5 signs it’s time for new shoulder pads
We have all been there before where we try and put on a piece of equipment and we know it’s time for something new. Sometimes the signs are obvious, however, sometimes it’s not so obvious. Obviously, we wear hockey equipment to keep us safe and that is what it’s meant to do. If your equipment is not up to standard, not only will it be uncomfortable but it may not be keeping you protected.
No matter what level of hockey you play or what league you play in shoulder pads are a necessity, they not only protect your shoulders but they also protect your collarbone, spine, sternum, rib cage, chest and your upper arms from flying packs, slashes and even just falling down. The technology behind shoulder pads are changing quickly and you will want to make sure that you have both comfortable and protective pads.
Here are some signs it’s time to get into new shoulder pads:
This is probably one of the most common reasons for needing a set of new shoulder pads. If your straps no longer connect or your velcro has worn out than your pads won’t stay in place well and your shoulder pads will not provide you with optimal protection. They may also start to affect your playing ability as they may start to get in the way of your shots and puck handling.
This point touches on both younger players and older players as they may have grown out of there equipment for different reasons. For older players this could be due to too much beer or by dieting, either way, if your shoulder pads are too big or too small it’s time for a new set. For youth players who are still growing, you may need to change shoulder pads more frequently. The key thing is that the shoulder pads should connect to the elbow pads for ultimate protection of the arms and protect the rib cage.
Now I know we mentioned early broken straps, however, sometimes the pads themselves have broken or ripped. This should be fairly obvious just by looking at them. If your shoulder pads are broken in any way it is advised to get new pads.
We have seen this so many times especially in men’s league where players are using shoulder pads that they had since they were teenagers. Not only has the technology changed but so has the amount of protection from the pads. If your pads are too old it’s time for a change, the new shoulder pads are less bulky, more protective and provide the player with increased comfort.
All of your hockey equipment should be comfortable for optimal performance. If you find it hard to move or if impeding on your ability to play it may be time to change shoulder pads. Sometimes it is the material and other times it’s the fit, however, if your shoulder pads are not comfortable than it’s time to for a change.
Shoulder pads are one of the most important pieces of equipment for ice hockey. If you are in the market for a new pair of shoulder pads for any reason at all make sure you take a look at some of our recommended pads by clicking here.