Good hockey elbow pads are measured by their protection, comfort, and mobility. In today’s discussion, I’m going to help you on how to choose the right elbow pad. There’s a lot of different elements in the market, so to give you an overall look, Puck Drawn Hockey‘s going to break down the different levels of elbow pads, and then I’m going to show you the desired characteristics you can expect to find on each level.
I’ve categorized hockey elbow pads into three different levels: Recreational, Performance, and Elite. It might seem complicated, but don’t worry, and I’m going to break down each one for you in terms of three criteria: protection, construction, and liner.
1. Recreational Level
Hockey elbow pads of the first level are called recreational elbow pads. These elbow pads are great for brand new players who are looking to get into hockey for the first time. They are also suitable for casual pond hockey or outdoor rink players.
For protection, you’re generally going to see single density foams throughout the bicep and the forearm guard. You might also see plastic inserts, which is going to be a nice feature to see as it adds up to your protection. Hard molded plastic elbow cap is also going to do an excellent job of keeping you protected when you take this bill to the ice.
In terms of construction, you’re generally going to see a one-piece design, which means the bicep is connected to the forearm in one piece. If you do see a two-piece construction, that’s going to be a good option since it allows better mobility. With the strapping system, you’re going to have a two or three-piece design as well. A three-piece strapping system is going to keep your elbow locked in the doughnut and keep the protection from slipping around.
And then, the liner is going to be a traditional microfiber that’s going to do a good job of wicking sweat and moisture.
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2. Performance Level
If you’re heading up into the performance level hockey elbow pad, it is a perfect starting point for anybody getting into contact hockey. It has a great balance between necessary indexes like protection, mobility, and comfort.
Without a steep price tag, you’re going to see a good upgrade in protection in terms of plastic reinforcement throughout the forum and the bicep, as well as thicker foams for added comfort and protection.
For design construction, they are generally built as a two-piece design, which means it’s going to be hinged at the bicep that allows better range of motion. And then for the strapping system, you often see a three-piece design with a nylon forearm strap. That’s going to help the protection not to slip around, either. Further down through the center, you’re going to get a neoprene-like material that’s going to help anchor your elbow once again into the pocket and prevent it from pinching like a traditional elastic strap.
And then we have the liner. It will be a much lighter and more supportive cord, which will do a very good job of removing sweating and moisture away. You might even see antimicrobial treatment, and also within the performance level, you might actually see some of the elite level protection qualities. For example, specific brands of high-end foams are even seen within performance level elbow pads.
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3. Elite Level
If you are in high contact hockey, full contact hockey, or you’re a player who just wants the best protection, comfort, and mobility that you can get, you are definitely going to look for the elite level hockey elbow pads.
You’re going to see each brand has a specific unique protection quality, such as really high-end foams and materials such as curve composite or Poron XRD. These are just foams and materials that have very good impact protection as well as slash and block shot protection, so you’re going to have much more plastic reinforcements.
The two-piece design, or sometimes three, allows some high mobility. You’re also going to get much better adjustment features. For example, CCM elite hockey elbow pads have an adjustable forearm strap so you can really dial in the fit, and anchor straps.
Next, you should have a very soft and convenient liner which will be doing a good job of removing sweat and moisture. To make it even better, these elbow pads have some of the best antimicrobial treatment as well.
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Once you’ve narrowed down what level of hockey elbow pads you want to look at, you’re going to want to choose the type of fit profile also. So similarly, there are three different types of fit.
You have Anatomical fit, so that’s going to be very close to the body, which is excellent for the speedy, crafty players out there who are looking for the best mobility for stickhandling and shooting.
Then, you have a Tapered fit, which is going to be more volume and coverage within the bicep and tapers down into a more anatomical fit around the forearm. This is an excellent balance between a traditional fit and an anatomical fit, which is great if you are looking for the power or proper coverage protection without sacrificing mobility.
Finally, you have the Traditional fit with a lot of coverage. For that reason, it’s going to be bulkier in terms of fit and look. This is going to be great for those highly physical players who like to dig around the boards, and maybe those defensemen and shop lockers also.
There is nothing worse when you fall on the ice rink, and your hockey elbow pad decides to push down your arm and you eventually hit your elbow right on the surface. That is why choosing the proper elbow pads is super important, and I hope the information I’ve shared above helped you on how to do that. If you’re looking for any further information, feel free to let us know. Also, visit our website regularly so you can stay updated on all the new incoming hockey gear, and thank you for reading!