockey includes:
- Hockey bag ($20-$100+)
- Hockey stick ($45-$100+)
- Skates ($50-$100+)
Most people buy a new hockey bag so you can put your child’s name on it. Monogramming, stickers, and a permanent marker are great ways to tag your child’s equipment, so it doesn’t get confused with the other kids’ stuff.
There are a variety of bags to choose from, including ones with straps, wheels, or handles. Depending on the amount of gear and your child’s size, you may want one to roll around instead of carrying.
Your child’s hockey stick can be new or used, which will affect the final price you pay. When choosing a hockey stick for your child, there are some factors you will need to consider, such as:
- Blade curve
- Blade lie
- Stick length
- Flex and kick point
- Level and style of play
- Player position, weight, strength, and size
You may also need to pick a stick based on your child’s league regulations, such as length or stick type.
The most significant factor to consider when buying your child’s hockey skates is how they fit. Buying a pair of skates without letting your child try them first can result in sore feet and poor skating performance.
Sizing can be tricky with hockey skates. Your child may not wear the same size skate that they do regular shoes. And it would be best if you didn’t buy skates a size too large so that your child can grow into them. Your child’s foot should fit into the boot snugly, without room for sliding.
Buying used skates can also be problematic if the boots have been worn enough to lose their stiffness. Stiff hockey skates provide better control and support on the ice.
In addition to the price you pay for buying youth skates, you’ll also have to consider that your child’s skates will need sharpening. How frequently you will need to sharpen the skates will depend on how often your child skates.
You can get by with sharpening once or twice a year for young players who barely shuffle across the ice. If your child is playing multiple games a week, you should sharpen more often, between once a month to every four to six games.
You can sharpen the blades yourself, but it will require special equipment like a cross-grind machine, sharpening stone, and finishing stone. Or you may have to pay for an expert to sharpen the blade for you, which is another cost you will need to factor in.
Many parents and coaches recommend other accessories in addition to the essential supplies. These extras can add up for extra costs. These items are not necessary and include:
- Hockey tape ($2-$20)
- Water bottle ($10-$40)
- First aid kit ($20)
- Towel ($8-$30)
- Skate stone ($5)
- Shin pad tape ($5)
- Pucks ($20)
- Stickhandling ball ($5-$30)
- Hockey wax ($5-$40)
Your costs up to this point should be close to $500, depending on if you’re buying on the higher side or budget shopping.
If you feel that your child doesn’t need all this extra gear in their bag, you should at least be sure you get a water bottle. Skating is hard work, and your child will work up a thirst. It can be difficult for them to get to the water fountain while wearing skates.
Having a towel to wipe off the sweat is also useful. You don’t want your child sharing towels with other kids who could spread germs and illnesses.
The position your child plays can also affect your bottom line. If your child plays a particular role such as goalie, they will need different equipment than other positions.
For a goalie position, you would need to purchase the following equipment:
- Blocker ($75)
- Arm/chest pads ($170)
- Mask ($200)
- A Goalie Stick ($75)
- Goalie glove ($120)
- Leg pads ($160)
- Goalie jockstrap ($50)
- Skates ($150)
- Goalie bag ($140- $340)
As you can see, if your child has their heart set on playing the position of goalie, you’ll pay more costs for a grand total of close to $1,000. Some of this equipment can be used.
What type of team your child plays on, as well as your location, will determine the team fees you will have to pay. You usually have to pay a large registration fee at the beginning of the season. The amount will depend on the type of league your child joins.
If you are playing for a local recreational team, such as a house league hockey organization, you typically pay one cost, which covers the registration fee, insurance, and uniform.
These teams usually only play once a week, so you won’t spend as much time in the arena, which makes the cost less than if you were playing more often.
The average team fees for house league hockey can range between $200 and $500. Once you pay this fee and purchase your child’s equipment, you shouldn’t have to pay any more money. Except if your child’s league participates in tournaments, you may have to pay an entrance fee for your child to play.
Be sure you discuss this with your organization before signing up. The tournament games are often optional, so you don’t have to pay for them unless your child wants to play.
Anytime your child plays on a travelling team, the parents should be prepared to spend a lot of money and time. The reason travel hockey is more expensive is you will end up having to pay for games outside your location.
Fees for a travel team can range anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 a child. Younger children are on the cheaper side of costs. If your child joins an elite travel team, the prices would be much higher.
In addition to the extra expenses, you may face travelling to games (some can be hours away or even require an overnight trip), you will also face costs for any tournaments your child’s team may enter.
The cost of tournaments is not included in your initial price, and how many different games your team plays in will be up to the coach. Most leagues play in two to five tournaments a season.
The price of tournaments can vary but usually fall within the range of $200 to $500 a game. This price does not include the cost of travel or entry for parents and other visitors who want to spectate.
Limited travel hockey leagues give you the best of both worlds between travel and house league teams. When your child participates in a limited travel hockey league, they will play in some games other than their home area.
You may have to pay for the travel expenses for each away game. But these games are usually close by, so there’s not a lot of extra cost for travelling.
Limited travel teams do participate in a lot of tournaments, so you may find yourself having to pay the extra costs of these, in addition to the price of registration, which will vary by team.
Some leagues offer classes that help your child learn to play the game of ice hockey. Because these are for developing the game fundamentals, the cost is usually more manageable, depending on your league.
In learn-to-play hockey leagues, you will rarely pay over $100. Some associations may even offer free classes and provide the equipment your child will need.
If your kid has never played hockey before, you may want to look into learn-to-play hockey leagues before you shell out the money to register for a team.
Everyone loves to save money, so we’ve gathered a few tips to help you offset some of the expensive costs associated with youth hockey equipment.
We’ve already discussed that there is some equipment you can buy second hand. Depending on your child’s age, they may grow rapidly between seasons, meaning you don’t want to spend a considerable sum of money on something you’ll soon have to replace.
Look into companies that offer trade-ins so you can exchange your child’s old equipment for a discount on any new products. You may also want to consider renting equipment, such as skates, especially if your child’s foot tends to grow fast.
If your child is just starting in youth hockey, you may find it helpful to purchase some of your child’s equipment as part of a kit instead of buying things one by one. When you buy a kit, you get most of the necessary gear for one price.
Most youth hockey starter kits include most of the safety equipment your child will need for youth hockey, including:
- Shoulder pads
- Elbow pads
- Hockey bag
- Shin guards
You will need to buy extra safety gear such as the jock (or jill if you have a girl) protector, mouth guard (an absolute must), a helmet (with a complete cage or shield), and guards for the neck and shins.
In addition to all the costs you have to pay for equipment and team fees, you may also face charges regarding admittance to your child’s games.
Some games may be free to watch for spectators, but most will charge a small door fee of $2 to $10 per game (you may have to also pay for parking). You can also spend a bunch of money on concessions, especially if you have siblings that will tag along to watch the game.
Concession stand costs will vary but remember that any money you spend at the concession stand goes back into the organization, so it’s money well spent. You should budget $20 to $50 a month for concession prices.
Many children prefer to have a warm base layer of clothing underneath their padding to keep them warm on the ice. Some of this gear may have built-in padding so your child can stay warm and protected.
You want to find clothing with a tight compression fit for a base layer that allows for free movement out on the ice. You’ll also want to find material that has wicking abilities. Cotton will trap sweat in the fabric, making your child feel colder.
The base layer should consist of a shirt (short or long-sleeved) and pants (some have padding and a spot for a removable jock cup). Some children prefer to wear jock shorts instead, which are more comfortable with a protective cup.
If your child’s head gets cold quickly, a skull cap can provide extra warmth and comfort with the helmet. These stretchy hats mould to the head to provide a protective barrier.
Some parents decide to pay for private lessons for their children, which can vary based on individual fees. You may have to pay for ice time, the coaches’ price per hour (or session), and any travel expenses.
Costs may differ depending on where you live and the available coaches, but average costs can range between $60 and $120 an hour.
A great way to save money is to consider having an experienced older child, such as a high schooler or college player, mentor your child. Your kid may relate better and have more fun, and you could save some money while helping the older player earn some extra cash.
Youth hockey can be an expensive sport. But once you’ve got all the gear, the main cost you will face will be registration fees or the price of other competitions. Buying gear secondhand is an easy way to reduce the costs you will spend. However, remember that some equipment needs to be new. Always be sure you check the safety ratings of any gear you purchase.
- BS Hockey: How Much Does it REALLY Cost to Pay hockey? Average Player CostsHockey Family HQ: How Much Does Youth Hockey Really Cost?
- Pure Hockey: Hockey Skate Sharpening Guide
- Pure Hockey: How Much Does It Cost to Play Youth Hockey?
- Rutsch Hockey: The Pluses and Minuses of Private Lessons
- Sport Zone Canada: Guide to the Average Cost of Hockey Equipment