These tough economic times has us all thinking about ways to save money and this season used equipment may be looking a lot more attractive. It can be a good option and you certainly can save some money with body guards and shin guards. Just be sure to check plastic shells thoroughly for any cracks. How about helmets? Be careful here. Remember, this is the core protection of the face and head of your child, so don't skimp. It may be best to buy new to make sure there are no hidden or hairline cracks in the helmet with an unknown history. Same with elbow pads, especially for the beginner to protect against those falls that happen every which way. Look for hockey pants that offer good hip, thigh and tailbone protection. Gloves should allow your kids to have a nice stable grip and should be long enough to meet with elbow pads. Always have your kids do the "stick test" whenever you buy gloves, new or used. Kids should be able to get a good grip on their stick when they've got those gloves on. Make sure the shoulder pads aren't too bulky and defensemen should get full frontal protection.
Need some in-person expert advice? Our hockey community is fortunate to have a store that specializes in hockey gear, local hockey shop McKie Sports. I've found the folks at the store to be very reliable and honest when it comes to proper fit and needs. Plus, if you bought skates/pads there, they'll allow you to trade them in toward the purchase of new equipment. Every little bit helps in the costly world of youth hockey.